Wednesday, September 08, 2010

ON ACTING: Exciting Reality

The student-actor had made an "choice" how to play a moment in the scene. I watched him, later said I didn't think it was a very good choice. The actor haughtily said to me "It's the way I'd do it in my everyday real life." I said "Maybe; but I doubted I'd be willing to for a $10.50 a ticket (or a $100 on Broadway) to see you in your everyday life. What I'd like to see are the choices you'd make if you were brave and exciting in your everyday life."

Sometimes a teacher has to be cruel to be kind!

A good actor knows that any acting choice must not only be real (i.e., logical to life) but must also be exciting. That's what training and experience are for: to teach and encourage actors not only to seek for reality in their performances, but to bravely seek moments of exciting reality.

"The person that pays the piper calls the tune." The paying audiences knows "real"; they experience it everyday life in their lives. They come to the theater to experience--and they often pay highly for--"exciting" reality. The actor's obligation is to provide it. Period.


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