American theatre practitioners, who watched the Moscow Art Theatre company in awe during the 1923 and 1924 tours, felt that Stanislavsky held a magic key to theatre. “Everybody on the stage was equally real, not equally great, but equally real,” Strasberg recalled. This observation “led the author to the realization that there must be something special that they do, because all the actors were doing it, not just the outstanding actors”. Stanislavsky and Boleslavsky exemplify the typical pattern for actors who do write. They tend to publish when they come to terms with their own mortality, as if expressing a deeply felt impulse to fix into stable form their ephemeral art. As the naive and overanxious young student, Nazvanov, whose name means “the chosen one” and whose journal becomes the fictional conceit of the book, Stanislavsky depicts his own lifelong obsessive desire to record experiments into acting.