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An Actors Work Notes (chp 1-3)

An Actors Work Notes (chp 1-3) - AN ACTORS WORK NOTES...

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AN ACTORS WORK NOTES Introduction The dog always knew when rehearsal was about to end, because the actors started talking like regular people. The difference between the fake and the living is as sharp as Pavlov’s bell. Stanislavski’s absolute priority was that the stage ‘flow with life’. The line between the sham and the authentic can be very narrow. (x) The first question is often ‘how can I be successful?’. The first question should always be ‘what is good acting?’ (X) We need to see the tiny realities that make up our world – life is only possible within a context. Stanislavski had no grandiose plan – he made up exercises to help actors perform better. He knew that he was permanently reacting to the circumstances. Any fail-proof system is doomed to failure. It is important for the acting student to not only learn the information, but to be open to a teachers spirit. Great teachers will inspire confidence and leave the student with a sense that they can instead of cannot. The current consumerist tendency in education, which prizes only the acquisition of visible skills, is not as worrying as the increasing clamor for certainty. There is no one way or method that is full proof and guarantees success. Just like no religion can guarantee redemption. He helped us to see that acting is more than pretending, to sense that there is something toweringly alive that is worth the struggle. Foreword This book is neither a literal nor an academic translation but rather an attempt to follow Stanislavski’s original intention: to provide an accessible account of the ‘system’ for actors in training without abstract theorizing. Stanislavski feared being misunderstood – over explains concepts. It was extremely difficult for him to teach/write because there were no technical terms to describe his ideas at the time. The reader must come to terms with the ‘jargon’, just as the students do in the book. The books purpose is for the reader to experience the students’ learning process. For commercial reasons, part one, an actor prepares was condensed by Mrs. Hapgood and Edith Isaacs. The book turned from a narrative form to a straight forward narrative. Hapgood also replaced Stanislavski’s jargon with more technical terms. An Actor’s Work is a splicing of An Actor Prepares and Building a Character – edited and adapted as to not contradict modern theory.
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THE SYSTEM AND THE METHOD In the ‘system’ the primary emphasis is on ‘action’, interaction and the dramatic situation which result in feeling with emotion memory as a secondary, ancillary technique. (XX) Many associate Stanislavski’s ‘system’ with Strasberg’s method.
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