Yesterday we talked about why flipping the script and looking at your prospects from inside their own shoes is so powerful.
And how sometimes, status plays a huge part in what your audience craves.
Today I want to look at how you can do that more effectively than just “pretending”.
Ever wondered how great actors do what they do?
How can they stop being themselves and turn into their characters so damn well?!
Lots of practice obviously, but what kind? And where does it all come from?
Enter the Stanislavski’s System.
Konstantin Stanislavsky, born in 1888 is considered the father of modern acting. And he developed the methodology that’s at the foundation of today’s acting style.
It’s raw, emotional, deep, vivid and – credible.
The biggest criticism Stanislavski gave his studying actors was “I don’t believe you.”
His system is credible because it’s based on human behavior.
Hence why as business owners, copywriters or designers we should all pay attention.
Here are a few key characteristics of the system and how they apply to entering the minds of your prospects:
- The Magic “If”: Stanislavski believed characters had to get out of the stage and into their character’s mind. Into their motivations, fears and desires. Only from that spot they would be able to convey what the story was about. This is the foundation for you to keep in mind.
- Given Circumstances: These are the character’s background, the details about the world they live in and how they interact with it. This is your research, all the data that you are able collect.
- Super-Objective: This is the deepest desire for the character. It’s your prospects deepest desire too, the thing they want most in the world. Often it’s subconscious and not apparent. It’s up to you to dig it out.
- Objective: This is the direct and immediate goal. Objectives can be many for a character (and for your personas). They are usually tied to some kind of action. This is your CTA. As Stanislavsky writes, “Every objective must carry in itself the germ of an action.”
- Physical Action: For Stanislavski, actors should build their character’s behavior through their actions on stage. Not merely pretending, but “acting out” their needs, motivations and desires. They should make them real. This speaks to how your copy should reflect vivid and practical moments in your audience’s life. No fluff allowed. Reason why using Voice Of Customer data is so powerful.
- Communion: This is the sense of connection to a community that all characters should express. In other words, have your characters talk to each other, not with the spectators watching the show. In your copy, speak to your prospect directly. Like you were in the same room.
- Emotional Memory: Stanislavsky wanted his actors to use their emotional experiences to captivate the audience. Every emotional “memory” you accumulated in life can be used in your copy to convey strong feelings of connectedness, and deeply relate to readers.
- Subtext: Subtext is the deeper meaning behind the script. It’s the Big idea” behind your copy and positioning. “Spectators come to the theatre to hear the subtext,” Stanislavsky explains. “They can read the text at home.”
I truly believe that as business owner, or copywriter, you can really get an unfair advantage in adopting these acting principles to the words you put out.
It’s no surprise that actors like Christian Bale, Marlon Brando, Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, and Daniel Day-Lewis had the massive success they had. They all used this system.
How are you going to use it in your business and copy?
P.S. If you need help understanding how to apply some of these, I’m running a couple of website teardowns for free (value $299) as case studies to add to my website. If you’re interested, just reply “Yes”.