Friday, September 29, 2006

"Passion-to-Form": An Acting Point of View

In the early stages of an actor's career, passion should often be wasted; which means organizing emotions/passions into form should be emphasized only sporadically.

Youth is necessarily profligate.

Young actors should learn to say something (a lot) first; only then edit. A young actor should not be overly concerned with the precise aesthetic packaging of their expressed emotional truth. They should not excessively constrain themselves within narrow bounds of movement, voice, body, staging, etc. Over-disciplining an acting instrument too early in a career will dampen--if not kill--the power of passion. Watch young boxers--even those who eventually achieve greatness; they inevitably flail and waste energy in the early stages (bouts). They swing wildly and move excessively. Their good trainers/managers expect this; and most importantly, they avoid overly inhibiting the passion to fight in their young charges. In fact they seek a boxer's passion above all. Only later, as the young boxers gain experience with pressure-packed (passion-filled) situations, only then do managers/trainers demand and expect severe form: the techniques of how to 'slip punches, shorten the distance of their punches thrown, gracefully maneuver their bodies around a ring, etc.

So, actors (and their teachers/trainers): actors should first be encouraged to drill inner wells of emotion, let their passion be tapped into first, let the emotional oil gush, perhaps even to the point of blackening the landscape...and then...and only then...cap that energy source and have them pump it out in precisely desired quantities.


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