Thursday, October 04, 2007

ON ACTING: On Chess and Acting

In an article in the Oct. 1, 2008 New Yorker magazine, on Garry Kasparov, the legendary chess champion, I came across a quote by a friend and biographer of Kasparov, Fred Waitzkin concerning what it takes to be a great chess player. I thought it had application to great acting; with particular resonance on the actor's need to forget in performance all the most assiduous preparation and practice and be able to allow spontaneity to occur (SEE italics below):

"To be a world champion in chess, the amount of what you have you know, what you have to fit into your brain and master, is so big that it is incomprehensible to a normal person," Waitznik said, "You have to know more than a nuclear physicist or a brain surgeon knows. You have to know more stuff than virtually anyone on earth. Then you have to have the facility of mind to process it and then forget it so that you are free to improvise and be imaginative."


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