Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Sticking to the channel

with 2 comments

Constantin Stanislavski

A certain pilot was asked how he could ever remember, over a long stretch, all the minute details of a coast with its turns, shallows, and reefs. He replied: “I am not concerned with them; I stick to the channel.”

So an actor must proceed, not by a multitude of details, but by those important units which, like signals, mark his channel and keep him in the right creative line…

Always remember…that the division is temporary. The part and the play must not remain in fragments. A broken statue, or a slashed canvas, is not a work of art, no matter how beautiful its parts may be. It is only in the preparation of a role that we use small units. During its actual creation they fuse into large units. The larger and fewer the divisions, the less you have to deal with, the easier it is for you to handle the whole role.

Actors conquer these larger divisions easily if they are thoroughly filled out. Strung along through a play, they take the place of buoys to mark the channel. This channel points the true course of creativeness and makes it possible to avoid the shallows and reefs.

Constantin Stanislavski, An Actor Prepares

Written by nevalalee

August 8, 2014 at 7:30 am

2 Responses

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  1. That is, what the adage:” stick to the man,” by all means, the role of an actor is to stick into the skin, to the character of the play and certainly a writer refines it to the bones, and leaves to the reader’s imagination.


    August 8, 2014 at 3:34 pm

  2. Agreed. This is why I think all writers have a lot to learn from the lore of acting.


    August 19, 2014 at 7:29 pm

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