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The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit Paperback – 15 Mar 2007

4.9 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Nick Hern Books (15 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854597930
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854597939
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.7 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Erudite but very accessible... a brilliantly researched study --Amateur Stage

A great achievement... a serious, no-nonsense interpretation of Stanislavsky's thinking written by an actor-teacher with considerable experience... I shall be going back to this Toolkit again and again --Reviews Gate

A great achievement... a serious, no-nonsense interpretation of Stanislavsky's thinking written by an actor-teacher with considerable experience... I shall be going back to this Toolkit again and again --Reviews Gate

About the Author

Bella Merlin has successfully combined a professional career in acting (notably in Max Stafford-Clark's Out of Joint Theatre Company) with teaching at the drama departments of the Universities of Birmingham and Exeter. She is the author of Beyond Stanislavsky and Konstantin Stanislavsky in Routledge's Performance Practitioners series.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A really accessible, honest and useful summary of Stanislavsky's famous system. Personally I've always felt secretly guilty that I can only browse through An Actor Prepares, Building a Character and Creating a Role in a desultory fashion- especially when as an actor/director and drama teacher I should have read them all from cover to cover (all that Tortsov nonsense and his thick students for heaven's sake!). The original trilogy can often be bewildering in the context of any kind of coherent and holistic System, more so because the structure of Stanislavsky's original books is so higgledy-piggledy and wrapped up in that irritating semi-fictional format. However I managed to read Merlin's long but extremely well-organised and comprehensively researched book in just two afternoons.Bella Merlin goes one better than Benedetti and Magarshack's summaries in my view. She writes particularly well about "Super-Objective", "Active Analysis" and "Tempo-Rhythm" as well as the whole spiriual dimension of acting without ever becoming overly serious or intellectual about it. In this book the emphasis is not so much on the cerebral (something Stan the Man was often guilty of) and far more on the psycho-physical dimension of the actor's process (aided and abetted by Merlin's frequent references to Michael Chekhov's ideas). This 'Toolkit' is written by an actor for the actor. An inspiring (and occasionally LOL!) read for anyone who thinks they know 'that Stanislavsky stuff', and one which you're bound to want to keep returning to. Extremely useful for actors at any level and HIGHLY recommended. :-)
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The best acting book I have read. It covers everything and teaches you things, you didn't know you had to do to act. With exercises to help with breathing, imagination and more, it is very helpful to any actor.
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I am a psycology student and picked this up because of the cover. As I flicked through it I became more and more intrigued by the idea of a psyco physical approach to acting. I've now read it twice, its brilliant,concise,fluent and I would think, a must for any actor pursuing a career on the stage or in front of a camera. Having been briefly aquainted with Stanislavski at school I found the authors interpretation of the approach to the 'method' completely enthralling. Bella Merlin guides the 'Wannabe" through the maze of creating a role with utter simplicity. If it isn't a set book for any drama school or university, it certainly should be.
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This book is very well laid out. I read the chapters thoroughly when I'm between productions and can easily find the exercises when planning rehearsals. A must have for any director planning to use Stanislavsky's techniques in rehearsals.
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This is a great book to read on acting. I have read several similar books before but this has got to be the best one. Its an easy read, very informative and everything is explained with practical examples.

I have learned alot from this book, even though I have read Stanislavsky's An Actor Prepares and browsed his other books, I've never completely understood alot of it. But this Stanislavsky toolkit really does explain the most important parts of Stanislavsky's teaching in a much more accessible way, breaking them down into practical 'tools' to use when aproaching the play, getting into the mind of the charcater and then embodying the character in performance.

I'm finding it very useful in preparing monologues for my drama school auditions. This book takes you systematically from relaxation, breathing and concentration of attention to the chapter on rehearsal processes which is very useful in studying a play and for monologues as it involves valuable information on the first reading of the play and then tools to aid in characterisation and finding the given circumstances of the character. It then goes on to embodying a role by using tools such as the imagination, the magic if and observation. It then goes on to other great tools but I havn't yet finished the book!

I will definately be re-reading this again once i've finished and will be constantly referring to it again and again.
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Brought this book as I'm a Performing Arts student and I must say, so far this book is amazing. It explains methods and techniques easy to understand and also gives you steps to take when developing a character. I was recommended this book by a fellow student who is fantastic on stage and he uses this book as an aid. The delivery was very quick, I think it arrived 2 or 3 days after purchase and in great condition. I would recommend this for any student actor. hope this helped.
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It's very easy to give this book a well deserved 5 star rating. Why? The simplicity of varied and complicated techniques that are required in the theater profession. This will form the bread and butter of any career. With it's stories and lessons it gives you a deep understanding as to what it truly means to be an artist, not an actor. Stanislavisky's methods are, of course, intense and demanding both physically and mentally but this book will walk you through page by page resulting in the end a confident and vibrant actor/ director/ writer.
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this is just what every drama student (or teacher) needs! Great tips and hints, an all-round guide to great stan!
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