Sunday, July 29, 2007

ON ACTING: Youth, Comedy and Drama

Two nights ago a student in class said to me: 'I think more young actors are better at comedy than drama. Why?" I offered this: "While young actors often have the intensity necessary for great comedy and great drama, they do not have the complexity of emotions necessary for great drama. Comedy requires unreasonable intensity about simple emotions; : lust, confusion, anger, bewilderment...youth can handle that. Drama, however, requires enacting the most complex of human emotions: paradoxes, contradictions; trying to live out, solve and survive the great moral conundrums of human existence. Most youthful actors not lived long enough to experience and fully explore those issues; and if they have, they usually do not have the acting experience required to portray them with elegance and style. There is an old adage: "Drama is the easiest thing to do; comedy, most difficult; but what is almost impossible is great tragedy."


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