Monday, December 26, 2005

ON ACTING: On "Character Revealed in Action"

The most, true, apt and cogent definition of drama I know is: "Character revealed in action." Character is what character does. Character feelings, who and what a character is, are best revealed in character-doing, what a dramatic character does (and says) in the pursuit of objectives; acting is created and organized human behaviour in the quest for victory.

Legitimate acting performance energy derives from goal-oriented emotion; energy arising out of legitimate character conflict. Such legitimate performance emotion/energy, being truthfully obtained and revealed, is lifelike, real, specific and audience-engaging. On the other hand, performance energy--and emotion--derived from nothing more than an actor's desire "to affect and please an audience" is falsely-obtained, and therefore unnatural and off-putting. Mothers and Fathers watching such erroneosly obtained actor-energy may be happy their kids are trying hard, but the wider audience, sensing the un-life-like falseness inherent in such auto-generated emotional energy, soons tires and becomes bored.

Acting is a verb; it means "to do". It is striving for a goal. For bad actors, on the other hand, the word is a noun; a static a pool of 'emotional meaning', generated and revealed for it's own sake. Bad actors, heed the admonisment: "Don't feel; toward a goal; and let subsequent feelings and doings arise and be revealed from that."


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