Stanislavsky: «The direct effect on our mind is achieved by the words, the text, the thought, which arouse consideration. Our will is directly affected by the super-objective, by other objectives, by a through line of action. Our feelings are directly worked upon by tempo-rhythm».
Mikhail Epstein "DANIIL ANDREEV AND THE RUSSIAN MYSTICISM OF FEMININITY"
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Featured Pages : this page is from Preface for System of the Method @ Theatre with Anatoly website.
I do not think that American promoters of Stanislavsky did a good job. He called his acting school "System" for a reason. "Method" is not the same.
There are many methods and techniques, my friends. At the end, you have to have YOUR OWN method. What Stanislavsky had in mind was to offer actor the rules of acting, the system for developing your own methods of acting. Very much like physics or math, or science. How will you use it is entirely up to you.
Method is an application of the System.
What I try to do is to "restore" the System which is behind the Method Acting.
Let me make it clear. If you learn Method, you will make money acting. If you will learn the System, you are a star. If you can develop your own method, you are a master. If you discover your SYSTEM, you belong to Theatre History books.
How to make this horror work for you is the science. As any science it's systematic; it has to be followed the way we obey the laws of gravity or electricity. We do not fight the laws of nature, we make them work for us. If you are ignorate of those laws, you break your neck and get burned.
Key Terms: Glossary
Key Terms: Glossary
I try not to touch the topics well covered in the existing books on Method. Method Acting * Stanislavsky on Stanislavsky Terminology *
What is "emotional recall"? Objective? Obstacle? Super-objective?
The definitions you can find in Dictionary
My task is to show the System (the original name by Stanislavsky) of the Method(4) Actors should seek inner justification for everything done on stage. In doing so, actors depend in part on "the magic 'if'" (that is, the actor says, "If I were this person faced with this situation, I would . . . ") and "emotion memory" (a process by which actors relate the unfamiliar dramatic situation to some analogous emotional situation in their own lives, although Stanislavsky was eventually to downgrade the importance of emotion memory)...
We should make another step -- into the "metaphysics" of performance. "Actor = Character" is the formula for ancient understanding of priest, who becomes "god" and expresses the truth beyond his mortal experience. Nothing short of straight magic (Frazer). This is how the primitive understood "acting" -- so, do we, the neo-primitives.
"Emotional memory" shouldn't be over-emphasized; shaman doesn't leave his body, his body and everything in it serve (medium) for expression of other beings (spirits, characters, invisible).
Since I am using Method and Biomechanics in my classes, a few historical footnotes about the last century. Both, Stanislavsky and Meyerhold, were "populists" in their attitute toward the (new) audience, non-theatrical (non-elite) public. One appealed to semi-educated spectators (non-aristocrats), Meyerhold -- to the illiterates. It was a long Russian tradition to reach for the majority of the nation, which has no connections with the "high" culture. It was a strive for popular culture (pop), as we can see it on the screen today, an appeal to primitives. Stanislavsky and Meyerhold (several generations) thought that they can bridge the two: individual and the masses. In order for them to go forward, they had to go back, to the roots, origins of performance. As far back as possible (Grotowsky).
Perhaps, it's useful to call the "new" terms by their old names.
... I hope you understand why I have to struggle with Yoga and/or Dr. Freud on my theatre pages. Finally, we arrived to studying our primitive nature! I hope you understand the nature of our "celebrity" cults. I hope you understand the essense of "stars" in our mass culture. I hope you understand the message of pop-ideology (Christianity), when everyone is a brother and equal to God. Without democracy without borders Method Acting and Biomechanics won't be possible. One is saying that any Tom Cruse is a star, another -- that "high" art could be achieve "mechanically" because it's "bio-logical"!
In one short century we came with super-natural forms of "equalizing": the dog can act! How? We mix the doggy with technology (camera)! Do we need this animal? How about the computor graphics? Oh, the gods of neo-barbarians! So powerful...
The techniques of priesthood (acting) in the third millenium?
We are almost there. We are all actors (Shakespeare and Fazer): we live in the Spectacular Society (postmodern), we are on stage, because everything became public (look at yourself on the screen at 7/11). The old primitives believed that everybody has direct connections with gods, so do we (thanks to the Protestants). The only question is HOW -- because of the competition of gods... We call it "know-how" and "do-it-yourself" -- that is what my "text"books are about.
