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Единственный царь и владыка сцены - талантливый артист. - К. Станиславский - Acting resources, career guides, and casting information

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Directing Showcases
ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan

Честно говоря, Станиславский был гений, и система его для гениев. Людям масштаба помельче казалось, что он Моцарт, который хочет стать Сальери. *

МХАТ умер раньше него лет на десять...

"Долго жил. Много видел. Был богат. Потом обеднел-Видел свет. Имел хорошую семью, детей. Жизнь раскидала всех по миру. Искал славы. Нашел. Видел почести, был молод. Состарился. Скоро надо умирать.

Теперь спросите меня: в чем счастье на земле?

В познавании. В искусстве и в работе, в постигновении его. Познавая искусство в себе, познаешь природу, жизнь мира, смысл жизни, познаешь душу-талант.

Выше этого счастья нет". 1933 * Preface by А. Смелянский. ( Работа актера над собой )

Во второй части книги "Работа актера над собой", в "Заключительных беседах", Станиславский напишет: "Мы родились с этой способностью к творчеству, с этой "системой" внутри себя. Творчество - наша естественная потребность и, казалось бы, иначе, как правильно, по "системе", мы не должны бы были уметь творить. Но, к удивлению, приходя на сцену, мы теряем то, что дано природой, и вместо творчества начинаем ломаться, притворяться, наигрывать и представлять".

Actors Studio

* The first significant performance work drawing on Stanislavsky's ideas was carried Out by the Group Theater, formed in New York in 1931. [ Moderntimes ]


Acting is generally agreed to be a matter of less mimicry, exhibitionism, or imitation than the ability to react to imaginary stimuli. Its essential elements remain the twin requisites enunciated in the 18th century by French actor Francois-Joseph Talma: "Unusual sensitivity and extraordinary intelligence." The intelligence he refers to comes not from book learning but from the ability to understand the workings of the human personality.

Constantin Stanislavski (overview)

"All of our acts, even the simplest, which are so familiar to us in everyday life, become strained when we appear behind the footlights before a public of a thousand people. That is why it is necessary to correct ourselves and learn again how to walk, sit, or lie down. It is essential to re-educate ourselves to look and see, on the stage, to listen and to hear."

To achieve this "reeducation", Stanislavski said, "the actor must first of all believe in everything that takes place onstage, and most all, he must believe what he himself is doing. And one can only believe in the truth." To give substance to his ideas, Stanislavski studied how people act in everyday life and how they communicated feelings and emotions; and then he found a way to accomplish the same things onstage. He developed a series of exercises and techniques for the performer which had the following broad aims:
1. To make the outward behavior of the performer - gestures, voice, and the rhythm of movements- natural and convincing.
2. To have the actor or actress convey the goals and objectives-the inner needs of a character. Even if all the visible manifestations of a character are mastered, a performance will appear superficial and mechanical without a deep sense of conviction and belief.
3. To make the life of the character onstage not only dynamic but continuous. Some performers tend to emphasize only the high points of a part; in between, the life of the character stops. In real life, however, people do not stop living.
4. To develop a strong sense of ensemble playing with other performers in a scene.

technique & key concepts:

Relaxation When he observed the great actors and actresses of his day, Stanislavsky noticed how fluid and lifelike their movements were. They seemed to be in a state of complete freedom and relaxation, letting the behavior of the character come through effortlessly. He concluded that unwanted tension has to be eliminated and that the performer at all times attain a state of physical and vocal relaxation.

Concentration and Observation Stanislavsky also discovered that gifted performers always appear fully concentrated on some object, person, or event while onstage. Stanislavsky referred to the extent or range of concentration as a circle of attention. This circle of attention can be compared to a circle of light on a darkened stage. the performer should begin with the idea that it is a small, tight, circle including only himself or herself and perhaps one other person or one piece of furniture. When the performer has established a strong circle of attention, he or she can enlarge the circle outward to include the entire stage area. In this way performers will stop worrying about the audience and lose their self-consciousness.

Importance of Specifics One of Stanislavsky's techniques was an emphasis on concrete details. A performer should never try to act in general, he said, and should never try to convey a feeling such as fear or love in some vague, amorphous way. In life, Stanislavski said, we express emotions in terms of specifics: an anxious woman twists a handkerchief, an angry boy throws a rock at a trash can, a nervous businessman jangles his keys. Performers must find similar activities.
The performer must also conceive of the situation in which a character exists (which Stanislavski referred to as the given circumstances ) in term of specifics. In what kind of space does an event take place: formal, informal, public, domestic? How does it feel? What is the temperature? The lighting? What has gone on just before? What is expected in the moments ahead? Again, those questions must be answered in concrete terms.

