By wsfproducer, 05-Dec-2012 05:06:00
Acting is behaving believably under imaginary circumstances.
Set within the context of properly understood imaginary circumstances, this takes the focus off of the actor and puts it with the audience. It does not matter whether or not the actor has an experience or not, feels an emotion or not, believes what he is doing or not, identifies with the character or not, it only matters that the audience finds the actor’s behavior to be believable within the imaginary circumstances of the play.
The audience cannot see an actor’s thoughts, intentions, back-story, emotions, magic ifs, substitutions, or objectives; the audience can only see and experience what the actor actually does on the stage. And, to be effective, what the actor does must be believable to the audience. No matter how outrageous, or subtle, so long as it is believable to the audience, it is effective. And effectiveness, as measured by the audience for whom we play (as well as by our own artistic sensibilities), is a much better and, ultimately, finer arbiter of our work than our own, all to often, self-indulgent and self-aggrandizing feelings.
When we behave believably within the imaginary circumstances of the play, we create the illusion of truthful living…for the audience…by the character…in the play.
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