The Stanislavski System (Part 2)

The Stanislavski System is the result of Stanislavski’s numerous years of studying gifted performers and the qualities in their performances that make them extraordinary. One of the best parts of this system is that it aims to give structure and some extent of control to the most unpredictable and uncontrollable parts of human behavior, such as emotions. As a result, it provides a wealth of inspiration for actors to tap on during their performances. Our previous article explored the essence of Stanislavski’s principles and his objectives. Now, we will look into some of his techniques and discover the fundamentals of good acting.

RELAXATION

Stanislavski noticed that great actors have fluid and lifelike movements. They seem to be in a state of total freedom and relaxation, which eases the actor into the character, allowing the behavior and actions of the character to come through easily and organically. For this to be attained, unwanted tension should be eliminated and the performer has to maintain a state of physical, mental and vocal relaxation.

CONCENTRATION & OBSERVATION

Stanislavski noticed that gifted performers would always focus on some object, person or event onstage. He referred to this as their circle of attention. This can be compared to a circle of light on a darkened stage, with the idea that it is snug. It encapsulates the performer and one other person/piece of furniture. When the performer has established a solid circle of attention, the circle may enlarge to include the entire stage area. This helps performers forget their self-consciousness and to stop being aware (and panicking) about the audience.

In our next article, we will discuss two more of Stanislavski’s methods.