The more an actor acts, the more the work of centers becomes separated in him. In order to act, one must first of all be an artist.
We have spoken about the spectrum producing white light. A man can be called an actor only if he is able, so to speak, to produce a white light. A real actor is one who creates, one who can produce all the seven colors of the spectrum. There have been and are even today such artists. But in modern times an actor is generally only outwardly an actor.
Like any other man, an actor has a definite number of basic postures; his other postures are only different combinations of these. All roles are built out of postures. It is impossible to acquire new postures by practice; practice can only strengthen old ones.
The longer you go on, the more difficult it becomes to learn new postures—the fewer possibilities there are.
All the intensity of the actor is in vain: it is only a waste of energy. If this material were saved and spent on something new, it would be more useful. As it is, it is spent on old things.
Only in his own and other people’s imagination does an actor appear to create. In actual fact, he cannot create.
In our work, this profession cannot help; on the contrary, it spoils things for tomorrow. The sooner a man abandons this occupation, the better for tomorrow, the easier it is to start something new.
Talent can be made in twenty-four hours. Genius exists, but an ordinary man cannot be a genius. It is only a word.
It is the same in all the arts. Real art cannot be the work of an ordinary man. He cannot act, he cannot be “I.” An actor cannot have what another man has—he cannot feel as another man feels.
If he plays the part of a priest, he ought to have the understanding and feelings of a priest. But he can have these only if he has all the priest’s material, all that a priest knows and understands. And it is so with every profession; special knowledge is required. The artist without knowledge only imagines.