Two Hundred Eighteen: The Great Acting Blog: “Paranoid Actors Should Quit”

Reblogging an interesting excerpt from James Devereaux…

The Great Acting Blog: “Paranoid Act 

A sort of companion piece to yesterday’s post.

Creating an environment where everyone is secure in their position is only one side of the coin. The flip side is that actors need to control themselves and their insecurities. We all have fears but we mustn’t allow them to panic our thinking. When an actor allows his insecurities to run riot his behaviour can resemble some kind of paranoia. He sees intrigue everywhere, he resents colleagues doing well, he is intimidated by those who possess a rational self-esteem. Actors who let their insecurities get the better of them behave obnoxiously (and we know that obnoxious behaviour is a cry for help). Failure to control insecurities can be hugely destructive for a production and make the company’s life a misery.

It is up to the actor to take responsibility for his own actions, after all, actors are not children as some would have us believe. It is up to the actor to prepare himself correctly so that he is not spooked by the actions of those around him. He has an obligation to refrain from bringing his filth to the craft. If he cannot or is unwilling to do that then he has no respect for the work and so he should quit. Immediately. Furthermore, paranoid behaviour should be openly condemned by the rest of the company, and directors must be stronger in stamping it out.

Actors who have lost control of their fears damage the work of other actors and consequently that of the production itself. They are an obstacle to great work and a disease on the craft.

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