An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski

An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski

Author:Constantin Stanislavski
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Published: 2012-07-14T16:00:00+00:00


Our lesson today was taken up by testing the sense of truth of various students. The first to be called on was Grisha. He was asked to play anything at all he liked. So he chose his usual partner, Sonya, and when they had finished the Director said: “What you have just done was correct and admirable from your own point of view, which is that of exceedingly clever technicians, interested only in the external perfection of a performance.

“But my feelings could not go along with you, because what I look for in art is something natural, something organically creative, that can put human life into an inert role.

“Your make-believe truth helps you to represent images and passions. My kind of truth helps to create the images themselves and to stir real passions. The difference between your art and mine is the same as between the two words seem and be. I must have real truth. You are satisfied with its appearance. I must have true belief. You are willing to be limited to the confidence your public has in you. As they look at you they are sure that you will execute all the established forms with perfection. They rely on your skill as they do on that of an expert acrobat. From your standpoint the spectator is merely an onlooker. For me he involuntarily becomes a witness of, and a party to, my creative work; he is drawn into the very thick of the life that he sees on the stage, and he believes in it.”

Instead of making any argument in reply, Grisha caustically quoted the poet Pushkin as having a different point of view about truth in art:

“A host of lowly truths is dearer

Than fictions which lift us higher than ourselves.”


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