Decide, Do, Feel

Hamlet likely marks the first time that Stanislavski put together several key concepts of the “system.” Having already realized that a script could be divided into bits and that characters had a supertask, a sverkhzadacha, he next realized that each character’s bit had its own zadacha: a little step taken, often unsuccessfully, toward the character’s ultimate goal. Zadacha means both “task” and “problem.” It is a thing that a character needs that is important enough to demand actions. Those actions are then generally phrased as infinitive verbs (“ I want to _____”). To take a mundane example, if your problem is that you are thirsty, then your action might be to get a glass of water. Zadachi were not psychological to Stanislavski. They were the immediate actions that needed to be accomplished to move the character closer to their goal.” -excerpt from the book, “The Method” by Isaac Butler

Regardless of your feelings about “The Method”, we can thank Stanislavski for his discovery that action leads to feelings. Not the other way around. You can read more about it and the whole history of method acting in Isaac Butler’s wonderful book “The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act” (Vs. Book Club on Tuesday Night, November 15th! Anyone interested in joining, email me or leave a comment with your email address and I’ll reach out.)

Whether it be acting or life, the order should be: decide, do, feel.

Far too many of us wait to feel before we decide. Which is why so little gets done.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: