Over the years, I’ve discovered that most actors DON’T want to become a genius at acting. If you ask them if they want to attain acting mastery at the highest level, they will swear blind that they do. But actions speak louder than words Grasshopper. The price that is to be paid to reach the highest levels tends to be too high. The truth is that most are just not interested enough to aim for that. They do a bit of training or even a lot of training and then stop after a year or two saying that they have ‘got it.’ I guess that’s fine if your ambitions are to solely get on a soap or action film but if you want to deliver acting of the highest standards the idea that you do a bit of training and stop is nonsense.
Let me use a no acting example to highlight what is required.
Leonardo Da Vinci, recognized as one of the most amazing minds of the human race, painted a picture called the Mona Lisa. It’s regarded as a masterpiece and to many the best work of art ever created. It took him close twenty years to paint it, and he was still painting it up until his death. So, it never got worldwide recognition until he was gone. The reason being Leonardo took a ‘never finished’ philosophy to his work. He was continually improving, learning more and perfecting. One of the fantastic things about the Mona Lisa is that the brush strokes are invisible. He used a process of continual layering so that they would disappear. He studied the human body to the nth degree. He dissected dead bodies to understand the inside workings, which gave him great insight into how it looked on the outside. He studied nature, especially river flow and landscapes not just from an artist point of few, but as an engineer. He worked on providing damns and bridges for various governments of the time. This gave him a vast knowledge of how rivers flowed on landscapes. If you look at what is behind the Mona Lisa, you will see a river and a country landscape that was created from his knowledge and understanding of the subject. Finally, the woman and the landscape are symbolic. He felt that nature and humans are similar, flowing and connected.
I could go on, but you get the idea. This was a man who never stopped studying, never stopped learning and kept working on his art until the day he died.
Kind of makes a mockery of those who think they don’t need to learn acting or give up learning after a few years.
In acting terms, the likes of Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are the acting Da Vinci’s of their time. They have never stopped learning, they have never stopped improving, and when you watch the Irishman, you are watching two acting genius at work. The sad thing is that many don’t even know that they are watching genius-level acting because they rate mediocre acting just the same. It takes a trained eye to understand the subtlety and finesse of such performances.
So here is the thing. You need to ask yourself what kind of actor you want to become? The type that does a bit of learning and then waits for a job or the type that sees their work as a life long work of art.
If you believe in the later, then it’s time to meet The Master who has put in more than 20,000 hours on the subject. It’s common knowledge that if you want to become a genius, you have to work with Masters to gain the highest insights.
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The Master Of The Method