Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Illusion of the First Time in Acting by William Gillette and George Arliss

William Gillette and George Arliss. The Illusion of the First Time in Acting. (Charleston, S.C.: Bibliolete reproduction). New York: Dramatic Museum of Columbia University, 1915.

George Allen observed acting is connected to “personality”, which is hard to describe. It is possible for an actor to be well suited in voice and technique yet be a bad actor. Good acting emerges from the actor reaction and reflecting upon the other characters and from past experiences. Bad actors fail to recognize this. Bad actors are able to follow acting methods yet still fil if they “know nothing about the art of other people.” An actor accesses and exudes “personality”, or something to the degree to which different attributes are remembered.

Some can play only type of part. Thus, such a actor excels so long as that type part requires being portrayed. A problem emerges when actor are chosen to portray types they can not handle. It is better to have actors who know the range of the acting business.

An actor feels a “personality” of a character. It will be appear in voice, eye movements, bodily motions, head tilts, shoulder placements, etc.

George Allen admits he and others “haven’t the remotest idea” how personality is fostered. The characteristics vary. Allen notes “one can never be really, truly “natural” on the stage. Acting is a bag of tricks.” Facial expressions are more telling than most other bodily movements.

Dramatic presentations reaches into one’s “life-class” experiences. There is no theory or philosophy to this, yet it requires an actor to take that knowledge to mold into a character. The possibilities of presenting a role are infinite.

A play cannot be read. It exists only when performed as Simulated Life.

An actor must show expressions through behavior throughout the body. There are over a thousand things to be presented when acting along with dialogues. According to the authors, “To discover the Highest Art we must inquire the many kinds of things the man can do.”

No comments: