A Thought On Acting

Two days ago, on Saturday, I made my way backstage with a heavy heart. Plopping down into a plastic chair I dragged out from the neighbouring room, I began to mull over my performance onstage with great turmoil. As I reflected over my staging, I realized that I hadn’t portrayed my character strongly enough, and I completely messed up one of my lines. These thoughts swirled in my head, and I desperately wanted to redeem myself and get back up onstage, but unfortunately I had no scenes left to act. Glancing up, I noticed that a fellow actor had a notebook and pen. Suddenly I saw a ray of hope in that paper and pen. Eagerly I asked if she could lend me her notebook and pen. She nodded, and I began to write, mostly to comfort myself, and to somehow justify my mistakes:

Is acting doing “what you’re supposed to do?” Is acting saying things at the “right time,” in the “right way?” If you break character in acting, then are you still acting? If not, then when you break character, you are not “messing up.” What is “messing up” when you are acting? Missing or altering a line in the script might be counted as “messing up,” or missing some notes in a song might be counted as “messing up” or just plain bad singing. If someone stutters or doesn’t enunciate clearly, is that “messing up?” Is acting supposed to portray real life or some super-life? Are stories so appealing because they don’t portray our own, real life? Is acting real life? If it is, then there can be no such thing as “messing up,” because life isn’t planned out out and perfect. If it isn’t then there is no way there can be a relatively good performance, even if you actually ARE the character itself. No one can be a perfect author, (besides the Author of the universe) unless they embody the characters completely, and that is impossible because unless you are completely the character, there is no way you can tell whether your character’s thoughts and reactions are completely true to the character, thus if someone doesn’t write true to the character, no one can be completely true to the character, thus if acting is portraying super-life, acting can never be completely fulfilled. And unless it is completely fulfilled, it is a lie. I want to see TRUE acting. Good actors are the actors that are as close as they can get to TRUE acting.

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