Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The actor and the multiplication table

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Constantin Stanislavski

In order to eradicate a cliché a real activity should be substituted. A cliché used to indicate deep thought is wrinkling one’s forehead and looking at the ceiling. If the actor will stop and actually think—even if all he does is the multiplication tables—thought will be manifest in his face and body.

Of course the actor may find, in searching for external characterization, a cliché which will fit very closely into a situation or feeling. In that case it can be used, life must be put into it, and an inner relation to the content of the role must be found. Such cases are rare.

—M.A. Chekhov, in notes from the Theatre Studio under Constantin Stanislavski

Written by nevalalee

December 28, 2014 at 9:00 am

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