Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Judge Within

The Scarlet Letter
Nobody, at some point in life, is spared lying on the bottom of the barrel.
Nobody is saved from reaching their lowest ever moral level. Yet, this won't satisfy the humorous side of Fate. The Moirai will have us trapped not only into the basest of all deeds for men of our ranks, but also the one we have always criticised others for.

Although we all are to some degree, it's good to try not to be judgmental in life.
But it is absolutely necessary that we do so in Art.
When acting and writing, it is important for us to know where we stand before we decide to remain neutral.
That becomes true especially if we're playing or writing about characters, whose psychological and behavioural nature is extremely contradictory. We are then forced to stand in a different pair of shoes and, to some extent, convince ourselves that the character's thought is our thought. The quest for perfection requires that we find a logical spot within ourselves for that conception which happens to be so conflictual with our morals.

We must be that killer. We must be that liar and we must take revenge.

Whether we like it or not, we must find a way to make that character trait a part of ourselves. As we rummage, we might even discover, to our surprise, that the profound grudge we had often criticised others for was indeed there, inside of us. That profound crave for vengeance has always pulsed within us, buried under stacks of dusty rainbows and lemon candies, shaking and whirling like boiling magma, to just flow out and give our characters real life.

When that happens, it is impossible not to learn this important lessons:

Snobbery, at best, will kill our art; at worst, it will make it mediocre.   



  1. I have a really hard time writing characters I don't like or agree with. not necessarily from snobbery, just because I don't want to spend time with them! (Enough of that in real life . . .) I wish I COULD write a plausible Iago or Moriarty or narrator of Notes from Underground or Humbert Humbert.

  2. writing deep into ourselves unleashes the darkest of thoughts. I'm constantly amazed at these wriggling flim flams of darkness that surface like tadpoles before disappearing. Do these represent me? I suppose the difference is whether your actively seek and nourish them until they become part of you.

  3. Oh goodness.... what a true post! You have the most insightful posts, Jay! I always love them!!!

  4. Christie,
    I think it's a lovely ability that of leaving our own ego and entering that of someone else. I think it's also a good way to gain a better knowledge of yourself because, in a way, you can look at yourself from the perspective of another character...
    I am not sure this makes sense, but this is also my approach to acting.

    I agree. I think we potentially have inside all the characteristics, flaws and qualities of all human beings. But only some represent ourselves. Like you said, those that, either consciously or unconsciously we nourish and nurture.