Jun 29, 2007

Inside the Actors Studio

I'm in my native Caracas since Tuesday. It's always both exhilarating and frustrating to be here. Caracas is a complex metropolis that showcases the best and worst of large cities.

Recently I had an amazing experience here: I was an observer in an Actors Studio workshop, taught by Lisa Formosa, in which about thirty Venezuelan actors are participating. Thanks to my research I know many of them quite well. Being a witness to the learning process of actors helped me deepen my understanding and learning of their craft.

I saw how these actors came prepared to perform a text that was given to them beforehand. They were ready to become a character written by brilliant and challenging authors like Sam Shepard and Tony Kushner, among others. I was impressed by the workshop instructor's ability to make changes in the plan and move the actors out of their comfort zone. She encouraged them to explore the duality of their characters, and warned them about the tendency that all actors have to make their characters better people than they really are.

I have known for years that acting requires talent, intuition, intelligence and a particular brand of sensibility. Yesterday I learned that great acting also requires risk, commitment and the willingness to explore human emotion...starting with the actor's own emotions.

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