Inner Truth An innovative aspect of Stanislavsky's work has to do with inner truth, which deals with the internal or subjective world of characters - that is, their thoughts and emotions. The early phases of Stanislavski's research took place while he was also directing the major dramas of Anton Chekhov. Plays like The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard have less to do with external action or what the characters say than what the characters are feeling and thinking but often do not verbalize. It becomes apparent that Stanislavski's approach would be very beneficial in realizing the inner life of such characters.

Stanislavsky had several ideas about how to achieve a sense of inner truth. one being the magic if. If is a word which can transform our thoughts; through it we can imagine ourselves in virtually any situation. "If I suddenly became wealthy..." "If I were vacationing on the Caribbean Island..." "If I had great talent..." "If that person who insulted me comes near me again..." The word if becomes a powerful lever for the mind; it can lift us out of ourselves a give us a sense of absolute certainty about imaginary circumstances.

Action Onstage What? Why? How? An important principle of Stanislavsky's system is that all action onstage must have a purpose. This means that the performer's attention must always be focused on a series of physical actions linked together by the circumstances of the play. Stanislavsky determined these actions by asking three essential questions: What? Why? How? An action is performed, such as opening a letter (the what). The letter is opened because someone has said that it contains extremely damaging information about the character (the why). The letter is opened anxiously, fearfully (the how), because of the calamitous effect it might have on the character. These physical actions, which occur from moment to moment in a performance, are in turn governed by the character's overall objective in the play.

Through Line of a Role According to Sstanislavsky, in order to develop continuity in a part, the actor or actress should find the superobjective of a character. What is it, above all else, that the character wants during the course of a play? What is the character's driving force? If a goal can be established toward which the character strives, it will give the performer an overall objective. From this objective can be developed a through line which can be grasped, as a skier on a ski lift grabs a towline and is carried to the top. Another term for through line is spine.
To help develop the through line, Stanislavsky urged performers to divide scenes into unit (sometimes called beats). In each unit there is an objective, and the intermediate objectives running through a play lead ultimately to the overall objective.

Ensemble Playing Except in one-person shows, performers do not act alone; they interact with other people. Stanislavsky was aware that many performers tend to "stop acting," or lose their concentration, when they are not the main characters in a scene or when someone else is talking. Such performers make a great effort when they are speaking but not when they are listening. This tendency destroys the through line and causes the performer to move into and out of a role. That, in turn, weakens the sense of the ensemble - the playing together of all the performers.

Method Acting index 2 * METHOD * method 1 * method 3 ** 200X * Film Dir * Books * Theatre w/Anatoly * SHOWs * Script Analysis * Acting * Directing * Russian-American Theatre (RAT) * Film Links * Fundamentals of Acting * BioMechanics * Classes Dir * Theatre Books *

Method Acting for Directors

2006: actor & acting

"Ему нужно играть, без этого он задыхается, как пустое место без содержания; как платье, которое ни на кого не одето... Актер не индивидуализирован. Вот его сущность" (В.В. Розанов, 1914). ... Во второй половине ХХ века возникает заданная идеями Станиславского технология "актер играет актера, который играет роль", хотя элементы ее можно уловить еще в поставленном Станиславским "Ревизоре" с М. Чеховым-Хлестаковым. Именно в расчете на эту структуру написана, например, пьеса "Марат/Сад" (1965) Петера Вайса.

[ lesson 5 throu lesson 8 ]

Moscow Art Theatre 1917: "Пришлось начать с самого начала, учить первобытного в отношении искусства зрителя сидеть тихо, не разговаривать, садиться вовремя, не курить, не грызть орехов, снимать шляпы, не приносить закусок и не есть их в зрительном зале" ("Моя жизнь в искусстве"). (Americans)
HamletDreams 2001
* method acting for directors *
Stanislavsky and Psychophysical Action : A character's actions will lead to his / her emotions.

