Maggie Flanigan teaches character acting in the Master Class at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. This ten-week class challenges professional actors on an individual level. In this short video, Maggie talks about her love and dedication to the highest form of acting, which is character acting.
The Highest Form of Acting – Character Acting
Character acting is the highest form of acting. I love character acting. If I were acting again, I am a character actress. I would love to put myself in the shoes of another character, another person, to breathe life in that part, blood, really catches the essence of that character. It’s the highest form of acting, character acting. If you are working on major parts such as Blanche DuBois in Streetcar, or Hedda Gabler, which are major parts. These are probably some of the hardest parts for women and the most wonderful parts for women. What you have to bring to that is enormous.
You have got to have a character idea. You have to understand psychologically that particular character. You have to bring yourself. It’s never brought to you. You must bring yourself to that character. Live the part. Live in the shoes of that character. That is not easy because you have to access certain aspects of yourself and where you are planning to go with yourself.
Character Acting Requires Artistic Crafting
You are going to go full out and understanding it and living it, but that takes crafting. You have to know how to craft a part. You have to know how to break down that script organically, not intellectually. Intellectually you may read it you know intellectually one time, but the best way to read it is with an open heart and seeing what comes to the surface in you as you read it because you never know what will come to the surface in reading that part for the first time.
Every time you work, if you are crafting well and the choices you’ve made and the acting idea and the essence of the character, then when you are in rehearsal some of that will begin to come to the surface. More as you do homework will come to the surface. But there is in all actors, you must have an open channel so as you are working, as you’re listening and answering in responding and taking it personally, your homework organically begins to rise in you and produces behavior.
But it is so exciting to work on an aspect of yourself that you may not be able to have in life but you know it’s there.
I love it. I can’t think of anything more wonderful than to work on a part and discover the part and discover the part in me organically because of it if it’s a leading part my goodness, there is so much to digest. There’s so much to chew on.
You may not get all the part. You are looking at a major part, if you get seventy percent, then you are doing good. You are playing with DIA you are not going to get a hundred percent. You would die. But if you get seventy percent you are doing great.
Same with Blanche. Same with Hedda. I am speaking of women’s parts. Stanley.
If you work hard, you are talented, and you play full out with yourself, you will get a good percentage of that part. It will be yours. If you work with ideas that are yours, nobody will do that part the same way you do it, and that’s important because you don’t want to copy someone. What you want to do is create it for yourself and live it out in every moment. You have a lot of moving parts there that you must organically work on and as you rehearse those parts begin to become organic and at home in you.
Learn More About Character Acting
and the Master Class
To learn more about working with Maggie, the Master Class, or the other professional acting programs at the studio – call 917-789-1599.