Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I'm reading Stanislavksy's Building a Character, which is the second book in his complete how-to-for-actors trilogy. Step one of building a character turns out to be tearing down the actor. Stanislavky breaks down everyday actions, such as walking, into minute detail, including the functions of various toes. I'm surprised he didn't have his students take an anatomy course, or maybe he did. They definitely did acrobatics. You also have to know grammar like a linguist, and take singing lessons to learn to control your voice--thoroughly understanding the mechanics of the tongue, of course. He writes from the point of view of one of his students (a young version of himself), and describes staggering home after the walking lesson. I haven't gotten to the part where the actors are rebuilt, better, stronger, faster.

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