I Believe This About Acting
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Drama critics more and more point to opposites as crucial, though they don't say they are opposites. Clive Barnes, describing the revival of The Little Foxes at Lincoln Center, wrote that one of its outstanding qualities was "a natural breathing interplay…a spontaneity...even a measured spontaneity." (Italics mine.) 

In every part an actor plays there are Sameness and Difference. The actor and character must become one. In the book Actors on Acting, the editors write: "This identification with the role becomes a complex problem for the actor." And Stanislavski talked about "living a part." He says: "He (the actor) must fit his own human qualities to the life of this other person, and pour into it all of his own soul." 

I have learned from Aesthetic Realism that as the actor gives life to a character, he, in turn, is given life by that character. The more a role truly affects us, the more we come into our own. We are added to by every part we play. Juliet is now part of my life, and am more me because I played that part. 

In the essay "Art As Life," Ell Siegel writes: "Our lives are a making one of difference and sameness. Within the I is a tremendous presence of something utterly different, something akin to everything." Acting shows that this is true. Tommaso Salvini, the great 19th-century Italian actor, observed that he had to be in sympathy with every character he played. "One may sympathize even with a villain, and yet remain an honest man." 

And there are sameness and difference within every character. Moods and aspects, subtleties and variations are in each role we play. No person is 'just one way. But both actor and audience must believe that the character in Act I is the same in Act 111, however different that character becomes. 

When I played Sasha in Chekhov's Ivanov, I had to make a vast emotional change within a short space of time. In Act 1, she is a young girl making fun of stodgy people at her birthday party, romantically in love, careless about the meaning of life. In Act IV, several years have gone by and she is older, bitter, and angry. I found myself some nights simply feeling I was not the same person in Act IV that I had been at the beginning of the play. How could I make such a swift change in such a short time? I seemed like two different people. But there were performances when I felt I was the same person, even though I was changed, and this was really exciting. Sameness and Difference had merged. 

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