15 Brilliant Quotes by Konstantin Stanislavski 

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  • 15 Brilliant Quotes by Konstantin Stanislavski 

    Let’s explore 15 dazzling quotes about the craft of acting by Konstantin Stanislavski 

    (By Carmichael Phillips)


    (Konstantin Stanislavski)

    It’s impossible to quantify the number of actors who have been directly or indirectly influenced by the teachings of Konstantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski. Indeed, it’s much easier to count the number of actors who haven’t been influenced by him.

    His ideas directly informed the teachings of other influential thinkers, including Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, Uta Hagen and Sanford Meisner. Meanwhile, his Moscow Art Theatre (MAT) toured the globe, impacting countless others.

  • Stanislavski’s contributions to the craft extend far beyond the books he left behind, which include An Actor Prepares and Building a Character. He also left behind a plethora of brilliant quotes about the craft.

    Let’s explore 15 dazzling quotes on the craft by Konstantin Stanislavski.


    On wisdom… 

    “The greatest wisdom is to realize one’s lack of it.”


    On imagination…

    “The actor must use his imagination to be able to answer all questions (when, where, why, how). Make the make-believer existence more definite.”


    On inner motives…

    “All action in theatre must have inner justification, be logical, coherent, and real.”



  • On outside distractions…

    “Remember this practical piece of advice: Never come into the theatre with mud on your feet. Leave your dust and dirt outside. Check your little worries, squabbles, petty difficulties with your outside clothing – all the things that ruin your life and draw your attention away from your art – at the door.”


    On inspiration…

    “When an actor is completely absorbed by some profoundly moving objective so that he throws his whole being passionately into its execution, he reaches a state we call inspiration.”


    On self-doubt…

    “Doubt is the enemy of creativeness.”


    On acting methods… 

    “Create your own method. Don’t depend slavishly on mine. Make up something that will work for you! But keep breaking traditions, I beg you.”


    On “small” acting roles… 

    “Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors.”



  • On humility… 

    “Love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art.”


    On talent… 

    “Talent is nothing but a prolonged period of attention and a shortened period of mental assimilation.”


    On what’s expected of the actor…. 

    “Our demands are simple, normal, and therefore they are difficult to satisfy. All we ask is that an actor on the stage live in accordance with natural laws.”


    On going after rewards….

    “Do not try to push your way through to the front ranks of your profession; do not run after distinctions and rewards.”


    On the journey of your character… 

    “The character has to have some kind of arch. The character has to go through an event, and be changed by the human event.”


    On the dangers of admirers… 

    “Young actors, fear your admirers! Learn in time, from your first steps, to hear, understand and love the cruel truth about yourselves. Find out who can tell you that truth and talk of your art only with those who can tell you the truth.”


    On knowledge… 

    “Success is transient, evanescent. The real passion lies in the poignant acquisition of knowledge about all the shading and subtleties of the creative secrets.”



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