Stanislavski began to develop his techniques in the early part of the twentieth century, and at first he emphasized the inner aspects of training: for example, various ways of getting in touch with the performer's unconscious. Beginning around 1917, however, he began to look more and more at purposeful action, or what he called pyshophysical action. (An action which has a purpose, and leads to feelings about the action taken.) A student at one of his lectures that year took a note and noticed the change: "Whereas action previously had been taught as the expression of a previously- established 'emotional state,' it is now action itself which predominates and is the key to the psychological." (biomechanics)

К. С. Станиславский В ГОСТЯХ У МЕТЕРЛИНКА (Russian) Станиславский открыл:

а) "подтекст", дублирующий исполняемый текст или противоречащий ему; психологический инструмент, информирующий о внутреннем состоянии персонажа, устанавливающий дистанцию между тем, что сказано в тексте, и тем, что показано на сцене; подсознательный фон текста сосуществует параллельно с текстом, реально произносимым персонажами, образуя нечто вроде непрерывного и по-своему значимого второго смыслового ряда;

б) мизансцену как физическую ощутимость сокровенного смысла драматургического текста;

в) тяготение текста пьесы к претексту, перемежающемуся паузами: персонажи не смеют до конца выражать мысли или не могут это делать, они общаются друг с другом полунамеками, или же говорят, чтобы ничего не сказать, заботясь о том, чтобы это ничто было понято собеседником как нечто, наполненное реальным смыслом.

[ film acting ] NEW: * Russian (designers) Chekhov


I do not know, when I will have a chance to translate the Russian texts; right now I place them for myself.

If you need deeper understanding of the System, read books pages and biblio. Also, links and (new) reference pages.

"Vertical structure" (new) of METHOD for Directors with lessons (1-5) in each part will be fully developed only when I teach THR321 Advanced Acting again!

Next : PS

The Absence of Gray Matter by Josh Weckesser
Scene: Kim Kutledge is a not-too-bright minor character from 
Weckesser's high school drama, Gray Matter. Here, Kim speaks about 
her aspirations and hallucinations. This piece is funny if Kim takes 
herself seriously - because God knows no one else does.

My name is Kim Kutledge and I am broken. I'm not really broken in the 
way that a tree becomes broken in a tropical storm or the way or the 
way an egg becomes broken when it is dropped to the kitchen floor 
before it can be put in the omelet. I am broken like a bone, 
painfully and somewhat grotesque to look at, but under the right 
conditions and proper care I will heal. [beat] What I mean to say is 
that I am a poet. Really, I am. Listen to this. It's a love poem. 
[clears throat]

Excuse me, but if you would

Give me the chance, I think I could

Do what I need to make you feel good

[long pause] What? No applause? Now you see what I'm talking about, 
broken. I wasn't even blessed with being tortured, Poe and Dante were 
tortured, I am simply ineffectual and unloved. I know what you're 
thinking, "Surely you jest, who would not love you?" The answer is 
the source of my pain and the reason I cannot heal. I do not love me. 
I'm like that one guy in that one 80's movie, I do everything that 
everyone tells me to do. On the plus side nothing is ever my fault, I 
can always point the finger at someone else. On the down side I talk 
to myself a lot. Like now for example. None of you are real. I bet 
you didn't know that, and I kinda hate to break it to you because I'm 
sure you think you're real, but I just made every one of you up. 
That's gotta be depressing, but don't worry about it, you'll cease to 
exist once I've finished thinking about you. But you wanna know the 
worst part? Would Keanu Reeves please stand up? [pause] See? He's not 
here! He's never here! I'm so broken that I can't even control my own 
hallucinations even after I've accepted that fact that they're 
hallucinations. I know you're wondering about the whole Keanu Reeves 
thing, but even if he can't act he can say "woah" with the best of 
them and if he wore his Matrix costume he wouldn't have to say a 
thing. [beat] Maybe I should go see a psychiatrist about this. I'm 
pretty sure it's not normal. He'd most likely tell me it 
was 'advanced projected schizophrenia' or something. I'm sure he'd 
ask me, "Do you occasionally feel like you're on stage?" and I'd say 
no but he'd see though it because he'd be a good psychiatrist, and 
I'd never go see a bad one. So I'd admit to sometimes feeling like 
I'm on stage and he'd ask me if I'd like to see Keanu Reeves appear 
and I'd deny that too, but he'd see though it again. So then I'd tell 
him that Keanu never showed, with or without his leather Matrix 
jacket. Then I'd ask him how he knew and he'd tell me that it's a 
pretty common thing, he used to go though something similar. It's 
hero worship gone horribly awry, something about not having the 
confidence to want to see someone actually interesting. All I'd have 
to do to avoid these things was to believe in myself, have some 
confidence. [epiphany] Yes, I think that's it! Of course that's it. I 
can do that. I can love myself, I can. And I will. [pause] Right?
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