Humanistic Acting Essay, Research Paper
Al’s Naturalistic Acting Life
Many actors have studied Stanislavsky innovative technique for actors, emphasizing emotional truth and inner motivation and known today as the Stanislavsky Method, revolutionized modern acting. This method has taught actors several techniques that have improved their style. Actor, Al Pacino is one of the greatest actors of all time. He studied at The Actors Studio, in New York and it has been the main source and inspiration for a naturalistic acting technique known in America as “the Method.” Under its artistic director, Lee Strasberg, the Studio adapted many of the techniques developed by Russian director Konstantin Stanisalvsky for training actors to feel and realistically portray the emotions of their characters. The intense emotional realism achieved by workshop students—who have included Marlon Brando, James Dean, Geraldine Page, Rod Steiger, Robert De Niro, and Jane Fonda—has influenced actors worldwide. (Actors Studio,” Microsoft? Encarta? Encyclopedia 2000)
Al Pacino better known, as Sonny has not only changed the way that I view actors. He has taught me what a true actor is. He is a brilliant man who has mastered Stanislavsky ’s method. Pacino also has a sense of humor and there is never a dull moment on the set…“I was in a play once in Boston. It’s a long play, about three hours and I’m on the stage a lot during it. And I caught… I got this feeling from the audience. These eyes were sort of looking at me. And I got a sense that there was a kind of rapport and I was relating and it was working, somehow it was giving me something back and. Well, I went through the entire play sort of gearing the performance in the part of the audience that I felt those eyes. So I had to see at curtain call who that was. Right? It came curtain call, I looked over in the direction of those eyes – it was Seeing Eye dogs. (The Today Show, NBC)
Al pacino said, “The actor becomes an emotional athlete. The process is painful – my personal life suffers”. In other words, “Acting is simply more than walking out on the stage” as Dr. Stevenson would put it. It is more than just reading the lines. To be a true actor, I believe it takes inner capabilities such as learning life. In all the books I have read, all the chapters we have reviewed in class, and in all honesty…Al Pacino is an actor I cannot forget. He portrayed a ruthless gangster in the middle of his film career. And he states that he would rather be in a play than a movie.
Some say that Pacino’s fame was cemented with his true-to-life portrayals of urban tough guys on screen; his heart has always remained tethered to the stage. “The play is the thing. That’s my motivation,” Pacino commented in an interview about his double-duty as actor and director in his well-received 1996 documentary Looking for Richard. A love letter to Shakespeare and a forthright statement on the craft that has captured his imagination for over a quarter-century, the film sets about familiarizing audiences with one of Shakespeare’s most dense and rich works, through deconstruction of scenes and interviews with Shakespearean scholars, with prominent actors like Sir John Gielgud, Kevin Kline, Winona Ryder, and Kenneth Branagh, and with your average men and women encountered on the street. Just when we all thought he’d cleaned up his act, he returned as his stock-in-trade urban crime figure in Donnie Brasco, and portrayed a Mephistophelean lawyer in Devil’s Advocate (both 1997)
As with many elements in life we all have to suffer rejection which, Pacino handle well when he was John Schlessinger’s original pick for “Marathon Man” but was overruled by Studio executive Robert Evans, in favor of Dustin Hoffman. Evans would again try to oust Pacino from his role as Michael Corleone in the Godfather. Luckily Francis Coppola fought for him this time and eventually got his man. He has turned down roles in Pretty Woman, Kramer vs Kramer, Apocalypse Now. He was often paid less than what he deserved for his films, for his role in The Godfather he was only paid $35,000, now his current asking price is 9 million dollars per film.
In life we all deal with many obstacles and turmoil however, Pacino never allowed his problems to keep him down renowned for three-day alcohol binges until he joined AA. He ended 40-a-day smoking habit in 1994 to protect his voice. Now smokes herbal cigarettes, which have no nicotine in them. Pacino adjusted his life for his career and that is what actors do for the love of their job. Common people, like myself adjusts careers to meet my expectations of life.
Al Pacino said, “You’re a tightrope walker, and you have the wire up 100 feet,” Pacino philosophized earlier this month at a panel discussion of stage and screen acting at the Telluride Film Festival. (St. Pete Times.)
“You start going across, and if you get shaky, you have to either get to the other side or go back again and start over, which you certainly don’t want to do. That’s theater.” (St. Pete Times)
“Movies are like the same thing, only the wire is on the floor.”
Andrew Yule wrote a book about Al Pacino Life on the Wire: The Life and Art of Al Pacino, “In films, there are other chances to get a performance right. But anything can happen on the stage. You get used to that adrenaline thing the theater has. All kinds of chemicals start to work for you in your body. You can start to miss it. You want to get back to that kind of feeling, 100 feet up there.” He states that he, “likes films but he would rather be on the stage performing.”