A screen actor prepares: Self-taping by reversing Stanislavsky’s Method of Physical Actions

Article


Stamatiou, E. 2023. A screen actor prepares: Self-taping by reversing Stanislavsky’s Method of Physical Actions. Stanislavski Studies. 11 (1), pp. 63-79. https://doi.org/10.1080/20567790.2023.2196297
AuthorsStamatiou, E.
Abstract

The popularity of streaming services, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, reinforced the understanding that screen acting skills should be prioritized, prompting a reimagining of Stanislavsky’s practices to address the needs of the contemporary actor and acting graduate. Screen actors are expected to self-tape using digital technologies to showcase their acting skills independently. This indicates a growing demand for self-reflective abilities on what works or doesn’t work in recorded performances. Aspiring to develop lifelong learning screen actors, this essay argues that Konstantin Stanislavsky’s Method of Physical Actions can be reversed for generating findings from acclaimed screen performances to use in self-taping. The reverse Method of Physical Actions proposes that physical scores are artefacts that can be objectively broken down into psycho-physical gestures and character behaviours that can be appropriated for self-taping etudes, and analysed when reflecting on self-tapes, fostering an ongoing embodied understanding of how acting choices work on screen. The breakdown and examination of two scenes portraying Helen Mirren in The Queen (2006) and Viola Davis in Fences (2016) illustrate how the Method of Physical Actions can be rediscovered for do-it-yourself screen acting. This essay helps actors, students and actor trainers to understand how acclaimed actors create outstanding screen performances.

JournalStanislavski Studies
Journal citation11 (1), pp. 63-79
ISSN 2056-7790
Year2023
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/20567790.2023.2196297
Publication dates
Online08 Apr 2023
Print25 Apr 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted23 Jan 2023
Deposited10 Apr 2023
Copyright holder© 2023, The Author
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