Explain Essay

1188 words - 5 pages


Explain the importance of the Magic If and Given Circumstances to
Stanislavski’s psycho technique. Refer to any practical examples that
will help explain this.


In this essay I will be explaining the work we have been doing
recently during this term and the relevance to our study of
Stanislavski’s psycho technique. I will be outlining how his ideas of
the ‘Magic If’ and ‘Given Circumstances’ contribute to the importance
of this technique.

Stanislavski had several ideas about how to achieve a sense of inner
and outer truth in terms of his character, one being the magic if. If
is a word which can transform our thoughts; through it we can imagine
ourselves in virtually any situation. "If I suddenly became
wealthy..." "If I were vacationing on the Caribbean Island..." "If I
had great talent..." "If that person who insulted me comes near me
again..." The word ‘if’ becomes a powerful lever for the mind; it has
the ability to lift us out of ourselves a give us a sense of absolute
certainty about imaginary circumstances. The answer to these simple
questions can be a springboard to creativity and inspiration, because
it allows the actor to realize the fact that, he is living out a
fictional life, a figment of the writers imagination, with sets and
props that are not real life homes and settings. When we first look at
the ‘Magic If’, Stanislavski makes us aware that a performing actor
must logically justify his actions in consistency with real life.
Therefore he must act under his passions in character and not play
with them, acting internally and externally with complete
rationalization. By using the "Magic If" the actor is granting himself
permission to "believe" in these imaginary objects, it allows the
actor to transfer himself from the world of reality to the world in
which dreative work can me done.

Based on the idea of ‘The Magic If’ we used this idea to draw from our
own experiences and imagination to get into character for a recent
speech, that each of us had been given to learn. To get into my
character, Puck from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, I used the idea of
the ‘Magic If’ to arouse my imagination, consequently entering the
soul of my character, allowing myself o from a creative belief within
their mind's eye. Through asking myself questions, presenting myself
with possible obstacles and problems that have to be solved, like for
example, what type of character is Puck? If Puck was playing a joke on
somebody who would it be? If Puck was happy what would he do? If Puck
was upset…..? I was able to convert my inner thoughts and feelings,
through gaining the inner ability to imagine myself in virtually any
situation as Puck, confronting the deception of the play, what if
everything I was faced with, for example the idea of a fairy world,
was in fact true. Once you used the process to get your mind around
this idea you were able to develop the incentive and stimulus to my

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