Tuesday, October 09, 2007

ON ACTING: "Unbalanced" Actors

Years ago, when someone refer to someone who was having noticeable mental/emotional problems, they often used the word "unbalanced": "Joe is unbalanced; he's having problems," (which suggested Joe needed time for a visit to the shrink, or priest...or a visit to the beach or woods; hopefully away from work and/or the pressures of family; some corrective action to reduce the emotional dilemmas).

"Unbalanced" implies balance; we infer reasonable people have balance: there is a balance in the operating nature of everyday 'put-together' people, between their reason and passion, emotion and control; they exhibit a flat (as opposed to imbalanced) teeter-totter of emotional/unemotional behavior that seemed poised over a fulchrum; with either side, emotion and reason, carrying equal weight in their operative living equation.

I miss the word "unbalanced"; it was a good word; especially in its suggestive possibilities to actors. A good actor's emotional preparation before a scene, is an act of imbalance, creating such emotional weight on one side of the personal teeter-totter, on the emotional side, that reason, the other co-operative 'balancing' side--represented by the character's objective--is made more interestingly urgent (must be given more weight?), to enable the character to re-assert an easier living, less tumultuous, corrective.

Drama is 'Unbalance'--->'Balance'; the operative plot line in all drama.

Drama (and good acting) is about characters who enter a scene emotionally 'unbalanced' by prior events (whose time line of imbalance can go even as far as birth...or even further back: genetic inheritance!) and are seeking a corrective solution; or who enter the scene balanced but are soon imbalanced with an other's words or deeds in the scene...and spend the rest of the scene seeking to re-assert balance, trying to attain once again a level ride through life on their personal teeter-totter.

'Unbalanced' people, while perhaps needing to be avoided in everyday life, are the proper 'stuff' of drama. Actors should work very hard to get character-imbalanced before a scene


Post a Comment

<< Home