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Can You Learn To Act?

 

Can Acting be taught?

Many years ago I would have answered “NO”. I once believed that you either had it or you didn’t have it. But in my experience of being an actor for twenty five years, and working with actors for nearly as long, I believe this not to be the truth. The truth is Acting can be taught. The essential qualities that one needs are ‘passion’, ‘determination’ and ‘perserverence’.

So what is this IT – that quality, that thing, that magic which makes an actor a good actor? To address this question we must ask the same question of “Theatre”. ‘What is the essential quality/thing which makes theatre – Good Theatre?’

“The Immediacy of the Present Moment”

All good Acting aspires to this Principle. Regardless of the play’s content, style or direction, the only individual who can apply this Principle is The Actor. The actor’s ability to execute this Principle is independent of the written material. The Immediacy of the Present Moment can only come from the Actor. This ability to be in the Present Moment I believe is the – IT – That quality that makes for good Acting and this ability can be taught.

To quote Jerzy Grotowski (The famous Polish teacher/director)

“Theatre is a place where one man comes out to meet another, without playing any role….He is what he is, complete in himself…He only wants to meet.”

It’s in this MEETING between 2 people where an actor encounters The Present Moment.

If you can learn to be in the present moment, you can learn to act.

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*Peter-Sardi’s School Of Acting.  A Melbourne based drama school where Acting classes are taught in a safe creative environment.

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