Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Action in community

I had the recent blessing and opportunity of doing rather than talking. I have spent a substantial portion of my life so far thinking about art and talking about what it must be or do. I have developed lots of theories and argued about the ideal way of proceeding. But this fall I was able to do and it has left me bored of incessant talk and theory. It was also an extraordinary lesson as it taught me that theory must be applicable. It is all very well to idealize about the best way of doing something, but it can happen that in actually carrying out the supposed ideal one begins to ask, "Is this even desirable?" I experienced this while directing for the first time. I had idealized about the director as supreme artist with all others involved as lesser artists or craftsmen. They were subordinated to the overarching vision of the director who gave their efforts meaning and synthesis. In this way, the drama or film was still the work of one artist: the director. I had argued this as a viable theory of art, but fortunately, never quite worked out how that would effect the way I might live or direct. As it was, I found my experience as a director completely negated this view of art and revealed it to be sterile and fearful. My overwhelming delight in directing turned out to not to be imposing my vision upon the actors, but rather, those moments in rehearsal when my conception of the whole and the actor's conviction about a character would combine and give rise to something greater than either of us could have devised on our own. I was humbled and inspired by this creative communion between the actors and myself which produced a much greater production than would have resulted from my vision alone. For me, the most beautiful aspect of this creative union was the trust that it required. I had to allow the actors a chance to develop in ways I had not foreseen; and they had to rely my intuition. The result was a shift in my conception of the dramatic ideal. No longer do I think it is conformity to my conceptions, but rather a human relationship united by hard work, dependent on mutual trust.


Blogger Kelly Jo said...

Yes, I do still visit. Beautiful insight--I felt blessed to be a part of that production; it was amazing.

January 19, 2006 9:09 PM  

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