This is a more extreme take on the use of Stanislavski's system of acting. Method acting involves several techniques but the core aspect is living in the character. This can include staying in role for sometime, living as the character essentially; it can also include seeking to have the same experience as the character. For example, if the character is blind the actor may choose to spend some time wearing a blindfold.
Method acting was furthered by Lee Strasberg, an American actor and director. Strasberg came to be considered as the father of this form of acting.
Relaxation: Just as in the system, relaxation is extremely important in method acting. Stanislavski believed that tension damaged all real potential of a good performance. So, in order to be able to act well one must eliminate tension in the body. One of the methods to do this is to sit in a chair and assume a position which one would take if sleep was absolutely necessary. Then focus on isolated parts of the body, one by one, and relax fully. It is particularly essential to focus on the neck and face, according to Strasberg metal tension manifested on the face.
Sense Memory: Sense memory is remembering the five senses; how things tasted, or they smelled or how a something felt, for example a piece of clothing. Using sense memory allows us to respond to such things we are remembering in a real way. Say, for example, a director asked an actor for a scene in which they were incredibly cold or warm. The actor could then begin to recall the feeling of cold or start to bring sense memory into a moment where they felt very cold. This ensures that the response in the scene is real and unique to the actor.
Magic If: This is simply asking one the question "What would I do if I were in the situation that the character is in?"
Animal Exercise: This technique produces a more indepth knowledge of one's character. This exercise includes an indepth study. So, if an actor was playing a bird he would study the animal and ask himself questions: When does it move? Why does it move? Posture? This study produces a deep knowledge of the outside actions and mannerisms.
Private Movement: The concept of being in solitude whilst in public is important for actors as it provides a private space. The idea of private movement is an exercise which allows an actor to fall into a state of solitude whilst in public. This exercise asks the actor to do something which they would do in private and would stop if someone else saw, for example singing very loudly and carelessly or dancing around in a rather embarrassing manner, then perform this in public. The actor sensorally creates the room in which they would feel comfortable and would be alone and this creates the illusion of being alone in public.
One of the most famous examples of method acting is Daniel Day Lewis when in the role of Abraham Lincoln. He refused to answer to his own name on set and insisted upon being called "Mr.President" this is only one of a few strange rituals he insisted upon.
Christian Bale also carried out a rather extreme change for his role in The Machinist where he lost a dramatic amount of weight.
In Hitchcock's film 'The Birds' there is also an example of method acting. Hitchcock insisted upon real trained birds being commanded to attack the main actress in one scene, this became increasingly distressing for the actress as she was repeatedly clawed and pecked in the face.