I'm finally back from Caracas and my next blog entries will be dedicated to some of my experiences in the last few weeks. I will do this in inverse chronological order. Hence, I begin with an interesting episode I lived at the beginning of this week:
A year ago I was also in Caracas and I was able to attend an Actor's Studio workshop taught by Lisa Formosa. This week I had again the privilege to coincide with this workshop in Caracas. Once again I was able to observe the wonderful teaching work of Lisa Formosa and the acting strides of the workshop's participants. Good actors, like good writers, are excellent observers who never completely trust their work as perfect.
In this workshop, observing is a key activity. The environment is one of trust and respect, and the expectation is that participants will give their all with integrity and honesty. This workshop's goal is not performance, but exploration, both of the character and the actor that will personify that character. This simultaneous exploration is done through "the method" created by Stanislavski and established by Lee Strasberg in the Actor's Studio.
One of the central concepts is the "creative if." Creation begins when in the actor's soul and imagination appears this magical and creative "if" that allows the actor to imagine the character's practical truth with sincerity and enthusiasm. To do this, it's important that the actor asks her or himself the following about the character:
- Who is her/him?
- What does he/she needs?
- What are the obstacles that impede her/him of getting what she/he needs?
It's essential to understand what the character feels at every moment and find in the actor's sensorial library something from the actor's own life that gives her/him the same feeling. It's also key to understand the difference between how the actor sees the character, and how the character sees him or herself.
These and other concepts learned are very useful for me and my studies about telenovelas because they help me understand better the actors' craft as they give life to the characters who give telenovela audiences the mix of reality and dream that these melodramas are.