Stanislavski "the system" Introduction

Konstantin Stanislavski 
and "The System"

Psycho-Physical Involvement
Physical action is the key to the emotional reactions of an actor, the basis of an actor’s creativity, the solution to spontaneity on stage, the essence of the whole system. 

Instead of trying to feel an emotion the actor fulfills a simple, concrete, purposeful "physical action", which stirs the psychological side of the psychophysical act, thus achieving psycho-physical involvement.

"Theatre is a pulpit which is the most powerful means of influence; besides entertainment, theatre should develop people’s taste and raise the level of their culture."- the Godfather of Acting (Konstantin Stanislavski)

Elements of Action (to be studied):
  • Given Circumstances - The details
  • Magic IF - Imagination
  • Concentration of Attention - P.O.F.
  • Truth and Belief 
  • Improvisation
  • Active Verbs
  • Super-Objective
  • Through Line
  • Communion
  • Adaptation
  • Tempo-Rhythm
  • Emotional Memory
  • Physical Training  
Here are some guidelines from Stanislavski for finding and creating believable action.

  • Soul and Body are indivisible; no inner experience without outer external expression - must learn to connect them.
  • Human psychological life - moods, desires, feelings, intentions, ambitions - expressed thru simple physical actions.
  • Instead of feeling an emotion before going on stage, the actor fulfills a simple, concrete, purposeful physical action which stirs the psychological side of the psychophysical act, thus achieving psycho-physical involvement.
  • Action must be carefully selected on the basis of the play’s circumstances (read and study the play!); it takes a great deal of experimentation to find the right one, but when you do so, you can achieve spontaneity.
  • Exercises and Improvs: An analogous emotion in your own life should be, as much as possible, the basis for the situation in any improv; be yourself in different circumstances.
  • Search for a unique physical action which is connected to the emotion you want to stir -the action will trigger the emotion & you will behave in a psycho-physical way.
  • Most exercises should be done to music.
  • In all improvs, an actor must think in 3 steps: 1) beginning(exposition), 2)develop, 3)end
  • Think of actions, not feelings; do not try too hard, but do not be nonchalant or careless; be concrete in what you do; do not do anything “in general” (the enemy of art); always have an important objective.

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