Playacting: childlike creativity

The Walk to Paradise Garden by W. Eugene Smith

Imagination is our essence

Getting caught up in the more “serious” aspects of a career, you may lose contact with that child part of being an actor.

Psychologist Robert Maurer noted in an interview that children are “playacting from the time they have words and the ability to move. They begin fantasizing, playing, imagining, and creating. To me, that’s the essence of the human spirit: the ability to imagine and create.”

He continued, “What the actor does is refuse to let go of that most human of all our drives. Most of us get corrupted in that pursuit and go after other things like money, power, possessions. But acting, in its true sense, is the essence of the human spirit.”

From article The Vision Thing by Karen Kondazian, The Actor’s Way column, BackStage West.

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The best actors might be children

Kirsten Dunst in tv series FargoKirsten Dunst once commented about the value of keeping that sensibility:

“It’s so important in this business to stay open and childlike. You don’t want to block yourself. It’s really important to be affected by things.”

Jamie Lee Curtis has claimed to be “as much of a child-adult as there is. I’m frozen at about 6 and a half.”

And Paul Newman commented, “I suppose that the best actors are children, so to that extent that you can sustain and maintain that childlike part of your personality is probably the best part of acting.”