Wednesday, April 01, 2009

ON ACTING: The Joy of Acting

Actors often forget the FUN of acting. JOY is the reward of the hard work (getting the job, learning lines, internalizing the blocking requirements, etc).

Acting is not an obligation but a celebration of life: your life as defined by character and plot. It is the emotional flow and joy of your being alive; of having an intense relationship with other people (actors-as-characters), embroiled in the events in the action of the piece, in the safety of the stage and set.

An acor's performance without such living, vital joy is a dead performace. Even pain in performance is pleasure for the actor. A character's pain in performance is a release of the actor's own inner agony, a circumscribe flow of the actor's prior emotional experience, now safely and beneficially released in the words and actions of the character.

To be alive, onstage or off, is the greatest joy.

Do the work first (which includes, like an athlete, being in the best acting-shape possible...through a lifetime of study, practice and experience), prepare for each role with such concentrated effort so that each character, each performance, is no longer a role but you dressed up in the words and actions given to you by the writer and director...and then live.

Remember: each role, each performance, each 'take' of a film scene (and that includes each audition) is, like a moment in everyday life: unique and never possible to be repeated. 'Seize the day!' A successful life (and acting career) is nothing more (or less) than the accumulated stringing together of such joyfully experienced, never-to-be-repeated, individual celebrations of of life...your life...the intensely felt discrete segments of your own existance.


Blogger Ashlley Elias said...

I can see your point about how a performance can feel dead when someone isn't having fun, I guess I would argue the fun can be a memory as much as a current state.

I just wrote a piece related to this and I would love to get your feedback on it.

It's about actors that are too focused on having fun acting to the detriment of their performance.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Cliff Osmond said...

The actor should never have fun being an actor; s/he should have fun being the character!

8:17 PM  

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