ABSTRACT

There can be little doubt that since the early 1930s there have been a great number of exceptional fi lm actors who have been trained using techniques associated with the Method. However, North American society has undergone radical changes to its social, cultural and political philosophy since the development of this system of actor training. These changes have been refl ected, and sometimes driven, by developments in critical theory that have impacted on the aesthetic practices, theatrical and cinematic metanarratives, media delivery and production mechanisms, and consequently on approaches to performance. Within the last decade, some of these mechanisms-motion capture and performance capture-have signifi cantly impacted the production and reception of cinematic acting. What are the specifi c conditions that these and other digital and cybernetic technologies impose on the actor, and in what ways might performance pedagogy respond to such developments? This chapter, written from the perspective of a practitioner (actor, director and teacher of acting), will attempt to address these questions and will propose that any screen actor training suitable for working with cyber and mediated performance technologies should include a psycho-physical methodology and a role-oriented approach to character.