Method Acting vs. Classical Acting: Which is Right for You?

Maura N.

The Last Black Unicorn
Staff member
Acting is an art form that requires a great deal of skill and dedication. In the industry, two primary approaches dominate: method acting and classical acting. While both methods have their unique strengths, understanding the differences between them is crucial to determine which approach suits an actor best. Method acting emphasizes emotional authenticity and psychological realism, while classical acting prioritizes the technical aspects of performance.

Let's explore the nuances of each technique!

Method Acting: The Art of Immersion​

Method acting is an approach that emphasizes the importance of emotional authenticity and psychological realism in a performance. Actors who follow this approach often use personal experiences and memories to inform their characters and may engage in a range of techniques to achieve a heightened sense of emotional truth. Examples of method actors include Marlon Brando, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Meryl Streep.

Classical Acting: The Craft of Technique​

Classical acting, on the other hand, places a greater emphasis on the technical aspects of performance. Actors who follow this approach often use a range of physical and vocal techniques to create a character and may rely on established conventions of acting to inform their performances. Examples of classical actors include Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen.

Which Approach is Right for You?​

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are a few factors to consider when choosing between method and classical acting. If you're someone who values emotional authenticity and the ability to connect with a character on a deep level, method acting may be the way to go. However, if you're more interested in the technical aspects of performance and enjoy the challenge of working within established conventions, classical acting may be a better fit.

Advice for Actors​

Regardless of which approach you choose, there are a few pieces of advice that can help you succeed as an actor. Firstly, it's important to develop a strong sense of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. This will enable you to tap into your own experiences and emotions, regardless of which acting technique you use. Additionally, it's important to work with a range of directors and teachers, and to be open to new approaches and techniques. Finally, always remember that the most important aspect of acting is connecting with your audience and telling a compelling story.

Method acting and classical acting are two distinct approaches to the craft of acting, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. By understanding the differences between the two, and considering your own goals and preferences, you can determine which approach is right for you.

Remember, regardless of which approach you choose, the key to success is dedication, hard work, and a willingness to learn and grow as an actor.