Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ON ACTING: Diving Into Deep Waters

Actors: To create a performance only from what you know in advance of the start of performance, a performance that is only restricted to your prior knowledge of ourself, from your analysis of the script, or for that matter, from your knowledge of humanity in general, is to create a shallow performance; it is to move too carefully into life's shallow wading pool instead of the depths of the uncharted human emotional ocean.

An actor's intellectual analysis and understanding of character is only the beginning of the actor's task; prior conscious knowledge is only the diving board from whence the greater pool in performance will be experienced. Prepare for your role, disect your character rigorously, intelligently, bring all your knowledge to bear, and then, when they raise the curtain, or you hear them yell 'action'...dive...and be driven by the scene out and down, deeply, to the limits of your existential waters.

They say there are as many cells in the body as there are stars in the universe. When you lauhch into performance, you should allow youself to be launched into the deepest unknown of yourself, both conscious and unconscious, into your living depths--and heights. That act of danger, that courageous act of performance self-discovery, is your ultimate contibution to your art and the audience's humanity. Without losing your conscious control in performance you risk becoming only an artisan, and your performance becoming mere furniture.


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