Sunday, January 19, 2003

Wasting Time Is All I'm Gonna Do

Someone -- actually two someones -- tonight made me quite mad. I realized I either sounded like a total ponce or a total bitch.
I'm quite sure they didn't understand they touched a completely raw nerve.
They were making fun of actors. Specifically, they were suggesting that anyone and their mother in New York can get a bit part on Law and Order.
That had a point, granted: it is easy to get on the show, I suppose. I know plenty of people who have. I'm glad of it to, easy jobs for actors. I mean, it's a paycheck and a resume slot, all in one.
What really, really vexed me was their sneering attitude towards actors. The implicit idea that anyone can do it and that it requires no real training.

Which is so not true.
Obviously, as someone who studied it seriously for four years and who studied it for a decade before that, I take umbrage when a person belittles my profession. It takes a great deal of training, study and work to be any good at acting.
Stanislavski's students -- and most programs based on his teaching -- require besides a rigorous theatre study, fencing, gymnastics and dancing. Along with studying literature, art, history and pyschology. And when I say rigorous theatre study, I mean, poise, elocution, movement and newer programs teach tai chi and othe eastern movements.
And acting is only the beginning. Directors, dramaturgs, producers and designers all take acting classes as a practicum to understanding their own studies.
It takes dedication, understanding, and lots of work to be an actor. To suggest anyone can do it is an insult. It shows disrespect to the art.
No one says that about dancers or sculptors or poets.

Obviously, I spend a lot of time defending what I do. I take pride in it. I do what Shakespeare did. I what Marlowe did, and Tennessee Williams and Brecht and Ibsen. I can change the world, because I can change the way people see the world.

Also, it irritated me because I can't -- or probably more accurately, don't -- get on in the world of theatre.

I should go. I have to work early tomorrow.

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