Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Are All Actors Crazy?

This is in response to a few comments about today's entry in my journal.

Does an actor who portrays an evil character, who locates, unlocks and performs endemic human villany, carry it with him after he leaves the stage? Does it affect him to the point where that badness shows up in his own life? The answer is: no. Not unless he's a mad man to begin with.

Remember acting is an art form, a performing art. Does the ballerina walk around on her toes when she gets home? Does the trumpeter blow his trumpet in everyone's face as he goes about his daily life? Hardly. Acting villains is enjoyable and usually much more interesting than playing heros. Frank Langella once said that while he was playing Dracula on Broadway he would sometimes get the giggles which he then had to suppres.

Playing bad guys is also chathartic and therapeutic because it brings up all the human ungliness to turn into fiction, wash away and dissipate. I only know of one case where an actor brought a character home. A well known soap opera actress played several days as a woman with a cold. One day she noticed she had cold symptoms herself. She quickly talked herself out of them because she knew she didn't have a cold, only her character did.

Some people say that a person would have to be crazy to be an actor. I suppose that's true. But it's a different kind of insanity. It's positive, self fulfilling and not destructive.



Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Glad to share in your special form of insanity :o)

Searching for Peace said...

I would not say that actors are insane.(No more than the rest of us that is)My opinion is that it is an art form just like writing or painting. Where would we be withouth the escape of our own lives for awhile? Especially when I am having problems, I like to watch a movie to escape from my own life. Thank you for providing that escape for us....hugs, Christine

Beth said...

No offense intended in any way, D! You just read a lot about some actors who are "tortured" or "haunted" by roles that they have played. I just wondered if it's easy for that to spill over into every day life.


Joyce said...

It was an interesting question and I'm glad you addressed it. I'm sure some character's are hard to shake off at the end of the play or movie or whatever. That would just be human nature.
Hugs, Joyce

Big Mark 243 said...

I think that people assume that pieces of role get stuck in actors, as the character and story portrayed gets stuck in the audience.

Rose~* said...

Rose waving >>> Hi! - I get this completely. Actors are role-playing, that's all. I think some of the viewing public find it difficult to distinguish the differences at times, though. They see a favourite character and think that the actor has the same persona.