Actor and the Target by Declan Donnellan

By Declan Donnellan

“Acting is a reflex, a mechanism for improvement and survival. . . . It isn’t ‘second nature,’ it's ‘first nature.’”—Declan Donnellan
 
This immensely well known and ever-practical ebook on performing takes a scalpel to the guts of actors’ continual fears, aiding them to unlock their expertise on level. it's user-friendly and unpretentious, with a spirit of inventive and private freedom.

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Therefore much of what is said at the beginning of this book will make little sense till the end. A map This book is like a map. Like all maps, it is a lie, or rather, a lie trying to tell a useful story. A metro map bears no resemblance to the city street system and will mislead the pedestrian, but it will help you if you want to change trains. And as with many maps, it takes some familiarity to help you find your way. So before we continue it will help to revisit some basic terms. Rehearsal Broadly speaking, we can divide the work of the actor into two parts, rehearsal and performance.

The damage spreads from one area to another and cannot be quarantined. However, the main cause of an actor’s problems is far simpler than its many effects, just as a bomb is simpler than the havoc it wreaks. But although this particular ‘bomb’ is simple, it is hard to describe and isolate. Before we can identify and defuse this bomb, we need some tools. These tools take the form of choices and rules. Rules should be two things: a) few, and b) helpful. So a) this book will not lay down many rules, and b) you will know whether they are helpful only if they work for you in practice.

But truthful to what? The real me inside? To others? Truthful to what I feel, want, ought to be? The question marks hang with the observation that the above and all the following are not necessarily true, but may prove useful. Block Rather than claim that ‘x’ is a more talented actor than ‘y’, it is more accurate to say that ‘x’ is less blocked than ‘y’. The talent is already pumping away, like the circulation of the blood. We just have to dissolve the clot. Whenever we feel blocked the symptoms are remarkably similar, whatever the country, whatever the context.

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