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Konstantin Stanislavski

Often referred to as the father of modern acting he pioneered several techniques. The most useful for film and television work are Sense Memory and his Method of Physical Action.

Stanislavski encouraged his actors to explore the action through its "active analysis". He felt that traumatic emotional recall in the early stages of rehearsal confused and inhibited the actors. "The best analysis of a play", he argued, "is to take action in the given circumstances." If the actor justified and committed to the truth of the actions (which are easier to shape and control than emotional responses), Stanislavski reasoned, they would evoke truthful thoughts and feelings.

Stanislavski's attitude to the use of emotion memory in rehearsals (as distinct from its use in actor training) had shifted over the years. Ideally, he felt, an instinctive identification with a character's situation should arouse an emotional response. An indirect approach to the subconscious via a focus on actions (supported by a commitment to the given circumstances and imaginative "Magic Ifs") was a more reliable means of luring the appropriate emotional response.

Every modern acting technique has its roots in Stanislavski's work. The actor and director will find pieces of these techniques woven throughout their training with In Our Image.

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