Acting- not just great acting- should be, 1)TRANSFORMATIONAL, 2) REVELATORY and 3) COSTLY.
Okay, so let’s really look at this. The idea of “transformational” is exactly as the word suggests. Change must take place when the actor traverses the distance between actor and character. This, of course, on it’s face sounds basic, but it’s rare that we pleasure of seeing that distance traveled. The question of “why” is manifold and too extensive for me to address in this one blog, but I will- God willing- get to it later. I do, however, offer this:
Aside from the general devaluation of all art in this country- including acting- for the sake of impostor “art” that can be easily summed up, apprehended and consumed at a healthy profit, and aside from the general dilution of the amount of people with artistic, discerning eyes when it comes to perceiving quality acting, the actor- at the end of the day- has no one to blame but himself (which, of course, includes me). There is an arrogance, based in fear, that must be confronted within the actor himself before transformation can take place. All to often, we as actors are more comfortable approaching a role with the idea of finding common ground with the character. “How is the character like me,” we might ask, or how can I make this character “my own.” In effect, we bring the character down to ourselves where we feel comfortable and safe instead of risking discomfort and failure by daring to leave the comfort zone, let go of ourselves and embrace who the character is, allowing it to make us its own.
Despite my noobish delusions of grandeur at having accomplished something and my over-zealous, dog with a bone, temperament toward all the flair and conceits contain within my own writing, performances, etc…, I’ve had to face the sad cruel fact that, professionally, everything I do is crap. …At least initially.