Monday, July 16, 2012

ON ACTING: The Shared Experience

At the core of acting are a series of transferred feelings: the actor's and the audience's. The actor transfers his/her feelings outward through their performances, encasing them in their personal in their voices and words, their body movements, their faces and their gestures. Then the audience picks up on those outer expressions, and has their own emotional systems thereby activated.

Watching a performance is an experience in self-identification and shared humanity. "Oh," the audience says, in effect, in watching and hearing an actor act. "I recognize myself in you. We are alike, aren't we? I may not be a great lover, like your character, or a killer, or a man or a woman. But your characterization, when reduced to it's simplest sounds and sights, shapes and form, makes me you."

Acting becomes the same experience as the author Pat Conroy says about reading a novel: "finding out we are not alone."


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