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(FPA 230)- Practical Aesthetics
Transcript of (FPA 230)- Practical Aesthetics
Practice Practical Aesthetics 3 William H. Macy
(Frasier, Trust Me, Fargo,
Psycho) [IMDB.com] Felicity Huffman
(Frasier, Trust Me, Desperate Housewives) [IMDB.com] Sources Who and When? In 1983, David Mamet and William H. Macy created this technique. It is based off of the teachings of Stanislavsky and Sanford Meisner. David Mamet William H. Macy Practical Aesthetics is a technique through
which the actor divides a scene up into
these four parts:
1) The "Literal"
2) The "Want"
3) The "Essential Action"
4) The "As If" What is Practical Aesthetics? Steps #1 and 2 Step 1- The "Literal" The simplest explanation of what
is happening- what is literally
happening in the scene?
(ex- In my scene, Blanche is confronted by Stanley). Step 2- The "Want" What does one character
ultimately want the other
character to say or do?
(ex- Blanche wants Stanley to accept her lies and to leave her alone). Step 3 The "Essential Action" A summary of what the actor wants within the scene.
Note: In a scene, what the character is doing is SEPARATE from what the actor is doing in the scene
(Ex- "To retrieve what is rightfully mine." [Wikipedia.com]) Step 4
For example: "'Essential Action' – To retrieve what is rightfully mine. 'As If' – It's as if my girlfriend has taken away my favorite album that I was going to give as a gift. I need to retrieve it because it is mine." (Wikipedia.com)
This is a mnemonic device that allows the actor to escape the fiction, find the truth, and apply it elsewhere. In essence, Practical Aesthetics is pretty much a more sophisticated and organized way of connecting to your character, your partner on stage, and to the scene in general. The "As If" Where the essential action is connected to the actor's own life Bruder, Melissa. A Practical Handbook for the Actor. First ed.
New York: Vintage, 1986. Print.
"Felicity Huffman." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 02 May
"Practical Aesthetics." Wikipedia. Wikimedia
Foundation, 02 Feb. 2013. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Practical_Aesthetics>.
"William H. Macy." IMDb. IMDb.com, n.d. Web. 02 May 2013.
<http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000513/?ref_=sr_1>. by Jenna DeRosa "Always tell the truth. It's the easiest
thing to remember." -David Mamet
(A Practical Handbook for The Actor)