Cebu Open Auditions this 7/6 & 7/7

Acclaimed Cebu-based director REMTON ZUASOLA is now working on his next independent feature after the award-winning DAMGO NI ELEUTERIA. He is looking for Cebuano-speaking actors to be part of his new project.

Details following after the jump:

Continue reading Cebu Open Auditions this 7/6 & 7/7

Actors in Action, Part Deux: Gish, Falconetti & Schreck– Icons of the Silent Film

Last January 23, SineBuano attended an “Actors-in-Action” screening at the Tioseco-Bohinc Film Archive, selected actors whose body of work and performances were considered to be iconic.

The purpose of the screening was to study the visual craft of acting as it was applied by these actors.

More information and insights to follow.

Continue reading Actors in Action, Part Deux: Gish, Falconetti & Schreck– Icons of the Silent Film

On Acting: Stanislavski’s ‘System’

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players” – Shakespeare.

For any skill, there are those of us who appear to be born masters with one or two skills while the rest have to be studied, learned to acquire mastery. The same could be said of acting. There are those who are naturally inclined to perform, while there are also those who strive and struggle their whole lives to present a great performance.

This article is for the latter, those who have proved their love of performance on stage or in front of a camera, those who are committed to the craft of acting through study, practice, experience and hard work, those who desire not to deemed as a ‘star’, ‘celebrity’ but only as an ‘actor’, a great actor if one has earned it.

To study acting and apply it effectively in portraying a role, one should learn it from the very first individual who ‘studied’ acting as a craft and how it could be applied effectively: Constantin Stanislavski, a Russian actor, director, and theatre administrator at the Moscow Art Theatre (founded 1897).

In 1906, Stanislavski began developing a study of acting which arose as a result of the questions Stanislavski had to great actors he admired; such as the tragedians Maria Yermolova and Tommaso Salvini.

These actors seemed to work under different rules than other actors, but their performances were still susceptible on some nights to flashes of inspiration, of completely ‘being the role’, while on some nights their performances were good or merely accurate.

The ‘system’ is the result of Stanislavski’s many years of efforts to determine how a human being can control in performance the most intangible and uncontrollable aspects of human behavior, such as emotions, and artistic inspiration.

The initial choice to call his research into acting a System struck Stanislavski as too dogmatic and rigid so he preferred to write it as ‘system’ (without the capital letter and in quotation-marks), in order to indicate the provisional and flexible nature of the results of the investigations.

Though Stanislavski’s approach changed greatly throughout his life, he never lost sight of his ideals: truth in performance and love of art.

Stanislavski’s ‘system’ is a method for producing realistic characters; most of today’s actors on stage, television, and film owe much to it. Using the ‘system’, an actor is required:

1. To deeply analyze the character’s motivations.
2. Discover the character’s objective in each scene,
3. Discover a ‘super-objective’ for the entire play, which can direct and connect an actor’s choice of objectives from scene to scene.

The ‘system’ is based around an actor “living the part” but always stay one step away from complete belief. Stanislavski felt that it is important that, whilst the actor should experience and show the emotions of the character, it is very important they still stay detached.

The ‘system’ was made as a flexible structure, a thing that actors may use as much or as little as they please in their rehearsals, and was intended to be modified for the individual.

Several techniques involved in Stanislavski’s system are:

Round The Table Analysis – A process in which the actor/s and director literally sit around a table and put forward their thoughts on the script and the characters until a clear understanding is formed.

The Magic If – Another of Stanislavski’s techniques for achieving the truthful pursuit of a character’s objective. The actor should approach the role of asking, “What would I do if I were this character in this particular situation?” The actor must find out all about the character and the situation.

The Method of Physical Action – It is based on the idea that the only thing an actor ever has control of is the body. There is never a direct line to emotions in performance, only to the body.

Two necessities are required: first, that thorough physical training is always required, and second, an understanding of what a truly good physical action comprises.

Emotions may be remembered and brought up via emotional memory, but Stanislavski generally considered this a rehearsal tool but in the end, it is only the body which is the source , the instrument, the engine of a great acting performance.

Constantin Stanislavski had a dictum: that an actor should always approach a role as directly as possible, and then see if it lives.

If the actor and the role connect, and the role comes to life, why apply a technique, a ‘system’? Such a success may only happen once or twice in one’s life — or never — so the remainder of one’s performances requires technique.

Each individual actor must ultimately decide whether or not an approach (like the ‘system’) works for him or her.

It can take years of experience and reflection until an actor is fully equipped and confident to handle any role. Stanislavski thought late in life that the art of performance cannot merely be learned from literature, but also from action, from past performances, and observation of others’ performances and of real life.
Prepared by DM Judilla. This article is part of an on-going series of discussion on the aspects of filmmaking based on the personal study, experience and perspective of SineaBuano.