I’m Irrepressibly Stuck With ‘The Actor’s Fracture’
That’s a name I concocted for what happens when actors watch any medium that has acting in it.
When I go to the movies, my brain is dual-tasking: One part of it is involved in the story, and the other is watching the acting.
It’s like in those old fashioned cartoons–one of little me, like a wide-eyed little child, sitting on my left shoulder with a giant bucket of popcorn almost the same size I am, rapt and absorbed by whatever I am watching…laughing or crying or just absolutely entranced. On the other shoulder sits a cub-reporter version of me with a little notepad and short pencil, shaking my head with a tsk-tsk, everytime I see an actor miss an authentic opportunity…and nearly tormented with animated fist shaking at the screen when I can tell that the editor may’ve cropped an actor’s performance to it’s detriment.
The kid on my left shoulder is really the one that is the true player. That’s the part of me that is romantically in love with theatre, movies, and even TV. The journalist on the right shoulder is really a critic, that is sitting outside of the experience. I do have a film degree from NYU, so I can criticize the film or TV show, whatever. But mostly, what I am doing, automatically, is watching the acting. I dissect the acting. From all different aspects.
I thought the beauty of movies and theatre, etc. was lost forever, to me. That I would never be able to immerse myself in some fantastic story that I was watching, and that I would no longer get enjoyment out of the thing that had always been my favorite.
For awhile, especially in my acting study years, that was true. My attention was so taken by what each actor was doing, the acting choices they had made, the authenticity of each beat; that I had to keep pulling my brain back into the overall movie.
At this point in my life, I am pleased to report that I can be absolutely immersed in every great movie, play, or TV show, that I see. When they are that good, that is. (Don’t we all wish there were more movies, plays, TV shows, that we could lose ourselves in? Be viscerally ‘taken by’?) The two little cartoon characters on each of my shoulders have, on their own, created a really nice give-and-take relationship. I don’t even notice who is taking what focus anymore, not while watching anything. It’s become a rewarding co-existence for me; and I am actually happier because the duality serves two of my passions. I get to be immersed in whatever production I get to see; and I also get to keep my acting chops tuned, and my acting wisdom intact, by observing and seeing through the performances in each production.
Now I’ve Got Netflix.
If you are a beginning or intermediate level actor, especially, you could be watching acting performances, and learning from them, everyday…If you have Netflix, lemme know…
If you like Hollywood Actor Prep, then please share or ‘like’ on Facebook.