- June 2, 2020
Book Review Acting the truth
BookReview: Acting the truth
Forquality acting, it is the responsibility of every actor to master theprinciples and art theater. The behavior of artists towards eachother at the stage or towards the audience may make the outcomeperfect or may make the show uninteresting to the viewers. The book"Acting, the truth: The acting principles of ConstantineStanislavski and Exercise," contains some of the principles thatif explored by actors of all ages is likely to make acting moreappealing, entertaining and enjoyable.
Oneof the element of theater acting that is expressed by the book isdramatic qualities. On stage, to arouse or create a desire among theaudience is difficult. However, to kill this desires is quite easy.Therefore it is important to build a strong acting foundation ofcreative artistry for the theater. Albert Pia advocates that actorscommit entire acting role page by page (Chekhov,105).Adding life and the human spirit in theater acting is important inengaging the people. Actors must try to avoid mechanical elements asmuch as possible. They must be gentle with all aspects of thecreative move because it is often fragile this calls for goodattitude towards partners`, directors, technical staff, and thesupport personnel.
Thebook also advocates for maximum utilization of stage. Actors areurged to change their position while on stage and must try toidentify something new in the life of a character after every time ofrehearsal. Trying to find new dimensions of a character and believingin yourself as the character in play is essential. This not onlyraises the confidence towards the actor and the audience but alsomakes him, or she believes in his or herself (Chekhov,49).Moreover, artists should avoid carrying personal problems on stage.They should try to be free from life challenges that one might beexperiencing at home, school or work. Entering a stage with a smileis the most appropriate way of approaching a stage despite the issuesone is facing outside the theater.
Thebook also outlines the role of an actor while on stage. Players arerequired to give themselves entirely to what is happening on stage.Each propitious moment by itself belongs to the art of living a role.Actors must allow themselves to be carried away by the circumstancesof the play. They no longer think as players but as a character.Because the subconscious is inaccessible to the conscious mind,actors can only consciously apply elements of acting principles toleave the way to the region of the subconscious and that will givethe artist an opportunity to be completely taken and immersed in therole. The more they have more consciously created moments establishedin their roles, the greater chance of blossoming the values of thesubconscious.
Atthe same time, they should play honestly at all times (Stanislavski50).The actors must be honest, strive and behave or react like thecharacter in circumstance provided by the author. When these elementsare adapted to the spiritual and physical life of the character, thisforms the act of living the role. All these encompasses the use ofinstruments as well. When these elements are implemented, the actorand the spectator both becomes interested. The result is that theviewer understands and experiences the event so as to enrich his orher inner life. The book, therefore, helps actors to connect with thetruth on stage and keep them in the right creative challenge.
Furthermore,dramatic action is another element illustrated by Albert Pia. It isthe inner force such as need, desire or purpose. The actors must usetheir creative space with a purpose in mind. However, the dramaticactions must be real, logical, justified and coherent. Artists mayuse the magic "if" as a creative subconscious. For example,“what if” may trigger the inner life of an actor and make him orher to sincerely believe in what is happening in the life of thecharacter (Stanislavski72).Therefore, the actors have the continued responsibility of bringingto life what is seemingly hidden beneath the printed words of theplaywright. Thus, the concept of imagination plays a significant partin the outcome of the artistic work. Although authors have creativelyimagined the events, it is the responsibility of the actor to use hisor her skills to lift all the creative ideas far above uninterestingplay (Chekhov,23).The “magic” if can be a springboard to stimulate the imaginationprocess.
Insummary, the book explains a lot of principles that are timeless andremains relevant to stage performers of all types. They can,therefore, be applied in musical production or operas, classic orcontemporary works, theater staging of comedy or drama and in theclassroom to teach acting technique. The techniques are simple but ifnot mastered may lead dissatisfaction of the spectators or theaudience witnessing the play. The book is also rich in examplesexplaining the different principle making the reader imaginecircumstances under which they are applicable.
Chekhov,Michael. Tothe actor: On the technique of acting.Routledge, 2013.
Pia,Albert. Actingthe Truth: The Acting Principles of Constantin Stanislavski andExercises: A Handbook for Actors, Directors, and Instructors ofTheatre.Author House, 2016.
Stanislavski,Constantin. Creatinga role.Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013.