Yes. It’s me again. I’m blogging a lot about “How to Lose Sight”. There are a few reasons for this, the largest being that I have the time to think about what I’m doing. Others are the amount of thoughts and ideas that are springing from the process. It’s actually a conversation in the car journey home that has thwacked me over the head with more contemplations.
The talk was of “The Method”. Stanislavski’s to be precise. The idea was raised that a true actor is one that becomes the character they play, but that the danger is in disconnecting the two people after the performance. In an earlier blog I mentioned the fact that I can’t entirely remember people’s faces until I look at them again. The power of suggestion is strong, very strong, and I almost depend on it to do my job. Part of the creative process of an actor almost always has to include the concept of “what if…?” in some form.
“What if I could fly?”
“What if I took her hand at this moment?”
“What if I never saw him again?”
“What if I were blind?”
And that last one is the one that’s bringing me to some interesting conclusions. Because I can’t see. While I’m rehearsing, while I’m in a scene, I can’t see. I’ve made that clear. Either I’m crossing my eyes, or looking at the floor, or I simply have them closed. I’m trying different things, but the result is the same. I can’t see.
I’ve also stated that I forget faces. But I don’t forget voices. Sounds. Smells. Tastes. Touch. I might be deprived of one sense, but I have at least four others to depend on.
So what happens when a blind person falls in love? They learn each curve and movement of their partner, they sense the weight and breath of the person, the way that particular person smells, feels, sounds, the way a foot lands on the ground, the balance and timbre of the voice, the accent, the cadence and moods that are in the tone of the voice. They learn to interpret the silences as well as the noises.
In order to play “love” well, you have to love, or care about the person you “love”. It’s not as important as it seems, or as passionate or “deep” as love, but it exists, because the character you’re playing exists. The emotion is something that exists in the moment, in that present time, and is real for that present time.
But here’s the most interesting part. Every actor’s fallen in love with another actor during a rehearsal process. It’s called acting (dear boy). What I’ve fallen in love with is not the actor I’m playing against.
Because the actor I’m playing against can see. And so can I. And he doesn’t look like the actor I’m in love with.
Confused? It’s not really that confusing. Entertaining, yes. Mildly heartbreaking, yes.
As a blind woman I have fallen in love with a blind man. We’ve never seen each other and never will. So when I said in my earlier blog that I’m intrigued by what he looks like, it’s because he sounds, smells, acts like the man I fell in love with, but he is not that man. Because I don’t know what that man looks like. It’s like the sensation of knowing two people with the same voice. It’s disconcerting, and almost wrong.
Almost wrong. But do you see what’s happened? It’s a method miracle! Or one step further. Rather than imagining how I would react in the circumstance that I went blind and had a relationship with someone I could never see, I’ve gone ahead, been blind and formed a relationship with someone I will never believe is the one I’m with because I could never see him.
And all this probably doesn’t make a great deal of sense, because it’s almost one in the morning after five straight days and evenings of rehearsal and performances to come.
I hope to see you there, because it’s hard to explain using words without gestures.