Live the theater since childhood he turned Konstantin's passion into passion, to the point that his obsession was to investigate the method of interpretation so that anyone would be natural and credible in his roles in a play. And he succeeded, because to say Stanislavski for actors Y actresses It is the beginning of everything and everything is summarized. It marked a before and after in the scenic pedagogy and continues to be the reference that anyone who plays a role in the theater -then also transferred to the cinema-, must take into account. Not in vain, for the creation of the famous Stanislavski method, a system of basic rules of theatrical interpretation, the director devoted more than 60 years of his life.
His illusion of being an actor was giving way to that of being director to later become a Russian theatrical researcher and theorist. He was immersed in several avant-garde movements, was co-founder of the Moscow Art Theater and received the honorary title of Popular Artist of the USSR in 1936. In the end, the greatest legacy and the memory he left was his surname Stanislavski, taken from a very talented amateur actor named Márkov, with whom he shared the scene and who acted with that name.
Konstantin Sergeyevich Alekséiev, his real name, was born in Moscow in 1863. With eight brothers, but in a wealthy family of industrialists and merchants who loved the arts, but especially the theater, life was, in the middle of the artistic explosion of the The last half of the nineteenth century, pure theater: Konstantin rehearsed with his brothers, at seven he made his first staging, his father transformed a barn into a small family theater and even formed an amateur group called the Alekséiev Circle, formed by brothers , cousins and some friends, where the small Stanislavski made his debut as an actor at age 14.
Efforts were never spared in the family for education at the home of the Alekséiev, so apart from the ordinary subjects, the children learned languages, dance, singing and fencing. For this reason, in 1881 he graduated with ease in the Institute of Oriental Languages Lázarev. In the midst of his youth he took the name Stanislavski in honor of Dr. Márkov, an amateur theater partner of great talent with that name. He was clear that the theater would be his life and therefore all his idols were already Russian theater directors and actors of the moment.
In 1886 Konstantin Stanislavski was elected member of the management and treasurer of the Russian Musical Society in Moscow. Although at that time he combined his work in the family business with his performances in amateur circles, in fact he was preparing to make a career in opera with the famous Russian stage director Fedor Komissarzhevski, with whom he later founded in Moscow the Moscow Art Society and Literature. Two years later, in 1888, and until 1897, he went on to direct and act in shows for this Society.
On the stage, next to the young Konstantin shone an actress nicknamed Lilina, graduated cum laude at the Institute of Noble Maidens of Yekaterinburg who, like him, also decided to dedicate herself to theater. On July 5, 1889, they married and in March of 1890 their daughter Ksenia was born, who died a few months later due to pneumonia. In July of the following year his second daughter was born, which they called Kira.
Another turn in the life of Konstantin Stanislavski It happened on June 22, 1897, when he met Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, a successful playwright and teacher at the School of the Moscow Philharmonic Society. From his 18-hour meeting to discuss the reform of the Russian scene, the Moscow Art Theater emerged to counter the artificial theatrical conventions of the late 19th century.
The first production, in October of 1898, was a great popular success for its realism, but it was with 'Seagull', of Anton Chekhov, in December of that year, when Stanislavski he discovered an ideal play for his artistic aspirations and naturalistic and realistic interpretation methods.
Over the next two decades, the Moscow Art Theater achieved international success with productions of different styles; sociopolitical dramas, stories, symbolic works and even the interpretation of 'Hamlet'With adaptations. In this years Stanislavski He developed his theories exploring with his theater company the most difficult problems when acting.
In 1910, the Russian actor and director took a sabbatical and traveled to Italy, where he studied the performances of Eleanora Duse and Tommaso Salvini. His particular style of interpretation, which was perceived as free and natural, greatly inspired the theories he pursued about acting. In 1912, Stanislavski created what he called First Study, which served as a training ground for young people.
Konstantin Stanislavski I was sure that, through the study of the work, the analysis of the role and the memory of previous emotions of the performers, the actor could reach the inner truth by actually experiencing the emotions he had to convey to the audience. In addition, he assured that the actor should never lose control of his creation and had to get the technical discipline to repeat his previously experienced emotions in each performance.
All this training, which aimed to stimulate the artistic intelligence of the actor, develop its internal discipline and provide perfect control of external means such as voice, diction and physical movement, became known in the world as the Method. "There are no small interpretations," Stanislavski always repeated, "only small actors." He devised seven questions and helped aspiring actors to better understand their characters and motivations: Who am I? Where I am? What time is it? What do I want? Because I want it? How will I get what I want? and what should I overcome to get what I want?
As simple as they may seem, these questions require thorough investigation and reflection. Stanislavski He always looked for his actors, often telling them "I do not believe you", and forcing them to disinhibit and give life to their performances.
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Stanislavski faced some criticism for not producing communist works, but he kept the line of his company and continued to present his repertoire. He also toured in Europe and the United States between August 1922 and September of 1924.
He managed, by his stubbornness, but above all by his theatrical conviction, that the Moscow Art Theater be revered as the source of social realism, and Konstantin Stanislavski He began to be considered one of the most prominent figures in world culture. During his last years he concentrated on perfecting his writings, especially after suffering a heart attack on stage in 1928 and doctors forbade him to continue acting.
Practically without leaving his home, in the last years of his life Stanislavski met daily with the actors, transforming the essays into an artistic school according to his method. He devoted all his strength to the theater until his last days, having time to send to the press the first volume of 'Works of the actor on himself', Title completed after dying, as a heart attack ended his life on August 7, 1938, in Moscow.
This book is presented in the form of a diary that the author manages to believe would have been written every day by a student of the scene. While in the person of the teacher the author enunciates his own theories about theater, the student indirectly represents himself at the beginning of his acting career, in such a way that the book, which has a high literary quality, offers a full portrait of his extraordinary personality. Reading his six hundred pages, one can understand why the influence of Stanislavski It is unsurpassed in contemporary theater.
In 1947, and following the model of Stanislavski, in New York the Actor's Studio was founded, the famous school of interpretation directed by Lee Strasberg and transferred to the cinema, quarry of cinematographic actors that crossed borders and became icons of the seventh art like Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, James Dean or Marilyn Monroe.
The mortal remains of Konstantin Stanislavski they lie today in Novodevichi's Muscovite cemetery, but their investigations and practical methods continue to be alive every day on the stage of any theater or film shoot.