How Can Stanislavski’s System of Emotional Memory, and Truth and the Magic ‘If’ Be Used in the Characterization of Miss Julie in August
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Constantin Stanislavski (1863-1938) is considered as the father of realism. His system of acting uses a balance between an actor's personal experience and an attempt to imagine being in their character's situation. Stanislavski believed by preparing correctly with characterization, you can harness your subconscious and create a truthful performance, “Because the very best that can happen is to have the actor completely carried away by the play. Then regardless of his own will, he lives the part, not noticing how he feels, not thinking about what he does, and it all moves of its own accord, subconsciously and intuitively.” However, one cannot create subconsciously without inspiration, and inspiration cannot be forced, so Stanislavski…show more content… Those feelings, drawn from our actual experience, and transferred to our part, are what give life to the play”. Also, by using emotional memory for the characterization, the actor will be able to understand what ‘Miss Julie’ is going through and the emotions she is required to display. However, Emotional memory recall proved to be too exhausting for actors and produced negative results like tension and hysteria. Stanislavski also realized that unconscious feelings needed to be coaxed, ‘lured’ and ‘enticed’ gently, rather than forced out.
“In ordinary life, truth is what really exists, what a person really knows. Whereas on the stage it consists of something that is not actually in existence but which could happen”. This line is especially important in realism, where the aim of the actor is to create the appearance of reality or ‘truth’ on stage. “An actor does not actually believe in the truth of the events on stage, only in the imaginative creation of them”, this then posed the question of creating the appearance of reality for the spectator. Stanislavski answered this question by creating the magic ‘if’, and thus, the character’s objectives drove the actor’s physical action choices. The actor had to answer the question, “if I were in Miss Julie’s position, what would I do?” and this was a question that should be constantly asked during rehearsal processes for characterization. By doing