by george, i think he's got it
September 10, 2003 05:06 PM

I've been saying for a very, very long time that I don't have much truck with reality in art. But my partner sees a slightly different story. His schtick has always been that one might do something abstract and expressive in the context of art (specifically theatre, of course), but that one must truly do the thing in question on the stage or page.

Really do it, he says, even if it's something as absurd as ripping a hole in the space-time continuum with your magic box (no, seriously, he actually says something like that).

I struggle with this idea a lot. Particularly since I don't enjoy the directing thing and he doesn't enjoy the acting thing and so mostly I have to attempt to do things his way to an extent.

It had never occurred to me that his problem might just be too much indoctrination in art that happens inside. Which is absurd. I mean, whatever sort of artist you may be, you are inherently presentational. To make art is to have an audience. Whatever "internal reality" or "motivation" (words we don't talk about a lot, but are influenced by - they're so present in the theatre world) you may be feeling, it's the outside of your work that the audience sees. What you Mean or Do (in the sense that I am "doing" opening a space-time portal on stage, for instance) matters to you, but not to them.

Not that we're thinking like the average theatre doer here in the first place, bu.

But. Over the past few months, he's come to see things differently. To recognize that the reality of theatre is in the fact that I, the actor, am there with you, the audience. You can't escape that reality. Not without mind-alteration of some form. And so creating reality internally as we do, or externally reproducing images of fake reality as most theatre and film does, is unnecessary. At least, secondary to the real reality of the actor, the floor, and the sky.

I am looking very much forward to a theatre in which my expressionistic tendencies can run free. I like to dance sometimes without doing anything.

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