August Newsletter_Peter Sardi’s School Of Acting
QUOTE OF THE MONTH: “The need to be a great artist makes it hard to be an artist. The need to produce a great work of art makes it hard to produce any art at all.”Julia Cameron (1815-1879)
Welcome to all our Acting students for the new term. You can now view a pic of our current acting students by clicking:<current Acting School students>
ACTORS ARE A COURAGEOUS SPECIES!
In nearly thirty years of being an actor and working with actors I continue to re-consider this thing we call ‘acting’. What is it that actors actually do? Do we create? Are we interpreters? Is there actually a craft that is learnable? Can anyone learn the craft of acting? These are some of the questions that I have been exploring for nearly thirty years at the School Of Acting in Melbourne. For many years some of the great teachers, directors and theatre people have documented their life experiences in the theatre. A life-time surrounded by actors, directors, writers, stage hands and anyone and everyone interested in creating theatre. So ‘why theatre?’ I am reminded of Peter Brook in his now infamous book The Empty Space where he asks this question: “Why theatre at all? What for? … Has the stage a real place in our lives? What function can it have? What could it serve?” This question is still being asked. It should continue to be asked in order that we don’t fall into a complacency, an easy way out where theatre becomes solely entertainment, amusement, a diversion whose purpose is to distract us away from ourselves. The dictionary describes entertainment as: “a way of amusing people, especially by performing for them.” Don’t get me wrong. I believe theatre should be entertaining but I also feel it can be challenging and provocative. Provocative in the sense that it should take us out of our comfort zone and get us to think and feel in ways that transcend our traditional ideas and rules. It takes courage to challenge our traditional and habitual ways of thinking and being. Theatre needs to take us out of our comfort zone and into ourselves not away from ourselves in the way of distraction, in the way of escapism. Theatre, for it to be more than mere entertainment, needs to challenge us in ways that make us question our values, our lives and how we live. Jerzy Grotowski, the innovative Polish theatre director, once said: “All of my plays ask the same question – How should one live?” I believe what Mr. Grotowski was really asking here was to do with morality. How should one live, how should one behave with ones fellow human beings? What fundamental quality is essential? What fundamental quality unites us? This quality I believe is our humanity. Arthur Miller, the great American playwright, once said: “The theatre is about people, human beings aspiring to something better.” No matter what the play. No matter the characters. Theatre – I believe – should first and foremost be about people/human-beings in conflict as they confront the big question: “HOW SHOULD ONE LIVE?” The actor, by confronting this question in each performance, encourages the audience to confront the same question. Via the play-production and the actors’ sacrifice of himself/his ego – the actor is able to go on a journey each night and assist the audience on going on the same journey. For this reason I believe – Actors are courageous people. I’m not talking only of the courage it takes for an actor to get up in front of a live audience and bare his/her soul, that’s hard enough. I’m talking about the courage it takes to truly live a creative life. To not blindly accept the opinions of others but to question for oneself. To jump from the known into the unknown. Yes – Actors are a courageous species. … Peter Sardi 1st. August 2009
Peter Sardi’s School Of Acting August 1 2009 Melbourne
The inspiration to write the above piece on Acting and Actors came from this brief youtube video from one of the great theatre directors. Harold Clurman. CLICK on PIC below to see this rare clip.