July 20, 2006
Bob Engel:/What actors write at midnight when they come from rehearsal and can't sleep:/ I've been trying to understand for myself as an actor what is so moving and compelling about making theater. When it is good, it goes very deep. The heart must be open, but unattached. The mind must be attentive. You do not know, as you create a character and place that character in a scene, you do not know what you will find. You cannot know what you will find. A wondrous tension comes from being open to the creative while minding the details. Your preconceptions, even your intuitions, might prevent the entrance of the surprising gift of a constructed, artificial, and yet fully real reality. The witnessing of the creative moment is itself compelling and even spiritual. Every religion tells a creation story. Actors, like other artists, get to be present at the creation, but we have the special joy of having a creative moment which comes in a form very much like experience: characters and a story.