Standards and Practices

  • Doug Moston


There are many ways to study acting. Ultimately, the teacher must ask herself: What does good acting look like? The answers are personal and subjective. They depend on standards and practices. Ask an audience member if she likes actor X and she might say, “No, I don’t like him.” An actor in a Shakespeare play, for example, pours out his soul to express his personal pain and conflict. We admire his ability. Many are impressed with his emotional flexibility. Yet others, while acknowledging the actors talents, are troubled by the performance. They feel that the actor has obscured the magnitude of the character because of the actor’s direct expression of emotion. In this case, emotion is actually an obstacle to the character s quest for his objective. What we see, then, are differing standards.


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  1. 1.
    For a detailed discussion of terms used in the chapter, see Doug Moston, Coming to Terms with Acting (New York: Drama Publishers, 1993).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For further information on Pavlov’s work, see, for example, James G. Holland and B. F. Skinner, The Analysis of Behavior (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    David Magarshack, “Preface,” Stanislavsky: On the Art of the Stage, 2nd ed. (Winchester, UK: Faber and Faber, 1950), 1.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Edward de Bono, Lateral Thinking (New York: Harper and Row, 1970), 107.Google Scholar

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© David Krasner 2000

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  • Doug Moston

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