Friday, October 7, 2011
Reflections On Acting - Part I
Many actors perform in ways that are not only absolutely irrealistic, but are devoid of sense, meaning, heart. Many actors - even famous ones - are totally unprepared for what they are doing, to the point where I have doubts they actually do anything else besides learning their lines. They are actors in the sense that they are merely telling a lie; they are trying to make someone else believe that they are who they are not. They act.
Performing is instead an extension of the real me, it is transporting myself into a parallel dimension where I am still myself but in a different context and wearing different garments, both literally and metaphorically. It is me, not Hamlet, it is my own body, not Hamlet's, sweating from the heat of the spotlights; it is my own emotionality, not Hamlet's, my own psyche, not Hamlet's, reacting to the emotional feedback received from another performer, or from a given context.
I believe that any preparatory work, either for performing in general or for building a character, should be done primarily on the performer. Relaxation, memory training, vocal training, the development of an emotional memory, improvisation training; this kind of work-out is done by the performer, who then uses it for his own purposes, which are not necessarily strictly related to stage or camera life, but to real life as well. This is why I cannot in the world call myself an actor. There is something more to acting, something that goes beyond a mere representation of an emotional state. That state is instead recreated, lived through in full participation and thorough personal involvement.
At this point, you might be wondering, "What is then the difference between life and fiction"? Here is my answer: the emotional flow I need when I'm performing can be controlled. This is the difference. It is happening inside of myself and I am fully involved in it; yet, at the same time, I am able to remain at an objective level. I am watching myself from outside of myself, from above; through a complex system of wires and threads I move and direct the non-physical dimension of myself, the one relating to my emotions and feelings. Imagine hearing a voice telling you "Live this emotion, breathe it, it is real; feel the pain, feel the tears slowly welling up, the rage twisting your intestines and mounting, mounting, BUT: it is just an experiment, do not forget". As such, I can, I must control it.
I am the puppet and the puppetteer.
I am the mover, the moved, and the motion.