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Harold Guskin Work
We have decided to start the Jam Studios exploration off proper by looking at Harold Guskin's ideas in How To Stop Acting, his, i think, brilliant book. (See Book Club.)
It seems fairly pointless to detail exactly what we did as you should read the book but I hope those others that were there might add some thoughts about the process.
We aim to explore it for a good while and shall report our findings more as we have them, instead of just trying to summarize the book.
Please do read it if you are interested so we can open up the discussion here.
Watch this space...
IN COMPLETE CONTRADICTION TO THIS I JUST FOUND SOME REALLY DETAILED OLD NOTES I MADE WHICH TOTALLY SUMMERISE IT AND YOU COULD PROBABLY USE TO CATCH UP.
HOW TO STOP ACTING BY HAROLD GUSKIN
TAKING IT OFF THE PAGE
Look down at your line and take in as many words as will easily stay in your head without having to try. It could be just one word and there are no prizes for having the most.
Only look at that line for the length of time it takes to breath in and out.
As you do so let the word/line roll around your imagination/unconscious and see what pops into your head.
This is private, you will not be asked to share it and it needn’t have any logical relation to the line or the situation. Whatever it is that you think about is right, however personal or bizarre.
At the end of your out breath say the word/line out loud with whatever you have landed on in your mind. Allowing it to affect the line but without trying to do anything with it. We are not interested here in line readings or interpretation. There is no wrong or right and no need to dwell on how it went.
LOOK AT THE NEXT WORD/LINE
Breath in and out allowing those images to disappear and be replaced by any thoughts/images that now enter into your mind inspired by this new line.
They do not need to connect in any way to the last line or the situation.
Speak this line on the end of the out breath with whatever is now in your mind.
WHAT WE ARE DOING IS OWNING THESE WORDS SO THAT WE ARE SAYING THEM AND THEY MEAN SOMETHING TO US, NOT SOME IDEA OF A CHARACTER. We can talk about that later.
As you go over the speech again you might find that the image you found last time for this line comes back into your head, if it does try to quickly replace it with something new.
At this stage we don’t want to settle on anything, we are just rolling these words around our imaginations, memories and unconscious seeing what they bring up and what they mean to us.
We want to explore as many different links as possible.
It maybe helpful to split it up differently so you are encountering different chunks of text.
If the line inspires an image that might want physicalisation than don’t be afraid to do it too.
If, for example you get the image/memory of hitting someone than try swinging as you say the line.
If you get a song in your head somehow then sing a bit of it leading into the line.
THE AIM IS TO BE FREE AND CAREFREE
DON’T BE CAUTIOUS OR CAREFUL, THERE IS NO WRONG OR RIGHT ONLY EXPLORATION.
Don’t repeat a line over if you didn’t feel you connected, or couldn’t really land on anything, it doesn’t matter, maybe that lack itself is interesting. We are not looking for a correct way of saying the line or an imitation of how you would really say it.
GO AGAINST YOUR IDEAS
If you have a perception of what this character/line is like than try it in the directly opposite way.
Try playing Stanley Kowalski as a fey coquette for example.
It may feel very weird but then at least you have got that option out of your system. Who knows you may land on something interesting totally out of left field.
If you do land on things you like or that feel right than leave it behind and try something different.
Keep exploring what is in your head.
Don’t be hard on yourself, just move on.
DO SCENE ON YOUR OWN READING BOTH PARTS OFF THE PAGE.
GET IN PAIRS/GROUPS
Take it off the page, taking only the amount of time to think about each line as it takes to breath in and out.
At the end of the breath speak to your partner with whatever is in your head.
The listener should listen and only look down to read and breath in and out once the speaker has finished.
Let what has been said and how affect you, along with whatever comes into your head and at the end of the out breath say your line.
We are not acting, we are simply speaking whilst allowing these words and images to affect us.
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|CatherineBailey||Can't put it down||3||Mar 24 2008, 1:49 PM EDT by jamesoxley|
Thread started: Feb 28 2008, 8:18 PM EST Watch
Just started reading Guskin's book. Love his ideas about 'character'. As he says in the prologue: "Many actors fear that an instinctive approach leads to characters that are just the actor. As I discovered, the text takes care of that."
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