“The person you are is a thousand times more interesting than the best actor you could ever hope to be.” Constantin Stanislavski, seminal Russian theatre practitioner widely recognised as an outstanding character actor and co-founder of the Moscow Art Theater, where his productions achieved the zenith in 20th-century naturalism.
Over 70% of workers either hate their jobs or are completely disengaged from them (Gallup poll), It’s sadly no surprise that so many people have become adept at acting out the roles prescribed to them by the superegos of their past, such as well-meaning parents, teachers, coaches, bosses and significant others…even though what they do is far from who they are and what they’re capable of.
Constatin Stanislavski is considered the father of modern acting and every acting technique created in the modern era was influenced by him, For young actors, understanding of Stanislavski’s seven questions is an invaluable foundation upon which to build a character. Ironically, they are the same questions that everyone should ask themselves regarding whether they are living a genuine life or not:
1. Who am I?
2. Where am I?
3. What time is it?
4. What do I want?
5. Why do I want it?
6. How will I get what I want?
7. What must I overcome to get what I want?
Stanislavski believed that there is always something stopping the character portrayed by an actor from achieving his or her objective. Whereas Stanislavski held that there is someone or something in the outside world impeding a character’s advancement and also some internal conflict with which they struggle, the “character’s obstacle” as he called it is experienced in real life by anyone who feels unfulfilled by the work he or she is doing. Using Stanislavski’s “7 Questions” enables actors who put in the required time and energy to have a greater understanding of their character and their personal acting technique. If you are struggling with knowing and pursuing how to live a life based upon your genuine abilities, I encourage you to ask the questions of yourself and think about them.You can go through life acting out a part that is not the real you or you can live life fully by designing you and your life based upon your true talents. The former comes with regrets. The latter leads to fulfillment.