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Method Acting is an approach to acting that was invented by Professor Méthod Actin, a lecturer of Law at some French place during the acting revolution that began in France in 1837. As described in the introduction to the English version of his autobiography: Actin: Of Acting & Method, Actin thought up this groundbreaking new way of acting on the morning of 16th October 1854 while watching people acting and reading something to do with theory, and at that very moment famously exclaimed: 'Le croissant parlaiz en le baguette!' (French, of course, for 'I am a fucking genius') and decided to invent this new piece of unnecessary but overused jargon.
edit The Method Itself
The term 'method acting' has become used to mean the actor being in character both on and off stage, and having to relate to its character. But, of course, this is not how Actin thought the phrase would be used. The real method, in fact, consisted of 3 simple steps for the actor to follow:
- The actor would pull down its pants.
- The actor would grab a side dish of coleslaw.
- The actor would cover its schlong in this coleslaw.
Over the past one-and-a-half centuries, great revisions have been made on this original method to incorporate the popular Women's rights movement, because most women didn't have schlongs in this period of time and were therefore excluded from the method. However at the time of its advent, audiences had never seen anything like it, and so it became an instant success.
These days, every old and venerable acting institution has its own method. The Cambridge Footlights, for instance, generally use caviar rather than coleslaw, and RADA have always traditionally used yoghurt, but these days most students use sour cream; though David Attenborough was always a notable exception as he used duck-billed platypus faeces. Though they were not actors, the castrati sometimes used sulphuric acid, not that it mattered.
edit Newer Additions
As has been mentioned before, not all actors/actresses possess schlongs and, perhaps more crucially, can afford a side dish of coleslaw in today's economic climate. This is why the term 'Method Acting' is now most closely associated with the actor understanding the character. Many complained about the exclusion of women from this popular new fashion in the infamous Slaw Riots (as they have come to be known) of 1876, but most historians generally regard the T-Rexes' exclusion (for whom it is a huge logistical challenge to spread coleslaw that far down) of greater significance. With a wider acceptance among audiences of what was meant by 'method acting', Barney was able to advertise his role in Barney & Friends to attract audiences in 1880s Paris, a performance hailed by Roger Ebert as: 'Packed with heartbreaking humanity. Not since the great 'E-Rex' have we seen method acting done so shockingly powerfully.'
edit Daniel Day-Lewis
People are always going on about this guy. Why? His supposed "acting prowess"? But he's NEVER covered his schlong in any culinary dishes or fluids; all the while he most likely has the necessary entities for that to be possible.