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A Dream of Passion: The Development of the Method
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2003
I feel that Mr. Strasberg was not the genius some people made him out to be. His system was not well rounded, effective or practical.
The whole method is very crippling for actors due to how 'heavy handed' it is. Strasberg was a bit of a dark soul himself and that is how his method is-dark and angst ridden. You would walk into a method class and feel like it was a mortuary, not a place where art is taking place, where there is creativity, self expression, love for the craft, you know, all the things that makes acting exciting and fun! No, the Strasberg trained people are lost in trying to dig up all their lost unconscious agony. You become obsessed with emotion, your past, your pain etc. That might be OK for a therapeutic environment, but not an acting class. The result is that you carry that attitude with you wherever you go and you become much too serious about yourself and acting. You start to leave behind the simple idea of'make believe' and trade it in for your Strasbergian process of deadly serious matters. In that process you lose touch with that inspired, fun side of acting and your joy for the process dimishes more and more as time go on. Not to mention that you don't exactly leave a great impression at auditions. (Method actors are usually way too serious at auditions and come across heavy handed). The training is not at all well rounded. It puts almost all the emphasis on your emotional states and how in touch with your feelings you are during a scene and puts very little emphasis on imagination and good scene analysis. Two very important things!!
If you do your research you will find out that Strasberg was not a very well accepted man in the acting community-at all. Many of his respected peers had an actual disdain for him and his system -Stella Adler, Harold Clurman, Marlon Brando, his own son John Strasberg who worked with him for years wrote a book pointing out the Methods flaws and many theatre critics that were bored to tears when they watched a Strasberg production. The main reason he rose to power was because he was good at promoting himself through the Actors Studio. Basically what he did was invite many famous people to the Studio and he tried to take credit for their success. That is basically how Strasberg become a celebrity. These are FACTS, not some gossip I'm inventing. Overall, his system does not work, it mainly hinders actors. Find a well rounded teacher instead that emphasizes imagination and creativity and yes even employs some exercises to help you tune into your here and now sense of being but not this emotional based stuff. It's a bore to watch (and agony to execute).
My intention is not to bash Lee Strasberg. We ALL have our flaws, including this reviewer. It's just that I've seen the negative effects it has on actors and I would love to be able to help you save years of confusion!! Even if some of you will disregard this outline, at least it'll make some of you real pro-Strasberg method people think so that you can now develop some awareness of what I'm saying. Good Luck!!!
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on September 12, 2000
Probably the most famous acting teacher in modern times. I think this book is a necessary read for any actor, teacher, director. I've read and heard so much controversy over this man. It's fascinating to read about his journey. Some of the stereotypes of his method are crushed in this book. I have to respect these teachers who devoted their lives to finding some kind of answer for their students and actors everywhere. Strasberg, Adler, Meisner, Lewis, Hagen. Even if you don't agree with his ideas or techniques it is an extremely interesting read on the evolution of theater in this country.
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on September 12, 2000
Probably the most famous acting teacher in modern times. I think this book is a necessary read for any actor, teacher, director. I've read and heard so much controversy over this man. It's fascinating to read about his journey. Some of the stereotypes of his method are crushed in this book. I have to respect these teachers who devoted their lives to finding some kind of answer for their students and actors everywhere. Strasberg, Adler, Meisner, Lewis, Hagen. Even if you don't agree with his ideas or techniques it is an extremely interesting read on the evolution of theater in this country.
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on June 26, 2004
Firstly, if you are not truly devoted to acting, you will not find this book all that interesting. But if you are a Method devotee, then you will find much info & interesting anecdotes here.
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on May 1, 2000
This book is absoulutly grreat! If you want to get into acting, you must read this book. I gauruntee it :)
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