Good Acting is never Observed; it is Experienced. -KF- This last part is useless, if you didn't celect the character and didn't work on your role. Go to the plays on line, select the monologue and then go through Acting One, Two and Three. See you here again, when you will arrive, kid.

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Well, I thought about making it "Part I" -- but I didn't start with the theory of acting to keep you reading.

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The rest -- Appendix; usefull pages, bibliography, exersices, journals-how-to and etc.

Comments: I hope you understand that this right side is for YOUR comments! Yes, on your ACTOR's TEXT.

I have to play with this and next (V) parts: how to make use of the production forums and archives (3 Sisters), my students' class notes for the lessons on Chekhov, their submissions of the online papers and etc. (c)2004 -- 2006


An actor is only merchandise. ~ Chow Yun-Fat [The Stanislavski method] remains largely a matter of instinct though the germ of the Stanislavski method is to help the actor discover the creative mood, to clear the decks for action. [Michael Redgrave]


Stanislavsky: «Stage charm guarantees in advance an actor's hold on the audience, it helps him to carry over to large numbers of people his creative purposes. It enhances his roles and his art. Yet it is of utmost importance that he use this precious gift with prudence, wisdom, and modesty. It is a great shame when he does not realize this and goes on to exploit, to play on his ability to charm». The final phase in the preparatory work on a role was to find what has variously been translated as the seed, the grain, the kernel or the core of the character, to which all the previous considerations are preparatory. This is followed by the 'aim' of the character and when the actor is conscious of this, all else is forgotten, for then the actor, as the character, can answer the question, 'What do I want and why?' [Redgrave]


"The best actors never let the wheels show." -Henry Fonda

Theatre Books *

Anything you do on the stage with coldness inside you will destroy you because it will encourage in you the habit of automatic, mechanical action, without imagination.

What can be more effective, fan your ardour, excite you inwardly, than an imaginary fiction which has taken possession of you?

A true artist is on fire with what he sees going on all around him, he is ardently interested in life, it becomes for him the object of his study and his passions. . . . He tries to record the impressions he receives from the outside, and as an artist . . . stamp them on his heart. . . . One cannot be cold when working in art. . . . You have to possess a certain degree of inner warmth. Our mind can be set to work at any time. But it is not sufficient. We must have the ardent and direct cooperation of our emotions, desires, and all the other elements of our inner creative state. . . . Just as yeast causes fermentation, so the sensing of the life of his role imparts a kind of inner warmth, the ebullition necessary to the actor.

Artistic enthusiasm is a motive power in creativeness. Excited fascination which accompanies enthusiasm is a subtle critic, an incisive inquirer, and the best guide into the depths of feeling which are unattainable to a conscious approach.

The ability to fire his feelings, his will, and his mind --that is one of the qualities of an actor's talent, one of the principal objectives of his inner technique. --An Actor Prepares
--Creating a Role

In every phase of our work . . . we constantly had occasion to speak of logic and continuity. . . . They are of prime importance. . . . Creating must be logical and have continuity. Even illogical and incoherent characters must be represented within the logical plan and framework of a whole play, a whole performance.

. . . How to accomplish this? By means of physical actions . . . because they are easier to establish, materially and visually, and are yet closely tied to all the other elements. . . . It is easier to orient one's self with their aid. . . . Having prepared a logical and coherent line of physical actions, . . . we discover that parallel to it will run a logical and coherent line of emotion. . . . Come to the tragic part of a role . . . gradually and logically, by carrying out correctly your sequence of external physical actions, and by believing in them. . . . Do not think about your emotions. Think about what you have to do. If you do not adhere strictly to an absolute pattern of logic and continuity you are in danger of conveying passions, images, actions in a "generalized" form.

If an actor keeps in constant exercise . . . he will come to know practically all human actions from the point of view of their component parts, their consecutiveness and their logic. But this work must be done daily, constantly, like the vocalizing of a singer, or the exercises of a dancer. . . . systematic and absolutely valid exercises of actions without props. --An Actor Prepares --Building a Character --My Life in Art

Let us call this long catalogue of minor and major objectives, units, scenes, acts, the score of a role. . . . One can call them natural objectives. There can be no doubt that such a score, based on such objectives, will draw the actor--physically speaking--closer to the real life of his part. [It] . . . stirs the actor to physical action.

The first requirement is that the score have the power to attract. . . . excite the actor not only by its external physical truth but above all by its inner beauty. . . . Let us now add depth to the score. . . . The difference will lie in the inner life . . . inner impulses, psychological intimations . . . that constitute the inner tone. . . . We can experience varying emotions when playing a score with the same objectives but in different keys . . . quiet or joyful . . . sad or . . . disturbed or in an excited key. . . . One's score which is to portray human passions, must be rich, colourful, and varied. . . . An actor must know the nature of a passion . . . how to cull [from the text] the component units, objectives, moments, which in their sum total add up to a human passion. . . . The score saturates every particle of an actor's inner being. . . . In this innermost . . . core . . . all the remaining objectives converge, as it were, into one superobjective . . . the concentration of the entire score. . . . For the actor the through action is the active attainment of the super-objective. --Creating a Role

Part IV

Lesson 13:
Lesson 14:
Lesson 15:
Lesson 16:

