Chapter Three of the book by Robert Cohen is devoted to the description of the actor’s work. The author defines what is actor, replies to the questions about what the word “acting” means, what one needs to become an actor, describes the routine of an actor’s work, and summarizes the issues of the actors’ real lives, what are the actors in real life.
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An actor is a person who takes action in a dramatic performance and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity. The ancient Greek term for an actor, hypocrites, when provided as a verb means “to interpret”; in this logic, an actor interprets a theatrical character. It is considered, that, playing some role, any actor “puts on” the character that he/ she plays, thus for a short time stopping to be real person, but the performed person. Some actors have a fantastic ability to stay internally calm express fantastic emotions, which look as real as the soil under the feet. Moreover, talented actors have inner “button” and may cry on the stage.
Acting from Latin is translated as “to do” (agĕre). Acting is the process of playing a role on a stage, and Robert Cohen defines it as one of the key activities of the actor’s work. Acting is usually regarded as rather a simple process, which includes only the remembering of the script and then reproducing it by the memory just raising or lowering the voice. But the fact is everything is much more complex. The following part of the chapter describes what people need to become actors. These are multiple features of character, personal qualities, and professional skills. But as acting is a kind of art, the existence of the necessary skills in no way means that one who lacks some of them would never become an actor. Deviations and variations are only welcomed, as specialties make actors individual and unique in the art of theatre.
AS in any beginning, to become an actor the only wish is not enough. The most essential factor is the ability to change the masks as quickly, as possible. The actor should change the moods like the gloves, and despite the serious problems be able to perform a character that has to laugh all through the play.
Actors’ routine differs from any other very slightly, as actors also have to get prepared for each role, participate in multiple repetitions, steadily learn the scripts by heart, always try on the new masks. Inhabitants just see only the tip of the iceberg: the fame, the applause, standing ovations, flowers, etc. But almost nobody thinks over the work that had been done before the standing ovations let alone taking into account the way of life of every actor, as some may succeed at 20, the other at 50.
Actors in real life may seem too proud, boastful, hypocritical, or even evil and foul. But it is necessary to emphasize, that it depends only on personal characteristics. A person who remembers the beginning of the career, especially if one could not manage to get an autograph, would never refuse his/ her admirers and would try to satisfy everyone who asks for such a little thing as an autograph.