Saturday, November 8, 2008

Unburdening Utterance 11/08/08

It is our responsibilities not ourselves that we should take seriously.

Peter Ustinov

For the artist the creative life is a fascinating, all encompassing and magical existence. Sometimes the art seems to happen by itself, the painting paints itself, the poem writes itself and, in a play, the character plays itself. I've written about that.

I have also written about actors I have known who are so self centered and egotistical that they think they are superior not only to the other actors but also to the play, the production and everyone else involved.

It took me several years to learn to laugh at myself. But I learned that there is a measurable relationship between one's insecurity and one's need to be too serious about oneself. Those who call themselves "perfectionists" and put down those around them are generally the ones, ironically, who aren't doing all that well.

The better I became as an actor the more earnestly I treated it. It was no longer just playing around and having fun. It became, instead, a serious work that had important results. But even then I had to admit its relation to the world.

Those who are involved in the theatre should remember they are not in battle, performing life or death surgery on a patient or sitting in a space ship hoping to get safely back to earth. It is art and therefore to be taken very seriously. But the artist is the steward of talent and craft, not the inventor of it.

DB - The Vagabond


Beth said...

I would guess that those who are such perfectionists would suck all the joy out of the process!

Hugs, Beth

krissy knox said...


Hmmm. The first thing that comes to my mind when I read this is: just relax and let the art come... Does that make sense, DB?

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Linda's World said...

I'm constantly amazed when I see a movie or a play how the actors can throw themselves into the character. I went to see "The Secret Lives of Bees" today and was in awe as I watched young Dakota Fanning cry, scream & get angry. Acting is truly an art form that not all of us can achieve. Stay warm back there...Linda in Washington

Big Mark 243 said...

I don't know ... there is something about getting hit in the face that brings you back to your 'here and now' in the ring. Being able to put on 'someone's shoes' whether they existed or not, is something else entirely.

I think the ego is the insecurity of someone run amok, when they think that it is about them and not about the larger picture. That is a fine line to walk, in fact, an actor I like, Ed Norton, had his moments with 'The Hulk'.

I understood his problems, but I didn't think they were valid, because of the kind of film he was making. Were this 'The Illusionist' they would have been. But for 'brain candy', I think not.

Could it be that the effort of 'becoming' is where people lose the art of their craft? Again, getting hit in the mouth, which IS going to happen, always brings a boxer back to being in that moment. Maybe some spoiled actors need to get hit in the nose as well!

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

If you cannot laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at :o)