"Never let yourself get between you and your Character". -Michael Caine

.... Techniques of performance: The fundamentals of the actor's art remain the same no matter how bizarre the dramatic context: the actors may be abstractions, for example, as in Stanislavsky's 1908 production of Maurice Maeterlink's allegorical fantasy The Bluebird; they may play a band of actors producing a play, which they then proceed to perform in a vivid theatrical fashion, as in Vakhtangov's production of Turandot, a play by the 18-century Italian Carlo Gozzi; they may imagine themselves into a satiric extravaganza, as in experiments by the Group Theatre a major U.S. troupe of the 1930's, working on the basis of Stanislavsky's ideas) based on the satirical pictures of George Grosz (1931); or they assume the distorted attitudes appropriate to an expressionist world, as in the classic horror film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919).
In An Actor Prepares, Constantin Stanislavski writes: "A real artist must lead a full, interesting, varied, and exciting life. . . . He should study the life . . . of the people who surround him. We need a broad point of view to act."

Four Files:






Read The Three Sisters, pages on Chekhov in script analysis and directorial notes in production notebook.

Part IV. Acting Theory in Action

Method and Biomechanics are theories of acting.

Get used to this idea. If you want to go deeper with your craftmanship.

Of course, you can find some theory everywhere on my pages. Even on the very first page ACT

If you after reading Part III, want to organize YOURSELF, you need more systematization, my friend.


Stanislavsky' System is Madness, if you think that it will work instead of you! Are you mad?

The next part (V) struggles with itself; I have to have some sort of a workbook... and summary on theory!

Each main character has his own page in 3 Sisters SHOWS directory; please read.

Select character for your analysis.


What is your interpreatation? Write it down (use your Actor's Journal).


Who is your character?

What ideas did you have for your role?

Now we will try them on your and the text!

I will take Hamlet.

Which monologue?

How about the most famous "To Be or Not to Be"?

Ready? (russian)


I see it in your eyes, the eyes of my graduating students... What is now?

Now is my goodbye... Now you go out and hustle.

Do you know how to do it?

Do you have your resume, portfolio, recommendations?

No? You, friend, must have a serious talk with "your" director. You know what I mean.

What does your "Self" recommend?

Do you have the list of characters you would like to play? Did you work on those roles already?

Read Part 5. The Three Sisters: the Showcase.

Do your homework! And think! And -- Yes, hustle -- and then you will have a lot of questions. Write them in your Actor's Journal and let your director to write too.



How do you understand the message of "The Three Sisters"? You and today.

Look above, your real homework only now begins! Black Snow (4):

Через день исчез с репетиции Елагин, и Андрей Андреевич записал в протокол о нем: "Отпущен с репетиции. Насморк". Та же беда постигла Адальберта. Та же запись в протоколе. За Адальбертом - Вешнякова. Я скрежетал зубами, присчитывая в своей выкладке еще месяц на насморки. Но не осуждал ни Адальберта, ни Патрикеева. В самом деле, зачем предводителю разбойников терять время на крики о несуществующем пожаре в четвертой картине, когда его разбойничьи и нужные ему дела влекли его к работе в картине третьей, а также и пятой.
И пока Патрикеев, попивая пиво, играл с маркером в американку, Адальберт репетировал шиллеровских "Разбойников" в клубе на Красной Пресне, где руководил театральным кружком.
Да, эта система не была, очевидно, приложима к моей пьесе, а пожалуй, была и вредна ей. Ссора между двумя действующими лицами в четвертой картине повлекла за собой фразу:
- Я тебя вызову на дуэль!
И не раз в ночи я грозился самому себе оторвать руки за то, что я трижды проклятую фразу написал.
Лишь только ее произнесли, Иван Васильевич очень оживился и велел принести рапиры. Я побледнел. И долго смотрел, как Владычинский и Благосветлов щелкали клинком о клинок, и дрожал при мысли, что Владычинский выколет Благосветлову глаз.
Иван Васильевич в это время рассказывал о том, как Комаровский-Бионкур дрался на шпагах с сыном московского городского головы.
Но дело было не в этом проклятом сыне городского головы, а в том, что Иван Васильевич все настойчивее стал предлагать мне написать сцену дуэли на шпагах в моей пьесе.
Я отнесся к этому как к тяжелой шутке, и каковы были мои ощущения, когда коварный и вероломный Стриж сказал, что просит, чтобы через недельку сценка дуэли была "набросана".
Тут я вступил в спор, но Стриж твердо стоял на своем. В исступление окончательное привела меня запись в его режиссерской книге: "Здесь будет дуэль".
И со Стрижом отношения испортились.
В печали, возмущении я ворочался с боку на бок по ночам. Я чувствовал себя оскорбленным.
- Небось у Островского не вписывал бы дуэлей, - ворчал я, - не давал бы Людмиле Сильвестровне орать про сундуки!
И чувство мелкой зависти к Островскому терзало драматурга. Но все это относилось, так сказать, к частному случаю, к моей пьесе. А было более важное. Иссушаемый любовью к Независимому Театру, прикованный теперь к нему, как жук к пробке, я вечерами ходил на спектакли. И вот тут подозрения мои перешли, наконец, в твердую уверенность. Я стал рассуждать просто: если теория Ивана Васильевича непогрешима и путем его упражнений актер мог получить дар перевоплощения, то естественно, что в каждом спектакле каждый из актеров должен вызывать у зрителя полную иллюзию. И играть так, чтобы зритель забыл, что перед ним сцена...