Saturday, December 22, 2007

ON ACTING: Acting Is Not Pretend

Many people consider the skill of acting to be 'pretend', or 'make believe', or 'false behavior'.

When they think of acting in that way, they are wrong. To 'act' is the opposite of false behavior: it is 'real' behavior; albeit in a certain circumstance.

In everyday language people commonly use the following phrases: "to act cautiously", "to act with restraint", "to act judiciously", "to act with consciousness aforethought", "to act stupidly". In all of those phrases, "to act" means simply "to behave" in a certain manner: cautiously, restrained, stupidly, etc, as the particular case may be. But it does not in any of these instances refer to false, pretend or make believe behavior.

So, too, in 'acting; the circumstances of the story and character may be imaginary, created only for the occasion of the play or film, but the actor's behavior is always real within it. The actor's task is to live with emotional truth within that imagined reality, to behave in accordance with human logic--and feeling--no matter what the circumstance.

In the dark of night, and sometimes in the light of day, we dream (some would say 'create') dreams, but...the feelings we feel during those dreams are real.

So let it always be with good acting.


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