Back in this post about stage presence, Matt asked "if this was the Hoffmann-Gill Method" to which I said no but it got me thinking about what my acting method is and to be honest I'd say that I don't really have one but I do have certain key beliefs that add up in their disparate forms to make some kind of acting technique.
First off, my approach to acting has changed massively and will no doubt continue to change, when younger I was obsessed with character and getting engrossed in the character and had quite a few nervous breakdowns inspired by my poor appropriation of the techniques of Stanislavski, Lee Strasberg and other Method acting practitioners.
Funnily enough, I don't even believe in characters anymore, I think there is no such thing, just words on a page that have to be conveyed as truthfully as possible to the audience to convey the author's intentions.
Indeed, I believe that the least acting you can do the better, because the performance will connect with the audience all the better if they can believe in it. That's not to say that performances have to be natural and some how everyday because humans are as grotesque, violent and amazing in their everyday existence as they ever are on a stage or in front of a camera. As long as it is truthful, you can do it and we all know that the span of human behaviour and experience is vaster than we could ever hope to imagine.
Another element I despise are actors emotionally masturbating themselves to 'become' a character (which remember, does not even exist), which is all very good for personal therapy because your mum and dad didn't love you but of little use to an audience. To quote Peter Gill: "I prefer actors who say the line the right way and not know why to actors that do it the wrong way but cleverly."
For me, good acting is all about being present, in whatever you're doing, heart and mind fully connected, fully involved; having fun out there and telling the bloody story to the people who come a long way to pay and see you act it out.
One thing I'm bad at and will use this blog to confess to, is upstaging other actors.
And I mean that in it's original term, ie: standing upstage of actors so that they have to turn upstage to face me and thus the audience see me but not the other actor. One thing I don't indulge in is trying to draw focus from other actors but playing up to the audience, this is bad form and smacks of desperate personal need and wanting to be a performing monkey.
If the audience love it, don't do it again, leave them with that moment and wanting more.
Here ends the lecture...for now...