Friday, April 22, 2011

ON ACTING: The Pleasure of it All

To act is not simply to carry out mechanically a pre-designed formulation. Life--which is required to attract and move an audience--doesn't happen that way. True, in any performance, the words are given, the blocking is given, the props may be given and the camera angles set...but within those designated limits, I am free to live, spontaneously and unexpectedly.

Perhaps my character is required to say according to the script "I love you," and the director asks me while saying it to touch the other character's cheek with my right hand, all the while reaching for a gift to proffer them.

All that may be I feel when I say that, the subtle and unexpected variations in possible tone and pitch when I say it, the feel of the silken gift I am picking up with my other hand, the way it modulates in unexpected ways my feelings of love for the other person, the radiance (or fear or tenderness, etc.) in their eyes when I touch them, the unexpected longing they may suddenly feel for me, and I, in turn for them...all before, during and immediately after I say my line, touch the face and give the gift, that, my friend, is my actor's world. That is why I act; to be me--in this case, the full, complex unexpected and spontaneous loving me--within whatever parameters and limitations the script and the director asks.

Boundries do not inhibit me; they free me.

They enable me to love you in a single bed. on the grassy slope of a mountain, in a rainstorm or a desert windstorm. None of it matters...only that I will be free to feel--each time if many times are required--my enormous love for you while I touch your face, say "I love you," and hand you the silken gift.


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