By Declan Donnellan

ISBN-10: 1854598384

ISBN-13: 9781854598387

“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 center of actors’ chronic fears, aiding them to free up their expertise on degree. it really is simple and unpretentious, with a spirit of creative and private freedom.

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Example text

Becomes increasingly banal the more the relationship matters; the words work reasonably well to greet the postman as he delivers a package, but are woefully inadequate to a friend with cancer. There will always be a gap between what we feel and our ability to express what we feel. The more we wish for the gap to be smaller, and the more we want to tell ‘the truth’, then the wider this perverse gap yawns. We act constantly, not because we are purposely lying, but because we have no choice. Living well means acting well.

Fear corrodes this trust, undermines our confidence and clots our work. And the rehearsal must feel safe so that the performance may seem dangerous. But what is this particular capitalised ‘Fear’? It is hard to define because it is a personal amalgam of countless shifting emotions, always changing shape like a shoal of fish. It is not to be confused with the feeling that any one of us might have if a lunatic rushed into the room waving a rifle. Sometimes, this Fear comes wearing a mask: arrogance is a favourite disguise and mannerism is another.

Imagine you are a guest, comfortably seated on a sofa, when your host suddenly rushes in and starts insisting that you sit down. ’ And if you decide that he is the sane one and not you, and if you do try to oblige him, and if you do try to ‘sit’ more because somehow you are not doing it well enough . . and if you go on trying . . and if he gets more and more frustrated and starts to shout, crazy as it sounds, all this is precisely what happens when we try to be present. We get so confused that we knock ourselves out.

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Actor and the Target by Declan Donnellan

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