I took an acting class – an introduction to theatre – at Mesa Community College about 12 years ago.
I had fun with it, at first.
Reading script dialogs and remembering sad moments in my life which would elicit tears. Remembering angry times in my life to evince tears in another dialog.
About halfway through the course, we were required to memorize a monologue.
My ability for rote memorization on demand has always been sucked.
Experiential memorization I am phenomenal with.
So for instance, if you ask me to read a book and remember equations, historical events, and geography I flat out won’t remember, but if I travel to these locations and experience things for myself – my retention level shoots up to nearly 100%.
So try as I could to memorize the dialog, I for the life of me could not.
On the day I was supposed to give the monologue, I simply wasn’t ready for it, and I skipped class.
I was given a make-up day. And I skipped that class as well.
I soon found myself confronted with one of two possibilities – an “F” because all actors have to memorize their lines, right?
Or I drop out.
So I dropped out.
At first convinced my acting career was over.
But I have since found out there are numerous methods of acting, and quite frankly some are not even aware the others exist.
The most common are those who leverage rote memorization of script lines. They read scripts. They commit them to memory. And then, on cue, much like Pavlov’s dog with a bell ringing, they respond by regurgitating their lines on the cameras and for the audience.
This was the type of actor I learned I did not want to become.
Nothing personal, for those who choose this method.
The second most common type of actor is much different. A great deal of entertainment comes from uncontrolled transmissions received from foreign countries and alternate realities featuring largely highly sophisticated computer generated people. The United States and its intelligence agencies, opting to not play the whack a mole game of being dictatorial with its control of entertainment, largely allows this and works with a variety of domestically based companies to find ‘look alike’ stand-ins to portray the characters depicted on screen.
These actors are pretty easy to spot.
In real life, if you see them at an appearance, they often have only a vague resemblance to those they portray on the screen. “The Rock” aka Dwayne Johnson is one such man and “Shia LaBeouf” is another. The ‘act’ of these actors is to ‘act’ like they are the person on the screen. Quite frequently, they are told this is what all actors are, and their world is largely sheltered to prevent them from interacting with the monologue memorizing first type of actor which presents a potential conflict to their worldview.
A third – and exceedingly rare type of actor is the type of actor who quite literally lives the role they are in. Since the dawn of acting this has always occurred, and some extreme technology which bridges the ‘alternate realities’ they largely exist in and our own.
Atomic sized cameras, for instance, which are at their core nothing more than a controlled and stabilized black hole, are frequently leveraged to acquire all the information of a location in space and time and reality on a real time basis. This includes placement, position of everything in the environment it is sent to on an x,y,z axis as well as auditory information and can and often does also – and frequently by accident – include other information with it.
Actors such as Christian Bale, and non-actors such as Doctor Who and Q are all in the category of this third method of acting.
A fourth style of acting is by far the most dramatic one. Actors who knowingly have their memory erased to become a new role and choose to act ‘where space and time take them’. Patrick Stewart is by far one of the most notable men who does this on a regular basis.
And finally. There’s the straight out of science fiction movies – the actors who will leverage the ability to ‘shift’ their consciousness, or move their mind – which is much like transferring a program from one computer to another – to a body and life that seems amenable to them and they consider will be entertaining. Again, this leverages alternate reality based technology.
Now all these separate methods are what is known to actors as ‘method’ acting.
Method acting refers to a range of techniques for training actors to achieve better characterizations of the characters they play, as formulated by Lee Strasberg. These techniques can be traced to Constantin Stanislavski’s ideas, formulated in the early 20th century.
Method acting, as presented on the internet, only consists of internalized methods to produce different acting results.
Modern Technology – and in particular – technology that is not available to the general public – allows a technological approach to the development of the actor and the roles they play.
No longer is an actor forced to be confined to personal experiences and personal reflection in order to hone their skills.
As simulational technology is unveiled, soon anyone will be able to live in the world of their choice, whether that’s 17th century London or 25th century America, as if it was real.
And when that happens.
Everyone will be an actor, whether you want to or not.
I personally will become the third kind of actor. Living the moments of my life with absolutely everything filmed and replayable later. Whether it’s jumping out of an airplane, a trip to Cuba, or my first sexual encounters in the past with my future wives Rachel and Jackie.
It’s all there.
In the end. I think we all have that accessible to us when we want it.
And I do.