Constantin Sergeyevich Stanislavsky: Inventor Method Acting

Constantin Sergeyevich Stanislavsky was born in Moscow in 1863. This man is said to have had a more profound result on the development of acting than anyone else in the entire twentieth century that you learn about on

When Stanislavsky was merely fourteen, he joined a well-known theatrical group that was centrally organized and run by his immediate family and he soon became one of the group’s most notorious members.

Throughout the late 1800s, he worked endlessly to develop his style as an actor and learn the ropes of other roles in the business such as directing and producing. He soon developed a theory which he felt would revolutionize acting and insisted that if the theater was going to be a significant art, it would need to transform beyond the external representation of characters which it had principally remained.

He soon made the decision to dedicate his life to this cause, and in doing so spent over forty years in creating and identifying an approach that became the basis for modern-day psychological and emotional perspectives of acting.

The system which he eventually developed was commonly referred to as the Stanislavsky System, or “the method” to many actors. Its core value urged actors to believe that their primary responsibility as actors was to be actually believed rather than simply recognized or understood.

In order to teach this important value, Stanislavsky taught methods such as emotional memory. For example, to prepare for a role that involved a certain emotion, the actor must remember their own personal experience with such emotion and thus draw from that experience emotionally in order to accurately represent it on stage.

Stanislavsky also believed that the actor’s own personality and emotions were imperative to his or her ability to act. This was a far cry from previous methods of acting that encouraged actors to completely emotionally transform themselves into the character and abandon their own feelings and emotions.

Stanislavsky believed that the ability to recall’ one’s own emotions relating to a similar experience or feeling gave the actor the ability to bring the character’s emotions to life and therefore offer the character a better sense of overall plausibility and realness.

Stanislavsky eventually traveled throughout the world with the Moscow Arts Theater, earning not only national, but international acclaim as a teacher, actor, and director. He collaborated with famous names such as Tolstoy and Chekov.

Stanislavsky’s method was the only method that actually ever suggested that actors could potentially break away from the exact lines of a script and interject their own occasional feelings and ideas. He also encouraged the actors to read between the lines’ of the scripts and offer additional insight into the storyline, plot, and characters by means of their own inner interpretation of the script as a whole.

Today in modern acting, celebrated actors workshops and schools across the United States employ Stanislavsky’s methodology in order to teach and train actors. His method has lasted over a century, and actors for over one-hundred years have paid careful attention to his thoughts and insight into the progression of a higher’ theater.