Method Acting and Concentration

Published: 16th February 2009
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This is part two of the basics of Method Acting. Concentration is an important piece of the Method Acting puzzle.

Concentration
The purpose of the sense memory concentration exercises is to train the actor to create and recreate any object or groups of objects through sheer concentration. This will stimulate an emotional response. You should be able to concentrate on a real object, or on a memory of a real object. An object can be anything, imaginary, physical or fantasy, upon which you have chosen to concentrate. 

In life, you generally focus all of you attention on a single task or series of tasks. The task in this case is the object. Your attention may shift from object to object, as required by your goal or because you were interrupted. Likewise, you must focus your attention and concentrate on a single object while acting. As you gain experience and concentration skills, you can begin to focus on multiple objects. Your object may change as the scene progresses but devote all your concentration to the object you have chosen.

When you an acting scene to perform (called a "side"), you must choose the object that you will concentrate on. Try to choose objects relevant to the scene. Otherwise you can choose object irrelevant to the scene just to keep you focus within the scene. The more scene work you perform, the easier it will become for you to choose relevant objects. There are over one hundred sides available for you to download at website below. It is you choice as what object you will use for different scenes, and remember that an object can be anything.

Sufficient concentration will prevent stage fright. The character you portray will be concentrated on a person or object during a scene. You must also be concentrated on the same object. When you become so concentrated on your object, you will become oblivious of an audience. You cannot concentrate on the audience if you are fully focused on the object.

The Fourth Wall
The fourth wall is a concentration effort by the actor to create an imaginary wall on stage between yourself and the audience. This removes the audience from your awareness and allows a private and personal scene. An actor who is unaware of the audience will not suffer from stage fright. 

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