We’re All in This Together
“We’re all in this together” may be my central saying that informs my teaching. That saying is also perhaps a key to my life philosophy. I am not against using a critical eye. I am not against making a critical comment. However, no amount of criticism can deny the mutual nature of our humanity.
Sometimes when an actor has a difficult time with an exercise in my workshops or in rehearsal I will jokingly, yet, empathetically ask them “Did you suffer for your Art”. But, when I ask, it is a genuine question. Usually, their first response is a fleeting moment of silence followed immediately by a wry smile. To one colleague who really used to suffer a lot for their Art, I used to say “Well, you can at least try to smile on one side of your mouth”. That became a catchphrase for whenever they were suffering they would crack a smile on one side of their mouth. Then we could directly move on to working out a way to resolve whatever the artistic problem was.
As artists we are all in an encounter with ourselves and with our Art. Stanislavsky, who was the great Russian director and teacher of Acting. He is the single biggest influential source of modernising the theatre and performing arts. His vision continues to evolve through each of us. He had numerous colleagues with whom he had an artistic dialogue about how to modernise Acting and the Theatre. Stanislavsky had three primary protégées who each took their teacher’s (Stanislavsky) ideas further via their own personal vision. They did not exceed him nor did they supersede him. They extended and varied Stanislavsky’s creative vision. Those three fellow visionaries were: Yevgeny Vahktangov; Vsevolod Meyerhold; Michael Chekov. Following after them was the Polish director and one of the most original creators of true ‘physical theatre’, Jerzy Grotowski, who always paid homage to Stanislavsky.
One of Stanislavsky’s most essential books was “My Life in Art”. We are each writing a modern version of ‘my life in art’ day by day.
Regards from Ira Seidenstein, PhD. If you know others who may relate to my Blogs and work please Share.
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