What is the Stanislavski Method of Acting

The term Stanislavski method of acting stands behind the Russian actor and a theatre director called Constantin Stanislavski, who had introduced “Method acting” which referred to a set of techniques that could be used by the actors to portray the emotions and essence of their characters in a very natural way. While the traditional form of acting aims at bringing out the thoughts and sentiments of the characters through external expressions, be it facial or vocal, Stanislavski’s method of acting is targeted at drawing out the actors personal experiences and memories in the form of emotional portrayal which could be aided by his techniques and practices.

Stanislavski’s method of acting gave way to realistic performance of characters by the actors on stage. His studies of principles on “Emotional memory” helped the actors to trigger their emotions which the characters were expected of.  He then shifted his approach to another technique called “Method of Physical action” which in contrast demanded physical actions which he believed, will in turn trigger emotions. In both cases the key focus was to reach the subconscious through conscious.

Method acting is believed to influence in a long way that, the actors not only get immersed in their characters during the play but extend to remain in the characters for a long time even after the project. However the above statement is not completely proved true with all actors. This concept has helped in developing the internal abilities be it, psychological, sentimental or sensory. Stanislavski always believed that an actor should perform his role as directly as possible and later see the liveliness. This reminds of the fact that a person cannot actually become someone else unless a technique or approach is introduced to him.

The key factors that identified Stanislavski’s method acting were the objective, obstruction and method towards achieving the goal. The two terms generally used by him were units and objectives wherein unit refers to a scene and each unit had an objective for each character. Therefore with a change in the unit the objective gets changed or shifted. When the actor comes across obstacles while performing, the method he takes to overcome them makes a difference and could serve as a basis for Stanislavski method acting. Thus by clearly understanding the objectives and methods the actor lets himself to get into the character and gives spontaneous reactions thereby making the outcome more natural.

The techniques employed by Stanislavski have a major impact even on the modern theatres and actors making them accept his belief of reaching the subconscious through conscious efforts.

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