Actors & Acting
by G.L. Horton
G.L. Horton's newest essays are now being posted on her stageblog.
of Acting Is Spiritual Practice
I've got to protest the "acting is behavior we get paid for"
definition. Acting is an ancient spiritual practice, a mediating
priesthood, R & D for individual souls and for the Body Politic.
Training & Projection of Inner States
RV wrote: "Voice and movement have always been
trained to some degree ... as they were the only acting means
'trainable' until Stanislavsky came on the scene." GLH
replies: Isn't much of traditional Eastern acting training
focused on the attainment and projection of inner states?
do accents in the first place?
JH wrote: "With English accents there is [often]
an element of amelioration. In times of stress, this veneer can
drop..." GLH replies: I often put this change
of diction into a character's written lines . . .
angry at playwright over unpaid production
DF wrote: "My play Fire in the Park, set in Victorian
Manchester, has been picked up by a company staging it in Salford.
Some of my actor friends are angry with me for letting a company
that doesn't pay its actors put on my play." GLH replies:
Your actor friends need to take a deep breath and chant "Ohmmmm". . .
VG wrote: "Acting is therapy, or should be . . .
acting is such a splendid and spiritual profession." GLH
replies: I must protest-- not because I don't wish it were
true! I think the craft of acting leads to the accumulation of
emotional recognition and control that can be put to theraputic
uses but . . .
for Older Actors?
K. wishes more playwrights would "write older" . . .
GLH replies: I think you'd perform a public service
if you wrote to those theatres and told them that "they" would
find 60+ actors very easily if they'd take the trouble to look . . .
Checkov & psychological gesture
GLH writes: I feel compelled to respond to this thread,
although it has suddenly occurred to me that I am about to venture
into an area of theory where I can cite no authorities. . . .
My understanding of the PG-- which may have No relationship to
the "official" one-- goes like this: The PG is the particular
shape of the libido as it emerges from the id . . .
In most plays there are one or two overarching PGs that animate
almost ALL the characters, and a good production makes this invisible
unifying force visible and understood . . .
Checkov's psychological gesture
GLH writes: Chekhov's To the Actor (1953)
is the only one that talks about theatre in a way that incorporates
the elements I most value: the mystical, aesthetic, communal,
inspired, & transpersonal. He connects psychology and philosophy
with ritual, and the art of acting with the other arts . . .
See also other G.L. Horton essays on . . . actors
& acting . . . criticism . . .
literature . . . miscellaneous
. . . modern plays . . .
political commentary . . . Shakespeare
. . . women's issues . . .
writing & directing & producing