New PDF release: Actor and the Target

By Declan Donnellan

ISBN-10: 1854598384

ISBN-13: 9781854598387

“Acting is a reflex, a mechanism for improvement and survival. . . . It isn’t ‘second nature,’ it truly is ‘first nature.’”—Declan Donnellan
This immensely well known and ever-practical ebook on performing takes a scalpel to the center of actors’ power fears, aiding them to unlock their expertise on degree. it truly is simple and unpretentious, with a spirit of creative and private freedom.

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Example text

One half he calls the past, and the other half he calls the future. And those are the only two places he can live. Fear governs the future as Anxiety, and the past as Guilt. So the actor is deluded into leaving the target in the present, absconding with Fear into the past and the future, and the result is block. In fact, although its effects are felt in the present, block can only start in the past and the future. An obvious example is the fear of ‘drying’. Actually actors rarely forget their lines when they remain present.

Even the most stylised art is about life, and the more life there is present in a work of art, the greater the quality of that art. Life is mysterious and transcends logic, so the living thing can never be fully analysed, taught or learned. But those things that apparently cut out life, or seem to conceal or block it, are not nearly so mysterious as they pretend. These ‘things’ are bound by logic and may be analysed, isolated and destroyed. The doctor may explain why the patient is dead, but never why the patient is alive.

So a) this book will not lay down many rules, and b) you will know whether they are helpful only if they work for you in practice. We normally test rules by considering whether or not we believe them or agree with them. But these rules do not claim to govern a country or save life; they just help us make-believe. Whether or not we actually agree with these rules is therefore beside the point. They are not moral absolutes; they work only if they work. ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ This is the mantra of the blocked actor and can prise open a trap down which all can tumble.

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Actor and the Target by Declan Donnellan

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