Picture of author.

Constantin Stanislavski (1863–1938)

Author of An Actor Prepares

45+ Works 2,394 Members 16 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Constantin Stanislavski (1863-1938), born Constantin Sergeyevich Alexeev, was an actor, director, and the greatest of all acting teachers
Image credit: George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ggbain-35320

Works by Constantin Stanislavski

An Actor Prepares (1936) 1,031 copies
Building A Character (1949) 436 copies
Creating A Role (1968) 283 copies
My Life in Art (1924) 226 copies
Stanislavski On Opera (1975) 21 copies
Bir Karakter Yaratmak (2013) 3 copies
Luonteen kehittäminen (1970) 3 copies
Discipline or corruption (1966) 2 copies
Stanislavsky 1 copy
Näyttelijän työ (2011) 1 copy

Associated Works


Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Stanislavski, Constantin
Legal name
Stanislavski, Constantin Sergeyevich
Date of death
Place of death
Moscow, Russia
Places of residence
Moscow, Russia
theater director
Awards and honors
Order of Lenin (1937)
Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1938)
People's Artist of the USSR (1936)
Short biography
Stanislavski organized and developed acting techniques of his day into a more coherent and psychologically realistic system or method that was used around the world for many years.



I read this book a few years ago, in good part out of morbid curiosity because Gary reads it to prepare for the grand showdown in that movie Team America: World Police.

Quite frankly, I don't have an acting background. I did do theater for 1 year as a forced elective in my first year of highschool because it was a class with an easy workload, but it focused more on the innards of how stages are organized and art theory over learning how to act. Worse, I was granted assisting tasks backstage during the annual play and never did any acting roles.

Therefore, I don't have the target background for the book and really didn't have any idea what I was going to read. This is not a fluff Cosmo piece about "my fulfilled dream in acting in the village Easter play" sort of deal. It's a highly technical book directed at aspiring actors to perform complex mind exercises to get into the jists of a role.

The book could very well be useful for spies (which is a huge part behind the plot in choosing Gary over a military recruit for Team America), acting as such, politicians, and the book can also span beyond that. You could be a businessman looking for ways to charm potential clients, but in the real world, you have the charisma of a scuttlefish. This book might be useful for many scenarios.

Is it a fun read? Not at all. The writing is very arid and delves even into philosophy and poetry at times. You could find yourself feeling nauseous simply reading it. I think it conveys its purpose well, but the writing is so tedious that I did struggle a lot reading it, which is the main reason why I gave it 3 stars.

However, you lose nothing by at least looking into the book.
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chirikosan | 7 other reviews | Jul 24, 2023 |
Rated: B
I want to read about Stanislavski's method of acting to understand better the challenges our son, Jake, encounters in preparing for a role. He is an accomplished actor. My respect for his craftsmanship has gone way up. So proud of him.
jmcdbooks | 7 other reviews | May 31, 2022 |

The book Discipline or Corruption, published in 1967, is basically the bible of George Martin's cult-like Institute for Personal Development, which combined a reverence for the works of Russian theatre director Konstantin Stanislavski with prejudice against gays and an obsession with transforming the world through the redevelopment of Covent Garden. Yes, really. To Slanislavski's essay on Ethics and Discipline, Martin and four of his women colleagues, including Karen Cooper, add their own personal accounts of develeopment and the need for us all to reject corruption and embrace Stanislavski. (And Covent Garden). It's earnest and a bit dull; the Sixties produced much more exciting stuff than this.

George Martin and Susanne Harris, one of the other co-authors of Discipline or Corruption, bought the island of Stora Ekholmen in Stockholm harbour in 1965 for the Institute; but they do not seem to have got very far. Swedish sources suggest that at least one of them was still living there as recently as April 2019. Nothing much more, however, was heard from the Institute for Personal Development.
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nwhyte | Dec 11, 2021 |
Stanislavski's theory of method acting requires actors to dip into their personal emotional wells to achieve verisimilitude in their roles. As such, actors are expected to exercise self-reflection regularly as part of their technique. Stanislavski's techniques for building a character are as useful to the lay person as to the actor--they are practical lessons in self-control. If practiced habitually, such technical awareness will expand one's moral perception as well as one's emotional depth, making one a more sensitively attuned actor in the world.… (more)
reganrule | 1 other review | Oct 24, 2017 |


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