Monday, March 22, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
ON ACTING: The Value of Performance Complexity
Complexity of performance enhances the audience's experience. By putting the audience through a complex emotional experience, where there is no singular right and/or singular wrong, and allowing those complex character emotions to stir concomitant complex feeling and thinking within the audience, the actor forces the audience to consider the fullness of the presented dramatic issue and in the long run to understand it and themselves better. That is the whole point of drama, by the way: to keep alive and emotional at the forefront of the audience’s consciousness their personal, social and philosophical unresolved issues. As James Joyce said in his Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man”: the artist in his work must “forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.”
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
ON ACTING: The Simultaneity of Emotion
Audiences who leave a satisfying performance in the theatre leave not aware of every single note played, but having experienced the music, the overall sum of the parts.
So an actor who ‘plays’ emotional moments as if they are discrete occurrences plays falsely. The audience, who, I repeat, knows life (without even in the theatre consciously knowing they know it) recognize truth from falseness in performance. They ‘know’ emotional changes in life are not discrete events, with one emotion stopping before another begins, with the notes of a musical staff played individually rather than all at once, so when they see an actor’s performance such as we have described it, they cease to identify with the actor-as-character, or his performance.