Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Method Acting

Commit to the part

Harry was my mentor.  I thought I was a good actor until I met him.   He taught me so much about how to get deeper into the character that I played.   Method Acting is what he called it.  And once I embraced his teachings, my career soared.  I played Shakespeare and Chekhov.  I played Wilde and Miller.  But my best performances were always while playing across from Harry.  We fed off each other’s energy and passion for the craft.  When we both went up for the only male part in a new play we were surprised when they offered us each a roll.   Harry got the part of the English lord that we auditioned for while I was offered the role of… his wife. 

They said they had the best costume designers and makeup professionals available and that with my smaller frame I could pull this off.  With Harry’s approval, I went for it.  Before rehearsals began I helped Harry memorize his lines.  There wasn’t much for me to memorize as the character of the meek English Lord’s wife had little to say.  But as Harry got comfortable with his dialog, he helped me find my character.  He helped me refine my movements to feminine grace.  He helped me shape my expression to feminine shyness.

We both agreed that I was doing well… but that I had a lot of room for improvement.  That at my current level everyone would agree that I was playing a female’s role expertly.  But Harry as always wanted more… he wanted my role to be so spot on that no one would notice I wasn’t a woman.   He took the Method program further than either of us had gone and said I should move in with him.  I should dive so far into the role that I should act the part of his wife even away from the theater.   And so I did.  Harry, to his credit, helped me out by acting as the English lord even while at home.  He demanded I cook and clean for him.  He demanded I dress up in his girlfriend’s clothes.   He demanded I even share his bed.  

By the time the public dress rehearsal came, I was ready.  The makeup artist had me shaved and smooth to fit properly in my costume, and the costume designer even applied false breasts to better fill out my dress.   I was shocked to learn that Harry himself was nervous…. He told me that while he was happy that I could dive into my role, he was still having trouble looking at me as his submissive wife.   I knew what needed to be done and swallowed my pride away.  I didn’t look at it as anything other than a dutiful wife kneeling down and easing the mind of her troubled husband.  

source:  fuskator 

I just have to share that this story was inspired in large part by the story 'Method Acting' by Justin Black on fictionmania.  Ironically I thought the title of his story was 'Playing The Part' which ends up is the title of a Melissa Daniel's story (another great story!), so I called mine Method Acting.   Oh well... it WAS the original inspiration!

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