The Strasberg Method
Method Acting as I see it
The Method was created by Lee Strasberg on the basis of the Stanislavskij method. Mr Lee Strasberg founded the Actors Studio in New York in the ‘60s, and since then the Method became known with a capital ‘M’, due to the vast mojority of actors in Hollywood queueing to be able to take part in his sessions. It is still vastly used world-wide both in theatre and cinema.
Alexander had the great luck of studying the Method with brilliant teachers and coaches who assisted Lee Strasberg himself. His very own take on this technique taps into the work of Susan Batson and Francesca Viscardi Leonetti.
Also Uta Hagen has an important role in his acting and coaching technique, and so does his extensive experience in theatre and cinema, of course.
Where Stanislasvkij focuses on the Objective as in what the actor/character wants, Strasberg goes deeper than that and ask of you that you learn to connect with what you need - referring here to your inner child's main Unfulfilled Need. Also with the Strasberg Method, we don't simply have one or more conflicts: the human being is more complex than that, so we use the Triangulation Need - Action - Tragic Flaw. This really helps build the connection with our character and his/her background.
Another very important subject that Alexander teaches is Script Analysis, with its Story Arch (or Emotional Arc ). It is very important to understand how deeply connected Acting is with Writing and Directing.
The Actor's Intimacy is a set of exercises that help you working on your own shadow and private aspects, to then be able to really grasp the essence of the character you are working on. There are six main steps in this training: the Private Moment, the Celebration, the Phone Call, Lost & Found, the Animal, the Place of Defeat.
Each one of this exercises should be "tried" a variable number of times, until the actor actually "passes it". There will be a moment of catharsis or so called Revelation that will take you, as an actor and as a human being, to a whole new level - and indeed to the next Intimacy step.
Some of these steps can be performed for the character directly, rather than for the actor himself:
this is known as Character’s Intimacy. In other words, it is possible to work directly on the Need and shadow of the character: the process is profound, although maybe less than the one on the actor as a person, but it’s faster and still very efficient.
There are also more, very powerful emotion exercises devised by great coaches such as Lee Strasberg himself and Susan Batson, and indeed great improvisations that can be used to enhance the work of the actor.