Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances: An Interview with Sam Schacht About Method Acting

I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and finally last month it happened. I sat down with my old Actors Studio acting teacher Sam Schacht to get his perspective on “Method acting,” a term I hear bandied about – particularly in the film world – and I barely even recognize what these people (who have never studied it) are talking about. Sam studied with Lee Strasberg, is a member of the Actors Studio, taught at the Studio, and now teaches at Stella Adler. I studied with him for years. I love him. A while back, I went through the notebooks I kept during the chaotic Playwriting/Directors’ Unit, run by Sam, and found myself WEEPING with laughter at the things I jotted down. Sam has a way with words.

He is a great great teacher. And really knows his stuff.

My interview with Sam Schacht is now up at

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One Response to Living Truthfully Under Imaginary Circumstances: An Interview with Sam Schacht About Method Acting

  1. Brooke A L says:

    Sheila, I finally read this. What a great interview! I can understand why he was such an important teacher for you. You can see his wisdom in the way he has no time for petty bullshit about the “method” being everything. He doesn’t care how you get there, just that you do. It was definitely very informative and I loved reading the comments about Kristen Stewart in Clouds of Sils Maria (I know she is your favourite thing right now). In that film she absolutely has something beyond acting skill, or what have you. I think that, ironically perhaps, it is actually the real person in all her mystery coming out there, beyond the character she’s playing. She is deep and mysterious, and that translates into something magical and enigmatic -both beautiful and tragic- onscreen. I absolutely loved that film and her performance. I actually watched it just after I watched Girlhood, which was another great women-centered film. All in all, this is definitely a piece I’m going to come back to and hopefully others – non-actors, actors, and critics alike – read it and take notes.

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