Sunday, May 11, 2008

ON ACTING: The Same Roles

Why do actors get bored playing the same role over and over again?

Acting--which is life in a special context--is ultimately and best a journey to self-discovery. Plato said: "Self-discovery is greatest conquest." Each role we play asks us the question--demands: "What side of me do you require today?" And when and if the answer is: "I want the same side of you as I required yesterday, and probably the day(s) before that", we, as actors, grow bored. We want to map new rivers, explore the undiscovered self, experience our less experienced possibilities. Who wants to chart the same river; take the top off the same emotional box; reveal the same present each day of the year?

Living a life of repetition is why artists often flee bureaucracy, why we rebel against the arena of rules and certainty; why we often avoid at all costs the certainty of nine-to-five-five-days-a week jobs. Artists would rather starve than miss exploring the impenetrable depths and unknown breadth of art and self.

So when art (a role) asks us to do the same thing over and over again, to be repetetive scientists as it repeat a known and unyielding physical fact or formula of ourselves, we balk, flee into boredom (numbing our reality).

OR: if and when that rebellion fails, we tell our agent to ask for a hell of a lot more money for the next year of the series!!!


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