We are continuing on from emotional memory last week. Stanislavsky believed that in order to make a character true, the character must be approached from the inside. That means drawing on the real inside life of the actor, most specifically drawing on memories. The actor also has to create the inside life of the character: the character has to have inner thought, back story, beliefs, and so on, just as a real person does. When the actor answers questions about the character, they should speak in the first person. “I am…” “I want…”

In the system, the actor does not “act” emotions. You don’t act sad, or happy, or mad. With Emotional Memory the actor remembers a situation when he/she felt the same, or similar, emotions as their character. Recalling the situation leads to emotion.

What’s important about this exercise is that the actor must not force a memory, or bring up something hurtful. It’s a play, not therapy. It’s important not to, as Stanislavsky says, “assault the subconscious.” Past memories are used (as opposed to present situations) because they are more controllable.

Acting challenge

Choose a monologue and explore the emotions of the character in this scene. How can you relate to this character? What emotion memory can you use to connect? Try and find a parallel between you and the character and use your emotion memory to drive the scene. Film it and upload it to the group or if you are attending a virtual class, perform it there.

Business challenge

How professional do you look? It’s important, especially in this day and age that we represent ourselves as a business, especially with so much on social media. Every casting director will have some sort of access to what you put on social media. Do you present yourself well?

Are your email addresses and your twitter profiles professional? If not, change them or have
a separate account. One professional and one personal.


Konstantin Sergeievich Stanislavski