Or is it just me? The one who constantly – and I mean, on a daily basis – is destroying himself from the inside, punishing morally, with the thoughts that to become a better actor, you have to follow the steps of most great actors. And no, I am not talking about the steps of training, working, ACTING… the changes in question here are of persona, identity, behavior of one. Still confused? Then you probably one of the lucky ones and don’t even get a taste of these creepy thoughts. Those people who do know what I’m talking about here probably got it from the title of this post. Anyway, let’s carry on with what I’m trying to carry over here…
To me, it looks like there are only two general types of good actors – entertainers and artists, and I’m not trying to offend any of the type. Actor slash entertainer, in my eyes, is the one who rarely gets embarrassed, never self-conscious, all with jokes and laughs and working for the audience; this type of actor doesn’t mind to jump on the table and start doing stand-up comedy bit right in the middle of cafeteria full of people, just out of the blue. I’m not this kind of a person, but I do think they are lucky. Artist (not to say that entertainers can’t be labeled as these too) – with this particular description I mean an artsy person, the one in love with music, painting, poetry, anything of those, plus he/she is shy, self-conscious, and the reason these people became actors is to get away from their own real identity, to become someone else and take a rest from their own shyness. I’m kind of like this type, not really though.
Now, are we on the same page yet? I hope so, because I cannot make it more clear than that. Let us move further, and I want to ask you a question.
Do you think one type of the actor has advantage over the other?
I would like to get back to the “artsy” type of an actor, and especially the part where I have said “that I’m not really that type”. What am I? A mixture of the two, with non of the good sides and will the baggage of bad ones. I’m no entertainer, but I’m shy, though I have no passion for music, poetry, and any of that kind of things. I would really love to feel it, I just don’t. Or am I just lazy? Maybe. The important thing is, that I realized this long time ago and still trying to figure out a way of how to become one of those. I love acting, this is what matters to me the most, but I would love to be a person who deserves to love acting with a passion, if you catch my drift. I would love to be a James Dean, Johnny Depp, James Franco type of an actor – people, that when we look at them, we can tell they’re slightly crazy, out in their own world, “artsy”. Maybe that is why they are/were good. At least I think so. Is this wrong that I am trying to achieve that state? You would probably say yes.
I’ve read that one thing that Meisner and Strasberg did agree one, is that they both like one Sicilian actor, who they though was the best actor ever to step on the stage/in front of a camera. Most of the teachers these days think that they secret to his greatness was his ignorance. William Esper wrote in his about how he learned of this Sicilian actor’s inability to have a simplest conversation – he just wasn’t intelligent (let’s call it this way) enough for this kind of task. Due to this secret of his, he was able to portray any character however he wanted – he had no self-consciousness, no self-awareness, no shyness, no nothing… he only wanted to act, and didn’t think much more than that. Just a like a kid. Do you remember how everyone always reminds us that children are the best actors? Well there you go, one of the great examples – the best, probably. This draws out another question I’d like to ask.
Would it be beneficial to become more ignorant? (sounds too rough, but there’s no better word for it)
What I am saying here is that in my case, if I would like to drop the shyness and self-awareness, the huge chunk of “thinking” part of my brain will have to stop their work. They will just be shut down, forever. If I managed to do so. Now I always though of myself as a fairly intelligent person, with an open mind and critical thinking – I was interesting in new things, research, medical studies, exploring the world, and never trusted a single article in a magazine or any type of this. I’ve question everything, and done my own research, which made me a VERY self-aware person. This was back when I didn’t think that braininess can actually hurt an actor’s craft; it was back in the day when I really wanted to be a smart one. Now all of that has to be dropped somehow, or forgotten, or just put aside for a while. However, is there really a way to do this? Can we shut down our critical thinking and become artists, living life in the moment, not over-thinking things, not worry about anything – just acting, playing, living… I really hope so, because this is what I want to do. I don’t care about becoming famous or rich, I just want the mindset of a great actor; the one, who doesn’t care about what others are thinking about him, one who loves to do what he/she does in spite of all the hate or criticism. Is that too much to ask now, at this stage of life?
If at least one person understood what I meant with this post, I am very, VERY happy. Then I guess I did sent my message across, then there is someone like me. If not, then a simple and last question follows.
Am I crazy?