The Stanislavski method or system is a set of techniques used by actors to portray emotions by putting themselves in the place of the character. By applying the 7 Objectives listed below and actor will be able to achieve believable emotions and actions in the characters they portray.
The 7 Objectives
- Who Am I?
- Where Am I?
- When Is It?
- What Do I Want?
- Why Do I Want It?
- How Will I Get It?
- What Do I Need To Overcome?
The Magic IF
An actors job is to be believable in unbelievable surrounds, to help achieve this Stanislavski created the ‘Magic If’; What would I do if I found myself in that circumstance? The ‘Magic If’ simply involves an actor putting themselves in the character’s shoes within a certain scenario and asking the question how would I react if this happened to me? By asking this simple question, an actor can understand the thoughts and feelings that they need to portray for each scene or ‘beat’.
Stanislavski Acting Exercises for ‘The Magic IF
Students form a circle: Choose an everyday line of dialogue. Example: Do you fancy going out to dinner tonight.
Pass the dialogue around from one to another. The first person must be as natural and as real as possible, as it passes around the circle it should become more unrealistic.
Then change the line and reverse the process. This exercise highlights the difference between natural delivery and exaggerated and untruthful delivery.
(IF) You were walking through… Use your memory to recreate these senses.
Walk around the space as (if) walking through water.
Walk around the space as (if) walking through fog.
Walk around the space as (if) walking through mud.
Walk around the space as (if) walking on ice.
Walk around the space as (if) walking with a sprained ankle.
The Benefits Of Exploring Your Characters Obstacles
Obstacles prevent the character achieving their objectives and by studying how your character deals with the obstacles placed in their way, you can better understand your character and portray their traits more realistically.
Once you understand the character you are playing, you can produce an internal monologue that keeps you in the mindset of your character and makes your actions and words more natural and realistic for your role.
Your ability to empathize with the character you are playing will come across to the audience in a believable and realistic performance.
Revised – Original content courtesy of DramaClasses.Biz