Maya Stanislavski’s system does not exist in a vacuum. It exists in order to prepare actors for real roles within actual plays. The system requires. An Actor Prepares is the most famous acting training book ever to have been written and the work of Stanislavski has inspired generations of actors and. This work is the first volume of Stanislavski’s trilogy on the art of acting; it explains the art of acting in semi-fiction form. Fusing psychological realism and.
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Return to Book Page. Stanislavski’s simple exercises fire zctor imagination, and help readers not only discover their own conception of reality but how to reproduce it as well. Paperbackpages. Published April 30th by Routledge first published The Acting Books 1. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about An Actor Preparesplease sign up. It exists in order to prepare actors for real roles within actual plays. The system requires that the actors undertake close constantjn of the playtext before and during the rehearsal process.
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See 1 question about An Actor Prepares…. Lists with This Book. Jan 13, Chad Bearden rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is quite a remarkable book.
To a casual observer it might not seem that way, but to anyone who has studied the history of theater or acting theory, “An Actor Prepares” is this thorough omnibus of everything you need to know about acting. When I first began teaching theater, I began sucking down everyone who was pointed out to me as important in the field.
An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski | Acting Book Review
I’ve been able to hear t This is quite a remarkable book. Prepqres been stanislzvski to hear the lectures of more comtemprary and geographically local experts such as Karen Baker and Kelly Russell. And I’ve discovered a great deal of experiential wisdom through the trial and error of directing many stanislqvski over the years.
For what now seem like silly rationals, I avoided reading Stanislavski mostly because I assumed his seminal trilogy of books on acting, which began being published inwould be outdated at the best, and a burdonsome slog at worst.
After all, if you’ve read one book on acting, you’ve read them all. Oh, how naive I was. The first volume of the trilogy, “An Actor Prepares”, kind of shook me to core, just a bit.
Far from being outdated, it oddly felt more relevant than most of the books on theater I’ve read. Not only that, it amazingly addressed just about every single major theme I’ve ever heard from every speaker on theater, or read in any book I’ve ever read.
Its literally all in there. Everything Spolin has to say about freeing yourself to play on stage was said by Stalislavski first. Everything David Ball has to say about finding motivations and chains of event by back-tracking from the end of the play back to the beginning, Stanislavski said first. Everything I learned from Karen Baker about finding novel appraoches to text and the deliberate varying of tactics of interpretation, Stanislavski said first. Reading this book was like going down a checklist of everything I’ve ever learned.
Now, if this were just a checklist, it probably wouldn’t have made such an impact on me. People like Spolin and Anita Jesse can be a bit tedious to read since their book are basically that: They are useful activities, to be sure, described in details pertaining to how to carry out such activies, and their relevence to an overall acting theory. But Stanislavski did something with this book that genuinly took me by surprise: The main character is Kostya, a naive theater student studying under the seasoned director Torstov.
You get the sense that both characters represent Stanislavski himself: Kostya being the author when he was a young actor, Torstov after he has grown and earned years of experience. The book plays out as Kostya attends the various lessons, interacts with his fellow actors, and they all respond to and reflect on the seemingly outside-the-box instruction of their instructor.
Now, there is a strong sense of contrivance to most of the lessons and Torstov’s postulating. Every example he gives is perfect, the reactions of his students’ to his instructions and advice are neatly helpful to whatever point he is trying to make.
An Actor Prepares by Constantin Stanislavski
But if you’ve ever read any text on any kind of theory, whether it be on teaching or acting my two fieldsyou know that books of the like often assume ideal circumstances that don’t actually exist in real life.
It is the general ideas conshantin you are supposed to learn from, not any literal application. But somehow, by setting these lessons in constanitn sort of fictional sort of autobiographical setting, I was able to experience the lessons more directly than if they had just been presented in a more academic, list-like form.
The narrative approach was quite unexpected, but to me at least, resoundingly effective. The final thing I’ll say is that this book was startlingly accessable. As I watched the author lay out various techniques and strategies, I kept thinking how easy this book could be digested by quite young theater students.
Many of my former students, now in high school, could easily take a lot away from reading this, but I would even feel comfortable putting this in the hands of some of my more mature middle school students. There are a few places where Stanislavski starts to get a little opaque with some techinical jargon, but overall, it reads very smoothly. I’m rather eager now to read the next two volumes of the series.
Mar 05, Samantha rated it it was ok. I have to be careful preares reviewing this seeing as I’m an acting student. While Stanislavksi is the founder of naturalism acting and his work is highly praised I find this book to be a very difficult read because I don’t fully agree on his ideas in acting such as emotional memory.
I’ll use this extract from a recent essay I wrote: Because memories are particular to each person they shou I have to constantib careful in reviewing this seeing as I’m an acting stanislavskl. Because memories are particular to each person they should never be used to become somebody else.
Memories are unique so therefore, in my own opinion, should be treated as such. I, sfanislavski, find that emotional memory does not work as, I feel, that as it dilutes the original memory and it can also feel damaging in a way.
While the book is interesting I find several of the methods dated and not as useful as other methods I have researched. This is one of the most influential, stanislavskl my opinion, acting books I have consfantin. View all 3 comments. Mar 03, Shahine Ardeshir added it.
Telling you that this is stsnislavski seminal work on method acting, one that most actors worth their salt consider a Bible, won’t do the trick. I’m not on stage much, and chances are, neither are you. Why would any of us be interested in an actor’s handbook? Telling you that this is an engaging read would be a stretch.
Admitting that it was slow, sometimes dry, but always extremely insightful, would be closer to the truth. It’s worth going into this read realizing that Stanislavski didn’t write this to ente Telling you that this is a seminal work on method acting, one that most actors worth their salt consider a Bible, won’t do the trick.
It’s worth going into this read realizing that Stanislavski didn’t write this to entertain – he wrote it to educate. Think of it as a textbook in method stanlslavski, and it starts to make a lot more sense. The best thing this book did for me was to open up some perspective on the art of acting, on what it means to build a character from the ground up. I always thought acting was about putting on an act, pretending; but it turns out, it’s often about becoming a character.
How does one do that? Stanislavski gives you the building blocks. I enjoyed this, for the most part, very much – but I’d be hesitant to recommend it unless there’s something in you that’s curious about the ocnstantin of acting – the real technical craft of it – itself. For me, it opened up a whole new world.
Not necessarily one I’d like avtor live in, but certainly one that’s novel enough to want to visit every so often. Mar 11, Feliks rated it liked it. It’s a strange book. You would never have expected such famous, technical, theory-based content to be couched in fictional, prose, narrative format. As if a story being related to you from a struggling young actor in a Moscow Yb Company.
Yet, that’s what you discover you have on your hands. This is what it is.
An Actor Prepares
prepaes A young actor describing his day-to-day jittershis self-doubts, his insecurities, his moods. The minor ins-and-outs of theater life; the personalities of his colleagu It’s a strange book.
The minor ins-and-outs of theater life; the personalities of his colleagues or his appraisals of his rivals. I’m very surprised to find this out. What does all this bric-a-brac result in?
Purely as a narrative it’s just not very enjoyable. It’s dense and convoluted and tortured. The style is hectic and breathy; chatty; frenzied.
There are extended, overly-verbose, preachy passages. And the book is longish–so its going to be a slog of a read. All that being admitted, is this iconic work still worth the effort?