Top 55 Quotes & Sayings by Constantin Stanislavski

Explore popular quotes and sayings by a Russian actor Constantin Stanislavski.
Constantin Stanislavski

Konstantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski was a seminal Soviet and Russian theatre practitioner. He was widely recognized as an outstanding character actor and the many productions that he directed garnered him a reputation as one of the leading theatre directors of his generation. His principal fame and influence, however, rests on his "system" of actor training, preparation, and rehearsal technique.

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We have as many planes of speech as does a painting planes of perspective which create perspective in a phrase. The most important word stands out most vividly defined in the very foreground of the sound plane. Less important words create a series of deeper planes.
Unless the theatre can ennoble you, make you a better person, you should flee from it.
Talent is nothing but a prolonged period of attention and a shortened period of mental assimilation. β€” Β© Constantin Stanislavski
Talent is nothing but a prolonged period of attention and a shortened period of mental assimilation.
The greatest wisdom is to realize one's lack of it.
Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors.
Do not try to push your way through to the front ranks of your profession; do not run after distinctions and rewards; but do your utmost to find an entry into the world of beauty.
Our demands are simple, normal, and therefore they are difficult to satisfy. All we ask is that an actor on the stage live in accordance with natural laws.
Create your own method. Don't depend slavishly on mine. Make up something that will work for you! But keep breaking traditions, I beg you.
Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art.
The main factor in any form of creativeness is the life of a human spirit, that of the actor and his part, their joint feelings and subconscious creation.
The main difference between the art of the actor and all other arts is that every other [non-performing] artist may create whenever he is in the mood of inspiration. But the artist of the stage must be the master of his own inspiration, and must know how to call it forth at the hour announced on the posters of the theatre. This is the chief secret of our art.
Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.
Of course, if you have thought up to now that an actor relies merely on inspiration you will have to change your mind. Talent without work is nothing more than raw unfinished material.
The character has to have some kind of arch. The character has to go through an event, and be changed by the human event.
Fear your admirers! Learn in time to hear, understand, and love the cruel truth about yourselves!
Every person who is really an artist desires to create inside of himself another, deeper, more interesting life than the one that actually surrounds him. β€” Β© Constantin Stanislavski
Every person who is really an artist desires to create inside of himself another, deeper, more interesting life than the one that actually surrounds him.
It is through you, actors, that the forces which are understood by millions and that tell of everything that is beautiful on earth, find expression. The forces which reveal to people the happiness of living in a widened consciousness and in the joy of creative work for the whole world. You, the actors of a theatre, which is one of the centres of human culture, will never be understood by the people if you are unable to reflect the spiritual needs of your time, the now in which you are living.
Doubt is the enemy of creativeness.
Gratuitous cruelty borders on the pathological, psychotic and that becomes uninteresting because there is no choice.
In every physical action, unless it is purely mechanical, there is concealed some inner action, some feelings. This is how the two levels of life in a part are created, the inner and the outer. They are intertwined. A common purpose brings them together and reinforces the unbreakable bond.
The life of a character should be an unbroken line of events and emotions, but a play only gives us a few moments on that line - we must create the rest to portray a convincing life.
When an actor is completely absorbed by some profoundly moving objective so that he throws his whole being passionately into its execution, he reaches a state we call inspiration.
You must be so thoroughly immersed in the given circumstances of the play, then you decide what it is at any given moment what that the actor wants.
The theatre infects the audience with its noble ecstasy.
Success is transient, evanescent. The real passion lies in the poignant acquisition of knowledge about all the shading and subtleties of the creative secrets.
All action in theatre must have inner justification, be logical, coherent, and real.
Never allow yourself externally to portray anything that you have not inwardly experienced and which is not even interesting to you.
Who am I? What will I be? Why am I here? Where am I going?
The person you are is a thousand times more interesting than the best actor you could ever hope to be.
In spite of my great admiration for individual splendid talents I do not accept the star system. Collective creative effort is the root of our kind of art. That requires ensemble acting and whoever mars that ensemble is committing a crime not only against his comrades but also against the very art of which he is the servant.
I have taken film-work that has been a little more clichΓ©-written, to support myself and my family, and that's a whole kind of other challenge. It's like chopping wood: You've got to take what you can get and bless what withstands you. But in theatre! There's enough great theatre that you can find something interesting!
It is only when an actor feels that his inner and outer life on the stage is flowing naturally and normally, in the circumstances that surround him, that the deeper sources of his subconscious gently open, and from them come feelings we cannot always analyse.
Never lose yourself on the stage. Always act in your own person, as an artist. The moment you lose yourself on the stage marks the departure from truly living your part and the beginning of exaggerated false acting. Therefore, no matter how much you act, how many parts you take, you should never allow yourself any exception to the rule of using your own feelings. To break that rule is the equivalent of killing the person you are portraying, because you deprive him of a palpitating, living, human soul, which is the real source of life for a part.
The language of the body is the key that can unlock the soul.
Play well, or play badly, but play truly.
When you're playing a character who's cruel, look for the places where he's kind. When you're playing a character who is unhappy, look for the places where he has a glint of merriment.
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.
Stage charm guarantees in advance an actor's hold on the audience, it helps him to carry over to large numbers of people his creative purposes. It enhances his roles and his art. Yet it is of utmost importance that he use this precious gift with prudence, wisdom, and modesty. It is a great shame when he does not realize this and goes on to exploit, to play on his ability to charm.
All art is autobiographical - if it's not, it's not going to quicken on-stage, and it's not going to come alive. β€” Β© Constantin Stanislavski
All art is autobiographical - if it's not, it's not going to quicken on-stage, and it's not going to come alive.
In the circle of light on the state in the midst of darkness, you have the sensation of being entirely alone... This is called solitude in public... During a performance, before an audience of thousands, you can always enclose yourself in this circle, like a snail in its shell... You can carry it wherever you go.
In the given circumstances you must be rooted in the play. Do not depart from the play. Don't cut yourself off from your partner in the scene, or partners.
What is important to me is not the truth outside myself, but the truth within myself.
In the language of an actor, to know is synonymous with to feel
In talking about a genius, you would not say that he lies; he sees realities with different eyes from ours.
Don't go so deep in yourself that you no longer exist for your partner and for the character and for the play.
You'll never see any two good actors approach a role in the same way.
I was born an ordinary actor. I will die an ordinary actor. But I've persisted.
Young actors, fear your admirers! Learn in time, from your first steps, to hear, understand and love the cruel truth about yourselves. Find out who can tell you that truth and talk of your art only with those who can tell you the truth.
When we are on stage, we are in the here and now. β€” Β© Constantin Stanislavski
When we are on stage, we are in the here and now.
The actor must use his imagination to be able to answer all questions (when, where, why, how). Make the make-believer existence more definite.
At times of great stress it is especially necessary to achieve a complete freeing of the muscles
A true priest is aware of the presence of the altar during every moment that he is conducting a service. It is exactly the same way that a true artist should react to the stage all the time he is in the theater. An actor who is incapable of this feeling will never be a true artist.
In the creative process there is the father, the author of the play; the mother, the actor pregnant with the part; and the child, the role to be born.
Remember this practical piece of advice: Never come into the theatre with mud on your feet. Leave your dust and dirt outside. Check your little worries, squabbles, petty difficulties with your outside clothing - all the things that ruin your life and draw your attention away from your art - at the door.
In life we listen to other people. Listen with varying degrees of concentration and attention, right? Actors must learn to listen in a different way.
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