•L.O. To identify Stanislavski’s techniquesand be able to define them.•To be able to apply the techniques to acharacter.•To evaluate the process that an actormust go through in order to perform anaturalistic character effectively.Stanislavski (In More Detail)
Three Core Elements To begin employing the Stanislavski method,actors generally go over the script very carefully,looking for key identifying factors. A performer discovers what a character wants,what prevents the character from getting it, andwhat means the character will use to achieve thisgoal. These concepts are frequently referred to as"objective," "obstacle," and "method." Actors must also determine the givencircumstances of every scene, such as where thescene takes place, what is in the room, and whatis going on in the outside world.
Objectives To identify the objective clearly, the actor mustbreak down a scene into “beats” or “bits,” whichare short sections that end with each change ofobjective. In a basic example, if a character pours a cup ofcoffee, answers the phone, and then runsscreaming out of the house, the scene has atleast three separate beats. At the bareminimum, the objective changes from pouringcoffee, to answering the phone, to getting out ofthe building. Beats are not determined on actionalone, however, and may be based on a change
Super Objective! This is also referred to in some books as theSUPER TASK. The Super Objective is the maintheme of the play. The subject of the play.Everything drives toward the Super Objective. Some examples: Hamlet: Revenge The Crucible: Good vs Evil Blood Brothers: ?
Given Circumstances The given circumstances are the character detailsin the script - the facts the playwright gives theactor. They are unchangeable. Focus attention onthe Geographical, Social and Historical elementsin the script. Sample questions to ask: Where am I? What is my specific location? What year is it? What relationships do I have? What has happened before the play begins?
Objectives Actors can define objectives even withinindividual lines of dialogue, based on a conceptcalled “objective words.” It is the actor’s job tounderstand and play the character’s objective notonly in the entire play or film, each scene, andeach beat, but also in each line. Determining what the key motivation is behindeach line is a basic practice in the Stanislavskimethod.
Obstacles and Methods Within aScene Obstacles are things preventing a character fromachieving his or her objective. In the previousscene, if the character trips while trying to run, itwould present an obstacle to the objective of gettingout of the house. Obstacles are dealt with through one of threemethods: the character gives up the objectivebecause of it, finds a way to go around it, or plungesalong regardless. The method a character chooses in dealing withobstacles gives great insight into that character; thebasis for much of the Stanislavski method lies in
The Internal Monologue Understanding the objectives and methods of acharacter allows a performer to create an internalmonologue for that character. Real people typically have a semi-constant flow ofthoughts going on in their minds, and theStanislavski method attempts to create a similarinternal monologue for a character. This technique helps each action feel as if it comesspontaneously, rather than simply because the scriptsays it should happen. Actors also use this monologue to help them preventa scene from becoming repetitious or dull even after
Differences from "MethodActing" Due of its emphasis on realism, the Stanislavskimethod is often used in modern plays, film, andtelevision. It should not be confused with Lee Strasberg’s“Method Acting,” however, which involves anactor attempting to completely become acharacter. The Stanislavski method maintains that aperformer must remain somewhat separate fromthe character, in order to properly understand hisor her motivations and goals.
Stan Quotes Here are a few quotes from Stanislavsky himself aboutacting and creating a character. "In the creative process there is the father, the author ofthe play; the mother, the actor pregnant with the part; andthe child, the role to be born." "Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art" "What does it really mean to be truthful on stage? Does itmean that you conduct yourself as you do in ordinary life?Not at all. Truthfulness in those terms would be sheertriviality. There is the same difference between artistic andinartistic truth as exists between a painting and aphotograph: the latter produces everything, the former onlywhat is essential; to put the essential on canvas requiresthe talent of a painter.“ "Put life into the imagined circumstances and actions untilyou have completely satisfied your sense of truth.“
More Stan Quotes "If you know your characters thoughts, the proper vocaland bodily expressions will naturally follow." "When we are on stage, we are in the here and now." "One must not confuse the theatrical with what is trulytheatrical. The theatre undoubtedly demands somethingspecial that is not to be found in life. So the task is: to bringlife to the stage, while avoiding the theatrical (whichdestroys life) but at the same time respecting the nature ofthe stage itself." "Imagination creates things that can be or can happen." "Create your own method. Dont depend slavishly on mine.Make up something that will work for you! But keepbreaking traditions, I beg you." AND… "There are no small parts. Only small actors."