Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Life In Art

So I've been going to my double acting classes, Wednesday and Thursday nights and it's the most fun ever. Can't believe I didn't do this earlier, I absolutely love it, but then again, I could have skipped it altogether in life and never done it at all, so good riddance I started early in life!

I'll talk about that in a bit, what I came here for was the extraordinary book by (take a stab in the dark...) STANISLAVSKI, his "My Life In Art" is growing on my like herpes <3. Quickly turning into one of the best, if not THE best book I've read.

More specifically I came here to write a little piece that I read while I was in school, this was after class, I started reading and I came to this bit, read it a few times over (even half aloud, hey, no one was around!) and I realized how genius this bit was that I quickly ran back home to write it down here, to share it among friends.

Never have I read something so true and inspiring and truth full. Every sentence is like a gem of gold!

I'll set-up the scenario by saying that here Mr Stanislavski is about 25ish I guess. He is suppose to do a play by Moliere "The Miser Knight" I think. He goes to "Le France" to study a bit in preparation, goes back to Russia to his teacher Fedotov to show his workings and Fedotov mockingly smiles at young Stanislavski's amateur nature. You see, Stanislavski was truly an amateur (I suppose in relative terms :)) for a very very long time and he started with this when he was a little kid.

"You must have seen a lot in Paris" said Fedotov smiling to me "You have brought the whole orchestration with you"

Fedotov in true hamlet-act-3 fashion takes the stage to show how it's done and young Stanislavski is awestruck at his genius and his "acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness" as Shakespeare put it, i.e LESS IS MORE!!!!!!!!

"As was his habit, he would mount the stage HIMSELF and play, creating what was TRUE, AND FULL OF LIFE. And so destroying all that was false and dead. He played the plot of the play, but the play was thoroughly connected with the psychology, and the psychology with the image and the poet" (page 163)

And this is where Stanislavski's thoughts come in about what he had just acted out, and what he thought and felt when Fedotov himself came up on stage to show him how it's done. LESS IS MORE.

"How wonderful and simple! All that one had to do was to get on the stage and do the same. But as soon as I felt the boards under me all that I had thought seemed to be reversed. There is a far cry between seeing a thing done and doing it yourself. Once on the boards and all that seemed to be so easy while you were in the auditorium becomes devilishly hard. The hardest thing of all is to stand on the boards and to BELIEVE and take seriously all that takes place on the stage. But without faith and seriousness it is impossible to play satire or comedy, especially if it is French, especially if it is classical, especially if it is Moliere. Here the entire gist is in seriousness, in sincerely believing in one's foolish, or impossible, or helpless position, in becoming sincerely excited and in suffering sincerely. One can play at that seriousness, but then the comedy revenges itself. To live over or to play at living over - there is a difference between these two as large as the difference between natural, organic comism, and the outer antics of a talentless court fool. (page 163-164)

Good Night!