The Intangibility of Truth

Authored by: Nikolai Demidov , Andrei Malaev-Babel , Margarita Laskina , Alexander Rojavin , Andrei Malaev-Babel

Nikolai Demidov

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138776494
eBook ISBN: 9781315621685
Adobe ISBN:


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When falling into a “motor storm,” an ignorant actor with an unstable nervous system believes that he is “experiencing.” A craftsman who causes himself to feel generic nervous agitation by means of “Buzzzzzz” also thinks that what he’s feeling is “emotion,” i.e. he is experiencing. A more cultured actor in the hands of more or less knowledgeable pedagogues doesn’t make this mistake. If he chances to enter a “motor storm” or if he happens to “step on it” out of insecurity – and experience by means of “Buzzzzzz” – then he’ll mark it down as a failure. But few are capable of making the last step and jumping over from verisimilitude to truth. The step is so subtle that many actors who have spent their whole lives onstage (even on a good stage) don’t even suspect that they never rose above mere verisimilitude. And when this kind of actor is dunked into truth and he breathes in the new, unfamiliar air, the result is always the same: bewilderment, surprise, joy, and fear. He looks around, as if to check if everything’s the same as it was . . . looks inside himself . . . remembers the experience he just lived through and, for the most part, says: “Well, this is something else entirely! . . . And it’s so wonderful! Yes! . . . This is truth – can’t argue with that! . . . ”

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