WEEK2 – Method ActingElaborating on theStanislavski technique, we learned about its different practitioners in the USand their individual focus – Such as Sanford Meisner’s emphasis on acting and reactingas well as Lee Strasberg’s emotional memory technique. In this session however,we focused on Uta Hagen’s approach which includes many practical exercises tofamiliarise oneself with a character and their background.At the start of thelesson, we were asked to write up a character biography for our character fromlast week’s scene – In my case, Rowena from Masterpieces.Using Hagen’s categories1. Sociological(including aspects like class, education, status, origin and relationships)2. Psychological(such as the characters’ likes and dislikes, needs and emotional status)and3.
Appearance(meaning their clothing and physical appearance)as well as her essentialquestions, namely1. Who am I?2. Where am I?3. What are the given circumstances?4. What am I trying to achieve?5.
What’s around me?6. What’s my relationship to the things &people around me?7. Why am I there? (Hagen and Frankel, 1973)to be answered in thename of the character, it was fun and interesting at the same time to extractthe given details from the text and then build on them to create a fleshed-outimaginary version of Rowena.As a second exercise, wehad to write short one-minute monologues for our characters about an objectthat is of personal interest to them.
It gave us the opportunity to use ourcharacter biography to come up with original content and play with thecharacter in a different environment. I also found it useful for kick-startingcreativity when you are stuck for fresh ideas about what to do with your part.