Friday, March 23, 2007

ON ACTING: The Human Behavior Business

Actors are in the human behavior business. They are paid to behave humanly on stage and onscreen so other humans in the audience can live humanly through them. A script is the actor's human job spec; it defines/denotes/suggests (in language) the actor's required behavior on stage; it implies--in the words the actor is required to say (as dialogue)--the essential humanness, both the emotional substance and expressive style, underlying such language.

If acting, therefore, is the process of behaving humanly, it behooves us as actors to study human behavior in its entirety and multiplicity. Actors must accept that humans betray themselves (and thereby instruct us in) their humanness in economics, in social arenas, in religion, politics, literature, etc. Therefore it behooves actors, as students and practitioners of human behavior, to study and learn economics, social sciences, religion, politics, etc., anything and everything in life that touches of the art and science of being human. Read, read, read--great books; see, see, see--great films; observe, observe, observe everyone--and especially yourself (a very cheap and proximate textbook!)--in action; learn, learn, learn how people walk, talk, feel, obfuscate and reveal.

Human behavior is the actors playground. People--for that matter the entire universe that surrounds, we project, and projects us, and is an inescapable aspect of human existence. It is the actors school, focus, passion and profession. The actor who doesn't understand human behavior is a lost actor; as lost as a person with a deeply desired destination but without a map to tell him the lay of the land through which he must move to achieve his end result. He, and his efforts, are destined for failure.


Post a Comment

<< Home