The Strasberg Method

Here's more online acting classes on the Strasberg Method.

Here you'll find more acting exercises from his acting method, including one on video. You can also read the names of famous method actors who studied at the Actors Studio and see a list of must have Strasberg books. Finally, you can read remarks to help you decide if this acting method is right for you.

3) Sample Method Acting Exercises (continued)

  • The coffee cup exercise
    This is one of the most basic of the Strasberg method exercises and often the first exercise assigned to a new student. This short acting video will give you an idea of what it entails.

    This is just a short introduction to get you started. As a beginner, you would spend an hour on a sensory exercise like this one. If you practice every day with the real cup, you'll soon be able to re-create the sensations of the cup within seconds.

  • The Gibberish exercise
    This is a fun acting exercise. Take a scene or monologue you've been working on. Keep the intentions and circumstances, but instead of speaking the lines, speak gibberish. You'll notice how much can be communicated through body language, tones and looks. This exercise will also help break a rhythm you've fallen into and help you discover new things about the scene or monologue.

strasberg method

4) Is "The Method" for you?

  • The Strasberg Method is particularly effective for film acting. When you have to do 10 takes of a crying scene with little to no warm up, using sense memory can work wonders. On the other hand, since method acting is mostly about working from the inside out, you may want to complete your studies with more traditional theater training if you want to be more than a movie actor.
  • This acting method is also a good choice if you want to be an actor but feel your creativity has been stifled by too much discipline (for example, if you have a hard time accessing your emotions). Dancers who want to act also benefit from a method that breaks habitual body language. On the other hand, if you're a very instinctive actor who connects to the material easily, you may find the sensory exercises more a hindrance then a help. Also, sense memory can distract you from relating to the other actor, so if you've been told as an actor "to be in the moment" more, the Meisner Technique is probably a better choice for you.
  • "The Method" is not for actors with unresolved emotional issues. Although a lot of the things you experience in method acting class can be cathartic, this remains an acting method and not therapy, and method acting teachers are not qualified to deal with personal problems.

method actors

5) Famous American Method Actors

The list is long (many studied at the Actors Studio)...

Anne Bancroft, Marlon Brando, James Dean, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQuenn, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Geraldine Page, Sidney Poitier and Christopher Walken

...to name a few.

The must-have Method Acting books

Strasberg's Method by Lorrie Hull

This is a very practical book written by a renowned method teacher. It will give you a good insight into all of the Strasberg method exercises and theories, along with guidance on how to work on an acting role using "The Method".

To take this acting lesson from the beginning, read our first page, What is Method Acting.

If you decided method acting is for you, take a look at The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York or Los Angeles. If you are looking for a graduate program, take a look at the Actors Studio in NYC.

If you are interested in this acting method but do not want to study it exclusively, don't worry. Most acting schools will offer some classes inspired by the American method…

... or keep exploring the other acting techniques out there with our free online acting classes.


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