Richard Boleslavsky Acting: the First Six Lessons (February 4, 1889

Presented By: Evelyn Forsyth, Megan Rodriguez, Mimi
Rife, and Ana Schuler
Life of Boleslavsky
 Polish actor and director
 Member of the Moscow Art Theatre
and director of it’s first studio
 Moved to NY 1920’s- first teacher of
the Stanislavski system
 Later directed Broadway plays &
Hollywood films in the 1930-40’s
The First Lesson: Concentration
 Actor's concentration: The human soul.
 First Period: The Searching
 Second Period: The constructive
 The five senses are the key to creation
 Three parts of education
 Body
 Culture and intellectual concepts
 Training of the soul
Exercise #1
 Education of the body
 Gymnastics: Stretching and Roll Down
 Dancing: Interpretive
 Breathing Exercises: Sizzling 3 times on “S” and “Z”,
Filling up lungs
 Voice: Counting
 Diction: To Sit in Solemn Silence on a Dull Dark Dock,
New York
The Second Lesson: Memory of
 Unconscious Reactions
 Example: Cucumber story
 “To imitate is wrong. To
create is right.”
 Use of personal
 Abstract connections
 Murderer – bug killing
Exercise #2
 Pick a partner; A and B
 A: Recall a short story to them in full detail
 A: Retell story with less detail
 A: Finally try to recreate the emotions without words.
 Do the same steps with partner B
The Third Lesson: Dramatic Action
Leaves: Presentation
of idea
Branches: Elements of
the idea (coming from
Trunk: Idea, Reason
(coming from director)
Exercise #3
 Pick a Partner; A and B
 “One must choose his or her actions in accordance with the character
of the part that opposes them.”
 Three situations:
 Two teenage friends
 A: college student, B: Senior citizen
 A: Skater, B: Valedictorian
A: So, you’ve finally made it to the fishbowl?
B: The what?
A: That’s what we call the box office. Its an inside joke.
B: Oh. I guess. Mr. Boston said he wanted you to train me.
A: Then let the training begin. People come up. They say what movie they want. You press this button. Take their
money. Give them their ticket. There, you’re trained.
B: Now what?
A: Now sit down and wait. No one’s coming tonight. It’s Christmas Eve and all our movies suck.
The Fourth Lesson:
 Pathological hypnotism: Unbelievable acting
 Too complete sincerity
 Create a unique life and soul
 Physical & emotional personality:
 Real life examples
 Previous acting roles
 Author’s mind process
 Romeo & Juliet example
Exercise #4
 Analyze the pictures below for:
 Artist Motives
 Time period
 Character situation
 Create a new posture based on these character choices
The Fifth Lesson: Observation
 Observation in relation to acting
 Unusual things in everyday life
 Builds memory and memory capacity
 Develop sensory and muscle memory
 Enriches inner life
 Fully appreciate different personalities
Exercise #5
 Get into pairs; assign A & B
 Both will observe the video and take note of specific
 B will pantomime the clip for A
 A will point out any missed steps.
 Switch; repeat steps for next clip.
The Sixth Lesson: Rhythm
 Levels of Rhythm:
 Consciousness
 Emotions result of other’s feelings
 Create your own rhythm (take into account other’s rhythm)
 Building Rhythm
 Absorb sounds of nature
 Listen to music with entirety
Exercise #6
 Lie down on the floor
 Close your eyes and concentrate on the music played
 Discuss the different types of rhythms presented in the
Conclusion: CEACOR
 C: concentration
 E: emotions
 A: action
 C: characterization
 O: observation
 R: rhythm