The actor's dilemma
12 October 2007
If you ask a director what he wants to do next and he replies: "I want to direct HAMLET", it will naturally prompt all sorts of questions: how will you stage it, what period, etc
If you ask an actor what he wants to do next and he replies: "I want to play Hamlet", it will naturally prompt all sorts of questions: where does this man find his arrogance, who the hell does he think he is, etc
Why are actors considered so much more unreliable in this arena? Why is it an instinctive reaction to regard the actor as pure ego? Is it impossible to imagine that an actor could have the same integrity as a director?
In my position as actor/manager I am confronted by this prejudice all the time. It seems inconceivable that an actor could run a company with the same ideals as a director, that the art will always come first, that the audience will be considered before all else.
My teacher Rudi put it best: Do you love yourself in the art, or the art in yourself? Like much of what Rudi said, it has been a guiding homily ever since.
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