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.