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How would you apply Stanislavski's principles of tempo rhythm, emotion memory, action and 'magic if' to a role in Volpone?

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Introduction

How would you apply Stanislavski's principles of tempo rhythm, emotion memory, action and 'magic if' to a role in Volpone? As founder of the first acting system, co-founder of the Moscow Art Theatre, and an eminent practitioner of the naturalist school of thought, Konstantin Stanislavski challenged traditional notions of the dramatic process, establishing himself as one of the most pioneering thinkers of his time in modern theatre. His process of character development, the Stanislavski Method, was the catalyst for method acting- one of the most influential acting systems on the modern stage and screen. Such renowned schools of acting and directing as the Group Theatre and The Actors Studio are a legacy of Stanislavski's pioneering vision. Stanislavski developed this unique system of training to change the way that people saw their characters. The actors would research the situation created by the script, break down the text according to their character's motivations and recall their own experiences, therefore causing actions and reactions according to these motivations. The actor would ideally make his motivations for acting identical to those of the character in the script. He could then replay these emotions and experiences in the role of the character in order to achieve a more genuine performance. ...read more.

Middle

He or she could also be portrayed as fast or intelligent, this is where the character comes across as very confident answering questions quickly and solving complications without a problem. Characters can generally be portrayed anywhere in the range of slow and fast. It depends on the character and his or her background. Outer tempo-rhythm is the speed in which a character moves physically. Depending on what the characters personality and what the director wants, the character can be slow or fast. For example, a confident character may move fast and a shy character my move slow. A good excise to practice this is to use a metronome. This gives the actor a tempo or pace in which to move in. For Example in Volpone, the characters Volpone and Mosca are good example of where and how the technique could be used. Volpony is a very confident character so therefore when he is acting well he is very quick in both inner tempo-rhythm and outer tempo-rhythm but when he is pretending to be ill he is portrayed as having a slow outer tempo-rhythm but he still maintains the quick inner tempo-rhythm. At the end when he is found out, you realise that really he has a quick outer tempo-rhythm but a not so quick inner tempo-rhythm. ...read more.

Conclusion

He must find out all he can about the character and the situation. This helps to create an overall realistic reaction to that particular situation. To be able to use 'Magic if' the actor must know a lot about his character and his or her personality. Stanislavski teaches the actor to become the character by asking questions that are answered by action based on emotional response. For example, the actor that plays Volpone in the rape scene must ask before he plays the scene, 'What if I am Volpone and I am just about to rape Celia and Benario jumps out from the cupboard? What will I do?' Another good question from Celia's point of view: "What if I'm Celia and I am being raped by an old dirty man and I have no one to help me would I give in or stand my ground? "Magic if" questions contain motivation and awareness of "the now." The questions are cast in the first person, in the present tense, and therefore they pull you into the character's major concerns. Very importantly, the questions suggest not one but two attitudes: The character toward her or him, and toward other characters. These types of questions help the actor figure out the action to take in response. Stanislavski Essay By Joseph Connor ...read more.

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