The Simplicity of Acting

It’s simpler than you think.

Acting, that is. Of course, this is only my opinion.

Hello everyone. As I launch my new website, and this weekly Advice from Price column, I want to be clear that everything I say, going forward, is only my opinion. And while these opinions have been formed over a period of some 30 years of involvement in the entertainment industry, by no means would I consider my opinions “right”. At least for anyone other than myself. And I would hope, that as I continue to grow in my own personal understanding of this amazing craft called “Acting”, I will never become so enamored with my opinions that I can’t drop them like a hot chili pepper for some brighter, shinier, more exhilarating opinion I stumble across along the way…which, I will, of course, immediately label, as always, my own opinion.

Oh my God, Price is a plagiarist of opinions! Quite so, and I encourage it of anyone I have the opportunity to influence. But, before you consider plagiarizing, or more appropriately, borrowing and sharing an opinion, a method, an approach to this craft of acting, I strongly encourage you to climb inside of it and take it for a long, long ride. Before you actually claim another’s approach as your own, you actually need to make that other’s approach your own. To do that, you must understand it and devour it so that it truly is no longer another’s, but in fact, has become a part of you.

I once caught Kim Bassinger as a guest on The Actors Studio. She was talking about her approach to the craft, which was in fact Stanislavsky’s The Method. She related how for years, she had studied and consciously prepared for her performances using The Method. It was her way of bringing her characters to life. Then, one day, after stepping off the set following the filming of a scene, something odd occurred to her. She realized that for the very first time, she had not used The Method for her work. Instead, The Method had used her. She no longer looked at her work through the prism of The Method. It was now the prism through which she viewed the world, and was therefore, hers. She had become her own Method.

My opinion is that as you wind your way through all of the teachers, coaches, directors and various harbingers of the one and only way to become an actor, that you honor and appreciate everyone for their opinions, but never give their opinions any more credence than you give your own. Growing yourself as a craftsperson, as an actor, is a journey many have taken, but each person who embarks on that journey is doing so for the very first time. The path is never the same for anyone, even though you may travel a distance with someone, or with someone’s guidance, on the way to your own destination.

The craft of acting holds high the unique expression of the human spirit, your unique expression. Dig deep into every approach, every method you can discover, and listen to all of the opinions your psyche can hold, but in the end, be certain that uncovering your own unique expression, discovering your own crystal clear opinion, your own individual voice, is the goal of any one who has ever truly desired to be called an “Actor”, and the gateway to satisfying your own personal career ambitions. This only happens when you have become your own Method.

And, it is simpler than you think.

More on that next week.

Next post: ACTING IS BEING

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