Why Performers?

In Animals, Artists, Circus, Current reading, Music, Poetry, Sanford Meisner, Synopsis, Theater on February 19, 2015 at 7:18 am

Laughter, I wrote yesterday. Yes, of course. But laughter is a reaction. A coping mechanism (what an ugly way to describe something of vital importance, but so be it).

Coping with what and against what. Anger, for one, and lots of it. Anger at indifference, stupidity, humiliation, pain, violence, hopelessness. The list goes on.

Affirming what? Something one of the characters in this story says and demonstrates much better than I do.

When I came home from a friend’s yesterday, I found a slim book in my mail box : Peter Brook’s The Empty Space in the original English. In the opening page of the final section dealing with The Immediate Theatre, he writes : “From the first rehearsal, the aim is always visible, not too far away, and it involves everyone. We can see many model social patterns at work : the pressure of a first night, with its unmistakable demands, produce that working-together, that dedication, that energy and that consideration of each other’s needs that governments despair of ever evoking outside wars.”

In essence, what one of the character tells the others in the story is: you’ve done a good job. How the show will play out on the road, how others will react to it, there’s no saying. But we’ve put together something good. Let’s get some sleep now, and move it forward  tomorrow through whatever tomorrow brings.

Laughter? The space of freedom. No matter what, while you’re laughing, you’re free. The levitation won’t raise you more than a millimeter? It won’t last longer than a micro-beep? Maybe. Or maybe – who knows? – you’ll learn to laugh better next time.

Why performers? For confidence in the ability to perform, no matter what.


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