By Konstantin Stanislavski
Stanislavski’s ‘system’ has ruled actor-training within the West considering that his writings have been first translated into English within the Nineteen Twenties and 30s. His systematic try to define a psycho-physical procedure for appearing single-handedly revolutionized criteria of performing within the theatre.
Until now, readers and scholars have needed to cope with erroneous, deceptive and difficult-to-read English-language models. a number of the mistranslations have ended in profound distortions within the manner his approach has been interpreted and taught. finally, Jean Benedetti has succeeded in translating Stanislavski’s large handbook right into a full of life, attention-grabbing and actual textual content in English. He has remained trustworthy to the author's unique intentions, placing the 2 books formerly often called An Actor Prepares and Building A Character again jointly into one quantity, and in a colloquial and readable variety for modern day actors.
The result's a big contribution to the theatre, and a carrier to 1 of the good innovators of the 20th century.
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Additional resources for An Actor's Work: A Student's Diary
Tortsov enquired. ‘Yes, now that you tell me, I think I am beginning to remember how I felt,’ I admitted. ’ ‘I don’t know, maybe. ’ ‘Good, if the subconscious led you along the right path, and bad if it didn’t. ’ I asked, breathless with pleasure. ‘Yes, because it is always best when an actor is completely taken over by the play. Then, independent of his will, he lives the role, without noticing how he is feeling, not thinking about what he is doing, and so everything comes out spontaneously, subconsciously.
I asked. ‘That means thinking, wanting, striving, behaving truthfully, in logical sequence in a human way, within the character, and in complete parallel to it. As soon as the actor has done that, he will come close to the role and will begin to feel as one with it. ‘Here we call that experiencing a role. This process and the term which deﬁnes it take on a quite exceptional importance. They are crucial to the art of acting as we profess it. ‘Experiencing helps the actor to fulﬁl his basic goal, which is the creation of the life of the human spirit in a role and the communication of that life onstage in an artistic form.
This kind of acting has beauty but no depth. It is eﬀective rather than deep. Form is more interesting than content. It acts on the eyes and ears rather than on the heart and, in consequence, more readily delights than disturbs. ‘True, acting of this kind can make a considerable impression, one which grips you while you are watching and leaves you with beautiful memories, but these impressions don’t warm your heart or go very deep. Its eﬀect is acute but transitory. You marvel, but you don’t believe.