Method acting is more than what people think. It’s not about staying in character day and night. That’s just one small part to the technique. It might help at first to see a script, learn about the character, and be that character. Ex: The character is homeless, angry, and drinks a lot. The actor playing that character doesn’t have to stop bathing, pound drinks, and get in fights. If you think that is method acting, than you do not understand the point. Say, you take on that role of a homeless person and do the above behaviors to establish an emotional attachment. Ok, that’s fair and is part of a general description of method acting. But, it is so much more than that. An actor that can shed their own personality and slip into another’s is a great talent. If you can forget who you are and take on the identity of a character that exists on paper, than you are doing more than pretending. The people that do it the best make it look effortless. A fan can love an actor, but when you see them in a role and forget the actor and get lost in the character, than that actor has tapped into the role. To say method acting is self-indulgent is missing the point. It’s a craft and masters of their craft are chameleons in acting. If as an actor, you throw on costumes and take on a stereotype of what that character is, than you might call it character acting. Method actors elimate that part. They do not pretend. They become. A personality is like clothing which can be put on like a shirt and taken off at any point. That is the evolution of method acting from its 1930s origin brought to America by Stanislavsky. The difference between staying in character twenty-four hours a day or treating your character like clothing is the difference between good and great acting. The best actors are character chameleons. If you can do that, than you can avoid typecasting and take on any role imaginable. The range is endless for an actor employing that method. Practice by staying in character until you master that character. At that point you can slip in and out at anytime.
Linda Carr on The Daily funrunners.org on Human Evolution Linda Carr on The Method Linda Carr on The American Experiment Linda Carr on Scalise Shooting (Op-Ed)