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006: How Actors Act (3 Core Acting Methods)

006: How Actors Act (3 Core Acting Methods)


Join Michelle as she explores arguably the three most influential acting methods (out of more than eight in circulation) and the legendary acting teachers responsible for them on Episode 6 of The Cultured Podcast.

Piggyback off of Michelle’s contagious passion for theater to discover the tools actors use to shapeshift into different characters that whisk us away to places, whether real, fictional and fantastical.

Michelle begins by introducing us to the pioneer of acting methods: the great Constantin Stanislavski. We unearth the layered ways Stanislavski set the foundation that actors use to summon the creative process at will.

Often revered as the father of psychological realism within acting, much of his technique focuses on transforming 2D characters into rich, multidimensional people by studying and imagining the character’s motivations, psychology, and obstacles—all while the actor commits herself to a complete suspension of disbelief.

Find out how Stanislavski’s universal system set the stage for the realistic acting audiences enjoy (and are accustomed to) today.

A student of Stanislavski’s (in fact, his “most brilliant pupil”) and nephew of the legendary playwright Anton Chekhov, Michael Chekhov expanded Stanislavski’s system to include more metaphysical and energetic elements. Michelle digs into the emphasis Chekhov put on an actor clearing the ego to achieve a genuinely pure performance. Examining the dual concepts of the inner world of psychology and the outer world of physicality, Chekhov’s methods are some of Michelle’s favorites. She even mentions how applicable these methods are to one of the biggest names in film today: Jennifer Lawrence.

Join Michelle as she finishes her tour of acting methodology by touching on the practices of Lee Strasberg. Part of the iconic circa 1930s Group Theatre, Strasberg supplemented Stanislavski’s method with what he called emotional recall. With Strasberg’s technique, actors apply their own lived experiences and emotions to deeply and authentically connect with those of their character.

Resources About Acting Methods

The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute

Michael Chekhov Acting Studio New York

Michael Chekhov Actors Studio Boston

5 Acting Techniques You NEED to Know If You Want to Become an Actor, Project Casting

8 Important Acting Techniques, Backstage