Love the art in yourself and not
yourself in the art.
Every person who is really an artist
desires to create inside of himself another, deeper, more
interesting life than the one that actually surrounds him.
When an actor is completely absorbed
by some profoundly moving objective so that he throws his whole
into its execution, he reaches a state we call
It is through you, actors, that the
forces which are understood by millions and that tell of everything
that is beautiful on earth, find expression. The forces which reveal
to people the
happiness of living in a widened consciousness and in the joy of
creative work for the whole world. You, the actors of a theatre,
which is one of the centres of human culture, will never be
understood by the people if you are unable to reflect the spiritual
needs of your time, the now in which you are living.
A true priest is aware of the presence
of the altar during every moment that he is conducting a service. It
is exactly the same way that a true artist should react to the stage
all the time he is in the theater. An actor who is incapable of this
feeling will never be a true artist.
The main difference between the art of
the actor and all other arts is that every other [non-performing]
artist may create whenever he is in the mood of inspiration. But
the artist of the stage must be the master of his own inspiration,
and must know how to call it forth at the hour announced on the
posters of the theatre. This is the chief secret of our art.
Never lose yourself on the stage.
Always act in your own person, as an artist. The moment you lose
yourself on the stage marks the departure from truly living your
part and the beginning of exaggerated false acting. Therefore, no
matter how much you act, how many parts you take, you should never
allow yourself any exception to the rule of using your own feelings.
To break that rule is the equivalent of killing the person you are
portraying, because you deprive him of a palpitating, living, human
soul, which is the real source of life for a part.
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.
Play well, or play badly, but play
Never allow yourself externally to
portray anything that you have not inwardly experienced and which is
not even interesting to you.
All action in theatre must have inner
justification, be logical, coherent, and real.
The life of a character should be an
unbroken line of events and emotions, but a play only gives us a few
moments on that line ‒ we must create the rest to portray a
The actor must use his imagination to
be able to answer all questions (Who am I? What will I be? Why am I
here? Where am I going?). Make the
make-believer existence more definite.
Remember: there are no small roles,
only small actors.
Create your own method. Don't depend
slavishly on mine. Make up something that will work for you! But
breaking traditions, I beg you.
visualize what you say.
In the language of an actor, to know
is synonymous with to feel.
language of the body is the key that can unlock the soul.
The main factor in any form of
the life of a human spirit, that of the actor and his part, their
joint feelings and
The theatre infects the audience with
its noble ecstasy.
Unless the theatre can ennoble you,
make you a better person, you should flee from it.
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
The person you are is a thousand times
more interesting than the best actor you could ever hope to be.
Talent is nothing but a prolonged
period of attention and a shortened period of mental assimilation.
Fear your admirers! Learn in time to
hear, understand, and love the cruel truth about yourselves!
thought prior to become a thought was a feeling.
The greatest wisdom is to realize
one's lack of it.
What is important to me is not the
truth outside myself, but the truth within myself.