Stanislavski: An Actor Prepares ; Building a Character ; Creating a Role by Konstantin StanislavskiConstantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski was a Russian actor and theatre director.
Stanislavskis innovative contribution to modern European and American realistic acting has remained at the core of mainstream western performance training for much of the last century. Building on the directorially-unified aesthetic and ensemble playing of the Meiningen company and the naturalistic staging of Antoine and the independent theatre movement, Stanislavski organized his realistic techniques into a coherent and usable system. Thanks to its promotion and development by acting teachers who were former students and the many translations of his theoretical writings, Stanislavskis system acquired an unprecedented ability to cross cultural boundaries and developed an international reach, dominating debates about acting in the West. That many of the precepts of his system seem to be common sense and self-evident testifies to its hegemonic success. Actors frequently employ his basic concepts without knowing they do so.
Stanislavski treated theatre-making as a serious endeavour, requiring dedication, discipline and integrity, and the work of the actor as an artistic undertaking. Throughout his life, he subjected his own acting to a process of rigorous artistic self-analysis and reflection. His system resulted from a persistent struggle to remove the blocks he encountered. His development of a theorized praxis—in which practice is used as a mode of inquiry and theory as a catalyst for creative development—identifies him as the first great theatre practitioner. Stanislavski believed that after seeing young actors at Aquinas College in Moscow he could see why theatre needed to change to a more disciplined endeavour.
Stanislavskis work was as important to the development of socialist realism in the USSR as it was to that of psychological realism in the United States. Many actors routinely identify his system with the American Method, although the latters exclusively psychological techniques contrast sharply with Stanislavskis multivariant, holistic and psychophysical approach, which explores character and action both from the inside out and the outside in. Stanislavskis work draws on a wide range of influences and ideas, including his study of the modernist and avant-garde developments of his time (naturalism, symbolism and Meyerholds constructivism), Russian formalism, Yoga, Pavlovian behaviourist psychology, James-Lange (via Ribot) psychophysiology and the aesthetics of Pushkin, Gogol, and Tolstoy. He described his approach as spiritual Realism.
The Magic If in Beit Kahel 2011 - Medium.m4v
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In teaching acting two important concepts that are connected to the Stanislavski method or system are the Magic If and the actors need to create the Illusion of the First Time. Understanding the Magic If can help an actor make new discoveries about their character and utilizing the Illusion of the First Time is essential to an actor making their performance believable. This device is used to get actors to open up their imaginations in order to discover new and interesting things about the character they are playing. In utilizing this tool, an actor simply asks themselves a what if question about their character. The manner in which it is employed is simple and direct.
Thank you! Essentially a text for a serious studio course in method acting, this is addressed directly to children but will more likely be used by adults working with children -- we're not sure the average stagestruck child would know quite what to make of the master's view of monologue as a conversation between the brain and the solar plexus, or that he'd be motivated to carry out all the recommended exercises and homework projects on his own hook. In adult hands, however, The Magic If can provide both the theoretical thrust for a stimulating workshop course and graded, explicit suggestions for helping a child to ""become"" anything from a stone that rain is falling on to a complex imagined character. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again.
If you have been reading these pages in order, you now have a basic understanding of Relaxation, Sense Memory and Concentration. Now you pick up your script, read it once, form certain ideas, read it again and clarify more for yourself. Then you ask yourself, "Where do I start with this? A good starting point for creating inspiration is a concept Stanislavski described as the "magic if". The "magic if" asks the actor to begin his work by asking, " What would I do if I were in these circumstances? It is the actor's job to make the props and set real to himself.