I know that sometimes I’m a little OTT with my rejection of other methodologies, so in the spirit of strength through flexibility, I’d like to offer these great quotes that I found on the topic of ‘action’ in relation to acting. Here we see a gathering of points of agreement. It’s encouraging to see that it’s possible for us to pursue different pathways and still be aware that there is a similar ‘through-line’ throughout all of our work as actors, acting coaches and directors.
In The Training of the American Actor speaking about Strasberg, Louis Scheeder writes “he had come to believe that the actor should work on individual moments of action so that character might achieve the stated objective of a given scene”
In his Interview with Matthew Roudane, Mamet says “The action is what the character doing. That’s what the actor must do. Acting has absolutely nothing to do with emotion or feeling emotional. It has as little to do with emotion as playing a violin does. You have to study emotion. People don’t go to the theatre to hear the emotion; they go to hear the concerto. The emotions should take place in the audience. It just doesn’t have to be dealt with from the actor’s viewpoint.”
That interview with Roudane is particularly interesting and I advise anyone with a serious interest in Mamet, Acting or the industry in general to take a read. This theme of action is something I’m going to continue with over the next few weeks. As the Latin ‘actio‘ is the route for acting, actor and action, it seems to make sense that action is the core of the actor. The extent of which, I believe defines our particular acting technique of style.