Saturday, November 26, 2011

ON ACTING: Elegance

Why is physical and intellectual elegance valued in an actor's performance? Why is the standard "Less is more" chanted to an actor who is overacting? Why is understatement valued so highly in acting (as well as in most other human endeavors)?

Because the economy of effort increases the power of the task attempted: in other words, decrease the area of release (in acting terms, the release of the emotion felt through offered words, movement and gesture) and you increase the affect on the other characters and the viewing audience: less release = more power.

Release the same amount of hate by injecting a sharp needle into the eye of an opponent than hitting him over the head with a large piece of wood and I believe you make a more powerful statement on the audience, not to mention the recipient of the needle point.

Think of putting your finger over a portion of the head of a garden hose: you are able to send the same amount of water a further distance (and/or increase the power in the water spray) by reducing the area of water release.


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