Stanislavski was born in 1863 and was a Russian actor and theatre director. Stanislavski is considered the father of modern acting as he influences every acting technique in the modern era. The Stanislavski system is a set of techniques used by actors to help them create believable emotions and actions in the characters they play. The technique was developed in the 1900s and has been used ever since. The method is split up into seven steps:
1.Who am I?
2.Where am I?
3.What time is it?
4.What do I want?
5.Why do I want it?
6.How will I get it?
7.What do I need to overcome?
It was interesting in Monday’s acting class to learn about the seven steps in more depth. We learnt about the importance of precision in the process of character construction. When composing a character, it is important to consider the ‘inner’, fundamental characteristics, which determine the way a character may act in a certain position. Secondly, the ‘Outer inner’, which is the way, the character presents themselves to other people in situations.
The seven steps are still taught in drama studios today. However it is interesting to consider the evolution of Stanislavski’s work, notably in the United States by leading practitioner Uta Hagen. Her two popular books ‘Respect for acting’ and ‘A challenge for the actor’ are considered like bibles in the acting industry. Within the books she utilises the primary stages of character development. Which are specified using 6 steps.
1.Who am I?
2.What time is it?
3.Where am I?
4.What surrounds me?
5.What are the circumstances?
6.What are my relationships?
7.What do I want?
8.What is my obstacle?
9.What do I do to get what I want?
As you can see the steps are very similar to Stanislavski’s steps. However they both have the same purpose of helping the actor connect with the character at the early stages of development. It is interesting to consider how animators, could apply these steps to character design.
Furthermore, this research has enabled me to progress in my early stages of development, as I am able to consider the character with a purpose, rather than drawing a design that just looks visually pleasing.
Pierce, D., Hagen, U. and Frankel, H. (2013). Respect for acting. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.
Hagen, U. (1991). A challenge for the actor. New York: Scribner.