Enough about the ideology behind The Method!
Why don't you read Chapter 4. Magic and Religion The Golden Bough by Sir James George Frazer 
Maybe you don't believe that acting is the only true religion left? Well, than never mind.
Shaman's Training"The Chukchee call the preparatory period of a shaman by a term signifying 'he gathers shamanistic power'. For the weaker shamans and for female shamans the preparatory period is less painful, and the inspiration comes mainly through dreams... During the time of preparation the shaman has to pass through both a mental and a physical training."
Actor = Shaman: The mental part of the training consists in coming into contact with the right spirits. "As to the physical training of a novice, he must learn singing, dancing, various tricks, including ventriloquism, and how to beat the drum." [Bogoras] "The amount of endurance required for all this, and the ability to pass quickly from the highest excitement to a state of normal quietude, can, of course, be acquired only by long practice."
'I should have died, if I had not become a shaman.'"The preparatory period lasts for several years, its length depending largely on the capacity of the young man. He cannot, however, become a shaman until he reaches the age of twenty. Finally he undergoes a purification ceremony. One such ceremony does not confer all the rights and powers of a shaman; there are, in fact, nine. But very few shamans go through all these purifications; most only undergo two or three; some, none at all, for they dread the responsibilities which devolve upon consecrated shamans. To a fully consecrated shaman the gods are very severe, and punish his faults or mistakes with death."
Buryat shaman. He is (a) priest, (b) medicine-man, and (c) prophet.
Mongols in the time of Djingis Khan, the shamans were at the height of their power. [ actor as priest, neo-primitives ]
[ Anatoly Vasiliev school ]
* the mystical change of sex among shamans, by which a male shaman is 'transformed' into a female, and vice versa (female is the origins)?
They may give birth to a child, a bird, a frog, &c., and they may change their sex if they are 'real shamans', with supernatural powers, with a true vocation.
* a divine two-sexed shaman embodying in one being a perfect man- and woman-nature. ( In the religion of the natives of the Altai this idea is expressed by the name 'mother and father of the man', given to the Supreme Being.)
BENEVOLENT supernatural beings are called by the Chukchee vairgit, i. e. 'beings' [ characters ].
At the present day only the shamans can pass from one world to another...
[ Shamanism in Siberia, from "Aboriginal Siberia" by M. A. CZAPLICKA  ]
Part II: ROLE
The first day of classes is heart-breaking. I walk into an acting class full of fear. Any class, especially the advanced acting course.
What do we have? One semester of Acting One and another three months of Intermediate Acting? Am I supposed to get to the professional level of acting now? How could it be?
My daughter study violin since she is five -- almost 12 years already and still do not consider it as her professional choice. The hours of plactice, music theory, concerts, numerous pieces of music... Why do we think that acting requires less? Whould hire an engineer after three semesters of science? Or would you go to a doctor who spent year in a medical school? But with acting it is a different story. Sometimes you can hear that an actor doesn't need any training at all!
What you need is a talent and a good luck. Right? (As if any other profession doesn't need the same). I always recall the famous Hamlet's monologue when he offers to play a flute to his friends. They refuse, they don't know how. Would you speak French, if you didn't learn it first?
So what is this business about acting which makes us believe that we can do it?
Well, unlike all the above, we do act. In fact, we act all the time. We all have a lot of experience in acting. We live, we behave, we inter-ACT.... everything we do includes "some" acting. In some situations -- a lot of acting! Sometimes nothing else but acting! NEW: method.vtheatre.net: Method Acting for Directors *
NBSteve Vineberg. Method Actors: Three Generations of an American Acting System. New York: Schirmer Books, 1991.
See books page in METHOD directory!
Next: biomechanics.vtheatre.net"The Double as a phenomenon is known in the theatre and exemplified by dialogue, mask, tragedy and comedy. Theatricality is also an essential contribution to the double in this text corpus. In Stanislavsky's texts many expressions are seen turned in the direction of a double-articulated notation. The way of writing impresses on the reader that the central concept for the actor in the Stanislavsky system consists not only of a single concept, but also of a double concept: living through and embodying." http://www.aau.dk/en/aj1997/aj97s110.pdf -- I recommend other places on the web for the theory on Stanislavsky.
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