The realistic school of acting

 

My realistic acting technique requires that the actor fully engage into the life reality of a character. To this end, the actor must dedicate time to the study, the practice and the development of his own working method, his own way of expressing and narrating the story of the life of a character. The work of the actor is a very personal form of self-expression. The art of acting is both a conscious and intuitive process. It can take from one to three years to learn this process.

 

My acting technique is based on the method of the master teacher John Strasberg, a world renowned teacher. John has dedicated his life to the development of his unique acting process which has evolved from the teachings and the work of the actors at the famous Actor's Studio in New York.

 

It is interesting to remind ourselves that this type of technique has influenced the work of such great artists as Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Daniel Day Lewis, Meryl Streep, Heath Ledger, Anne Hathaway, Joaquin Phoenix, Michelle Williams, Christian Bale, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Clifford Odets, Elia Kazan and many other great actors, writers, directors and producers.

 

THE 11 ELEMENTS OF MY TRAINING

 

1. Basic Technique: presence, concentration, focus and imagination

Basic technique begins with knowing oneself and knowing how to use yourself during your work. It is developing a level of awareness where the actor is in constant contact with himself during his work. The actor is present in his body, his reasoning, his feelings and his emotions. Acting is a conscious art form. The actor knows how to use himself, on what to focus his concentration and how to be in contact with the imaginary.

 

2. Preparation and research

An actor knows himself, knows what type of exercises and research he needs to do to create a character and a complete imaginary world with precision and detail. An actor knows how to train and warm-up his body and voice to allow his instrument to perform at peak capacity

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3. Capacity to perceive reality in an imaginary world

To perceive reality in an imaginary context, the actor must go beyond his ideas that are based on his interpretation of the text. The actor must work while focusing on essential realities within the context and, at the same time, being consciously aware of any organic impulses that could lead to manifestations of secondary realities provided through moments of inspiration. It is a layering process.

 

4. Capacity to coherently express what one perceives

Without losing the sense of who he is and in what context he is working to create, the actor must learn to do what he really wants to do rather than doing what he thinks he should do or what he thinks the character would do. This behavior is essential to the discovery and the expression of all realities. Other wise the actor is expressing the idea of reality rather than the reality itself.

 

5. Capacity to work spontaneously

To fully exist in the world of a character, the actor needs to be fully focused in the moment and avoid anticipation of the next moment or the next line. To do this, the actor must keep himself in a state of confusion, a state in which he doesn’t know what’s coming next or what he will do next. He sustains his concentration in the present moment without any form of anticipation.

 

6. Capacity to recognize intuition and follow through on it

Intuition can only function if the actor’s intellect is not dominating his attention during the work. Intuition can only function at its best when the actor is completely present in his body and his mind. For most actors, in the beginning, this requires a conscious sustained effort.

 

7. Organic text analysis

Most actors take a rationalized approach to text analysis. The result is usually detached, superficial and limited. The actor must learn to engage sensorially during the read and analysis, so as to perceive the essential realities and the secondary realities intuitively, beyond the rational logical perceptions. The way we do it in life.

 

8. Capacity to actualize an imaginary world

The imaginary world exists beyond an actor’s mind. It is not simply an idea of something; it is the knowledge and a belief that will manifest in the real reality during the actor’s work. It exists inside and outside. The actor creates the imaginary world and makes it tangible and visible for himself and for the audience. It is the art of making the invisible, visible.

 

9. Developing a sense of truth

The sense of truth is this capacity that an artist possesses, the capacity to see and perceive reality whether it be in real life or in an imaginary world. The first thing to develop is one's capacity to see reality in life. To do that, the actor must know himself, otherwise his perception is distorted and these distortions will manifest in his work. To learn this, the actor must expose himself, become vulnerable. Truth is found in transparency.

 

10. Capacity to transform

For an actor, the art of transformation is a capacity to concentrate one’s focus on essential elements of reality combined with strong concentration that allows one to sustain multiple elements until they begin to multiply naturally and lead to a transformation into the world of the character. The actor travels into the world of his character, mind, body and spirit. Once transformed, the actor must know how to sustain this fragile connection.

 

11. Passion

Passion is essential to an actor’s artistic success. If the actor is not passionate about his work, his craft, his art form, it is unlikely that he will achieve a high level of artistic success. The quality of his work will most likely be limited. The commitment will simply not be enough to accomplish the work required to create a full character, with a complete imaginary world. It will be almost impossible to experience a transformation. This type of work requires a deep and complete personal commitment.

  Gilles Plouffe  acting technique   

A realistic acting technique that has evolved from the work of the actors at the famous New York Actor's Studio

TRAINING ACTORS SINCE 1997

 

5445 av. de Gaspé, suite 407, Montréal, Qc H2T 3B2

(located  on the 4th floor in the  Plateau Theatre space)

PHOTOS: Mélanie Elliott - www.melanieelliott.info/