“The best thing about acting is that I get to lose myself in another character and actually get paid for it… It’s a great outlet. I’m not really sure who I am – it seems I change every day.” -Leonardo Dicaprio
According to the Screen Actors Guild, there are over 100,000 active members worldwide who are either film or television performers.
That’s a lot of actors!
The previously mentioned figures go to show that there are over 100,000 recognised actors are working all over the world, bearing their soul performance after performance on the big screen, small screen or theatre stage.
While it is important to state that only a fraction of stage or film performers experience mainstream success, the artistry of lesser known actors can be seen in small underground theatres across most of the world’s continents.
The love of acting inspires many young performers to pursue a career in the performing arts no matter how little money they receive on their paycheck or how little recognition they receive from audiences and peers.
Using acting as an outlet and remaining constantly curious by studying new acting methods has launched the careers of Hollywood legends.
Of all acting techniques and acting coaches, Konstantin Stanislavski and his System remain the most popular, even to this day. Superprof is here to show all interested ones the origin, the elements, where to study and celebrated actors who use the ever important Stanislavski system.
Founded in 1898 by Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko, the Moscow Art Theatre is a legendary establishment. (Source: IZI Travel)
“Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors.” Konstantin Stanislavski
Stanislavski was born in 1863 to one of Russia’s most affluent families. His birth name was Konstantin Sergeyevich Alexeyev, but in 1884 he adopted the stage name Stanislavski to conceal his theatrical work from his family. Nevertheless, in 1887 he received the approval from his father and became one of the most established members of the Russian theatre.
He always made careful notes and evaluated his work to improve consistently. As a consequence of his love for the theatre, Stanislavski, along with Vladimir Nemirovich Danchencko, founded the Moscow Art Theatre in 1898. The theatre was highly influential in Russia, in Europe and the entire world.
While working at the Moscow Art Theatre, Stanislavski began an intense investigation of the actor’s process. He began to develop actor techniques such as psychological realism and eventually started to organise his acting techniques into coherent theories.
The first reference of Stanislavski mentioning his System dates back to 1909 when he incorporated the methods into his rehearsals. In 1911 after relentless persistence, the System was established as the Moscow Art Theatre’s first acting technique used in repetitions and stage performances.
Since the early 1900s, Stanislavski’s acting theories have been practised and applied by performers all over the world. He is the greatest and most influential of all modern theatre practitioners.
The most important thing to remember about Stanislavski’s system is that actors are expected to inhabit the role they are playing. Stanislavski’s methods make the performances more realistic and are naturalistic.
The Stanislavski method dates back to the 1900s and has a few distinct features that have influenced other acting techniques. Nevertheless, the devices used in Stanislavski’s system are unique enough to distinguish correctly.
The Stanislavski method has seven steps to help actors build believable characters:
I know the previously mentioned questions sound like some things a crazy person would ask! However, they are useful in helping actors create stage personas that are realistic.
Some tips to help actors apply Stanislavski’s methods include reading the script carefully to understand the character’s motivations, work out how your character would react in specific situations, and identify your character’s objectives and the things that are standing his way.
Some additional essential aspects of Stanislavski’s system include the following:
It is important to state that Stanislavski’s system or method should not be mistaken with the Method that was developed by Lee Strasberg.
Since Hollywood is the hub of the acting industry, there are various schools to learn acting techniques such as Stanislavski’s system. (Source: pixabay)
Since the Stanislavski technique is the world’s most renowned acting method, it can be studied in virtually any city or country around the world.
The United Kingdom has had celebrated actors for decades such as Sir Laurence Olivier, Ian McKellan and Judi Dench who have implemented Stanislavski techniques in their acting.
The following list demonstrates some of the most highly recommended institutes in the UK to study Stanislavski’s system:
Since Hollywood is the hub of all show business, aspiring actors flock to Los Angeles to attend acting classes while waiting for their big break. Here are a few of the best acting schools in the Los Angeles area to study the Stanislavski system:
One of the greatest actresses of her generation, Burstyn applies Stanislavski techniques in her performances. (Source: Visual Hunt)
“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.” -Konstantin Stanislavski
The words penned in Stanislavski’s book, An Actor’s Work, have had a profound impact on plenty of twentieth-century performers who wish to perfect their skills of the acting craft.
Since Stanislavski is considered the father of modern-day acting techniques, many acting teachers have taught his System to aspiring actors. The following list includes some of the most famous actors who apply or who have applied elements of Stanislavski’s method in their performances:
The previously mentioned examples are just a few famous actors applying Stanislavski techniques in their bodies of work. Other Stanislavski trained actors include Dustin Hoffman, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Julie Harris and Harvey Keitel.
Studying Stanislavski’s system will never be considered a waste of time or money since the techniques acquired are designed to create better actors who will continually impress casting directors and studio executives.
Additional acting techniques that can be studied in select institutions include the basics of classical acting, Meisner’s truthful acting devices, Bertolt Brecht’s revolutionary methods, and the practical aesthetics techniques that were developed in the 1980s.