Download An Actor's Work: A Student's Diary by Konstantin Stanislavski PDF

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 Twenties and 30s. His systematic try and define a psycho-physical method for performing single-handedly revolutionized criteria of performing within the theatre.

Until now, readers and scholars have needed to deal with faulty, deceptive and difficult-to-read English-language models. the various mistranslations have ended in profound distortions within the approach his method has been interpreted and taught. finally, Jean Benedetti has succeeded in translating Stanislavski’s large handbook right into a energetic, attention-grabbing and actual textual content in English. He has remained devoted 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 type for present day actors.

The result's an immense contribution to the theatre, and a provider to at least one of the nice innovators of the 20 th century.

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Sample text

This is mere imitation. ‘Using mimicry, voice, and movement the stock-in-trade actor only presents the audience with external clichés, as though they expressed “the life of the human spirit” of a role, a dead mask for non-existent feelings. There is a large, ready-made battery of tricks, which ostensibly convey by outward means all the possible feelings you can encounter in the course of your career for this kind of playacting. There is no actual feeling in them. There is only imitation, a resemblance to its supposed outer results.

I couldn’t help myself. My legs, my hands, my face began to move of their own accord. I had to declaim the lines. And suddenly, there, in my hands, was a large ivory paper-knife which I stuck in my belt to look like a dagger. A towel was transformed into a turban and the multi-coloured cord from the window-curtains served as a baldric. I fashioned a robe and a mantle out of sheets and a blanket. An umbrella became a scimitar. But I didn’t have a shield. Then I remembered that next door, in the dining room, behind the cupboard there was a large tray that could serve me as a shield.

I needed to try on the costume to see how successful the make-up was, and once it was on I wanted to perform. But I didn’t find anything new, just repeated what I had done the previous evening and that had already had lost its edge. Still I did manage to see what my Othello is going to look like on the outside. That’s important. . 19. Today was our first rehearsal, and I put in an appearance well before the start. Rakhmanov invited us to set up the space and arrange the furniture ourselves. Fortunately Pasha agreed to all my suggestions, as he was not interested in externals.

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