Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/Acting techniques


QUESTION: Hey I'm really glad that i found you because i have some questiones about acting techniques.
1. I have seen some of your comments on forums and i read that you think Tony Barr had a really good technique and i was wondering do you have any other techniques that you would recommend?

2. I am very confused when it comes to techniques, they tell you not to act but to be as natural as possible and to be "you" ,but they still want you to be the character.

And by the way, thanks for the forum comments I am going to start reading "Acting for the camera"  right when I am done with meisner on acting.

ANSWER: Hey Anton, It is easy to be confused about acting technique. and you are doing the right thing to be as natural as possible. You become the character physically, but your respond as you would normally respond in the imaginary circumstances of the play or film. Meisner and Barr are helpful, but in the end what y9ou want to do is to peform without technique. Non-acting is the poupular approach these days. On my website,, there aeveral pages about Tao Acting, which is what I teach.  There are also links to muy book and to my blog which have tons of imfo for the apriring actor. God bless, Doc

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QUESTION: Thank you very much Kenneth! I have read a little bit about your technique on your website and I have downloaded the book. Everything is much clearer now because there are so many techniques that are different from each other and I was looking for a technique just like this one. I have read books that tells me to do that and do this and it is very confusing but now I know what suits me. But when it comes to sadness I feel that memories can help me or imagination, but the rest feels like it is just Tao or Meisner.

By the way i know that preperation is very good to be in the right state for a scene but the rest is just plain truthfullness/natural behavior for the character, and i should not try to put in like extra feelings that   donīt feel like something i would do in real life? So be yourself but as another person?

Again thank you and bless you too!/Anthony Stedt

Anton, you are quite welcome.  The problem with most techniques is that they force you to do a long period of exercises in order to prepare you to use the technique. Tao acting simple asks you to just do it. The problem with emotional recall as you describe discussing sadness is that you have to do the exercise of remembering before you can act the emotion. Tao acting says that if you are being the character in the scene and there are things that stimulate a reaction of sadness, you will react with sadness.  Remember  you cannot be sad,  you have to express sadness as a reaction to what is going on in the scene. A famous acting teacher said, "Acting is being other people."  So Tao acting says be the other person, concentrate on the scene, receive the stimuli and react. Just do that and you will be an effective actor. YOU don't worry about whether you would do these things in your everyday life because that clutters your mind and you won't be able to receive the stimuli and react without inhibitions.
Have fun and start acting. God bless, Doc

Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing

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Kenneth D. Plonkey


Questions about acting and directing. Questions about getting started in a careeer. Questions about training and schooling for actors.


I am a retired film actor. I am a retired university theatre program director and professor. I am the author of "The Tao of Acting, Mentoring for the Aspiring Actor" to be published this summer.


BA, MA, PhD in Theatre Post graduate study with certificate in Media Acting

Awards and Honors
John Golden Traveling Fellowship

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