Method vs method. Getting
clear on what is what.
In May 'The Australian' newspaper published an article headed
"Method is Madness". In it WILLIAM H. MACY received loud applause for the large number
of memorable characters he has played. Lynden Barber who wrote
the article characterized MACY as someone who doesn't burble
on about the importance of character in drama. MACY was quoted
as believing the whole notion of character is "over rated".
"I don't believe in a lot of research into the character.
I firmly believe that if it's not on the page, it wouldn't be
in the movie anyway," he said.
These views of MACY'S are well known as they have been developed
and extensively explored by his friend and colleague David Mamet.
The article suggests the Mamet process "reserves special
vitriol for the New York based method
quest for greater
emotional realism." This is linked to MACY who is quoted
as saying that he spent a lot of time trying method techniques
and in his honest opinion it just didn't work."
This article clearly illustrates the competitive nature of the
relationship that exists between competing theories. However
the article's byline "the Stanislavsky approach is hogwash"
confuses the competing arguments.
WILLIAM MACY is quoted in the
article as saying that the 'only tool an actor has is his will.
"What do you want and what are you willing to do to get
it." This is a wonderfully succinct description of the most
basic of Stanislavski principles. So the point that is frequently
missed in such debates is that the arguments are generally between
competing interpretations of Stanislavski's work rather than
derision for its fundamental principles.
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