Friday, October 01, 2010

ON ACTING: Storytelling

While emotion must dances its heartfelt dance within the actor's performance, storytelling must always engage the actor's performance focus. The actor may feel, but the feelings must be purposefully driven. His/her feelings must arise from the interplay of the actor-as-character's emotional self as it pursues storytelling action.

True, there are seemingly inactive stories, where the events are not propelled by the characters; where characters seem only to suffer inactively "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" (Hamlet's phrase), never seeming to shoot their own arrows, as it were, into the face of their own fate. They primary action seems only to survive. They are like leaves bobbing in a rapid filled river, the destiny dictated not by desire to swim to shore, but merely to stay afloat. That is their action. (And one might argue, the often post-modern condition.)

However, both swimming to shore and/or trying desperately to remain afloat take the same energy. They are but opposite sides of the same coin.

The one thing the good actor must never do is to allow themselves to drown into the de-energizing waters of their own emotion..,.to allow feelings to be the be-all and end-all of their total performance. They must either swim to shore or fight desperately to stay afloat. Anything else is performance suicide.


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