26 Nov, 2014



1 Theatre – amusement center or Temple.

2 Actor – clown and actor – sacred performer.

3 Genuine Actor’s mission.



In this small analytical thought, we again try to consider the theatre of today. Obviously there is nothing to invent, but let us try and recall ourselves what kind of a natural phenomenon an actor is and why American Indians do say – “A good actor is genuine actor! To determine whether he is genuine or not, we have to go back to the very actor’s essence, to that human nature, which has been universaly recognised as the nature of the actor, that is what people call acting.


So Acting. An actor without acting is not the actor. Actually the proces of becoming the actor is playing something or acting that something. It is clear that a theatric acting  and a theater actor is meant. As “All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players” thus our thoughts concerning a theater actor will as well clarify this broader concept, so poetically expressed by William Shakespear. (the one who shakes the feather)

If we consider an actor as the one who acts, we will notice that theatric acting has its own form. It can be viewed from different angles and a number of unique paculiarities might be found there which may lead us far away… Therefor, let our aim be specified  as the one exemining the essence of a question – Genuine Actor.


How do we perceive his genuineness? Is it the way he successfully pretends someone else? Or having pretended one of numerous famous characters he starts suffering or shows satisfaction with his life before the eyes of the audience? Or maybe the essence of a genuine actor  is actually living the life of his hero? Or that his behavior is unpredictable and he is caught neither by imprints nor by cliches?

So … All this taken together speaks for the genuine actor. A great deal of such actor’s expressions can be enumerated. And we can even say that in our theaters vast number of actors is just like that! If it is true what are these speculations for?

As Ukrainians say – “Yes, that is right, but a little bit not right…” Genuine actor’s nature is immediately seen when he/she lives on stage. We speak of some movie stars that they are being pictured, so to say are filmed; others play, while the others live.  And only those who live are referred to as genuine movie actor.

Isn’t it the same with a stage? For some actors the stage is like a catwalk, for others it is a playground for playing and for those, the third ones the stage is an area of life.  Life on the stage does not require anything more than the life itself.

The only requisite the genuine actor needs is the empty space of the stage.  And such an actor will create that something in this empty space that will not just be a convincing play of someone or even something. It won’t be predictable behavior free of well-known clichés and imprints and even not a vivid performance of trained and well built body. The genuine actor will do the most important thing that distinguishes him from the millions of his craft fellows. He will discover a new content in already known things and notions.

What is it about? It is about a sacred performance. So actually this sacred stage performance is known enough in virtue of the most common quote attributed to a magnificent genuine actor Schepkin – “Perform sacredly or begone from the theater!” A sacred performer… What is this about? After all, we can say that all the actors who play on stage, are really doing this, they are performing sacredly! Yes, that is right …


We find priests in every church too, but not all priests are the Priests … Not every mother is the mother and not all children are the sons and the daughters … For all these mentioned concepts, as in many others, the essence and truth of their concepts is something that understood without much explanation. The sacred performance is not a bare imitation of someone or something. It is not a play for fun, not just entertaining the audience with stunning tricks, or by extremely difficult texts.  And it’s not about emotional outbursts in circumstances that only a theatric character can survive and only by him as for a mere man of mould all this would be a death sentence. The sacred performance is a very simple and not particularly energy intensive process. It can be defined by a familiar word – a Discovery. But it is the discovery of unexpected sudden kind. The sacred performer discovers and reveals long and well known truth not expected to be seen, heard and felt at this very moment. That is the way the Divine Wisdom manifests its presence.

What the genuine actor does is brighten a dead world by Wisdom. And in this situation, all witnesses of given phenomenon do not question the fact of the sacred performance that is happening  here and now right before their eyes.


Where does this miracle come from? Who knows how it can be learnt? Where and who by can it be taught? The answer to these questions is simple enough – this is given from birth. We come into this world with it, because it is a Gift, a Talent. It is a destination on a Mission, or to put it in theatric terms, it is your role which you cannot but play because beneath it there is only death.


This comparison might sound too pathos. But it is due to the pathos which is like a tuning fork that helps us tune in for the simplicity of the sacred performance in the world and on stage. The simplicity lies in the fact that this process is self-sufficient in its actions, that is in acting. And then we do not need to notice anything.  We do not notice text, or movements or vocal overtones and neither do we pay attention to the surrounding theatric scenery or costumes with fake swords, fire, water, delicious food and drinks. As it was once suggested by Bohdan Ihor Antonych  – “For happiness we little need, just – Harmony. Amen! ”


Such actors nowadays are very rare! – This statement can be heard today not rare as well. Why? But who does speak nowadays about it? And why do we need to talk about it when we live in the epoch of comedy clubs, serials and thrillers? The idea itself and the most accessible form of its expression are valued nowadays. Who does need this sacred performance?

It is clear that sacred time on stage is long gone. Nowadays at stake are naked balancers and venerable extras disguised in relevant and understandable characters of our living space. They either amuse us or unnaturally pretend suffering hiding behind bright costumes, twinkling light, pyrotechnic stunts and powerful low-frequency music. The illusion of a tremendous event, which will be written about and discussed a lot on boob tubes, is created at once, but…    Much will be written, much one and the same, in the same manner as always.


But besides, most of the witnesses of this description will feel that a mountain is made out of molehill, and that the molehill itself is not of the first freshness. And in accordance the mountain itself is not strong enough as it was erected on a variety of pabulum. And such mountains stink all over the world. They stink and stench the aroma and compete with each other for the opportunity to make their last explosion of such a sort, after which neither the mountain nor the explosion will be of any interest to anyone. All the more, no one will care for fragrance left in so called cultural and artistic contemporary space.


Down trend, knowledgeable people say and so justify all this trash of mediocre flimflammers who are consequently far from the concept of holiness and who readily manipulate viewers’ naivete. What actors used to say once: – “Naive as Stanislavski.” And they knew what they said, as actor’s talent pertains to the naivete. Naivete aims at actor’s purity. Sincere, wise harlequin in his naivete is able to believe in that what lies beyond the end of really known or familiar. And thus is being able to perform the sacred performance.


Now this famous phrase of What actors can be heard as grumpy mockery aimed at humiliation or accusation of someone in scam. They say that you are Patsy like Stanislavsky… No matter how brutal it sounds, but all great artists were such patsies. You can’t become a patsy you must be born the one. For the patsy a testimony of his touch to the truth of beauty and happiness is genuine happiness. He easily parts with deceptively idol rags of pseudo-success in environment of substituted values ​​of glamorous standard notions of the Divine.


Here lies the essence of the problem. Anyone can be talented, but to apply their talents in the sacred performance is only within a power of the PATSY! It’s like in a church service; the one who serves feels himself the greatest sinner. Why? Because he has the ability to distinguish subtle temptations by which his soul is attacked.


A soul … This mysterious thing! Without the soul nothing worthy can be created or done. An actor’s soul has an extraordinary virtue. It is flexible and pliable to the characteristic qualities of the characters’ structure, which are played by an actor. The role played wholeheartedly makes actor’s piece unusual, rare, particularly impressive for the soul of the spectator. It turns the actor into the Genuine Actor. The Genuine Actor through the acted character settles in the souls of the audience for a long time, sometimes even forever. And these actors are recognized as great artists, and the theater in which this actor performs is famous for its vitality. It is enough to have at least just one such actor, and the theater converts into the temple, to which human footpath will never overgrow. This theater is alive.

All the above said may be perceived as a monologue of the character, who strongly feels vexation of mind because of total injustice that has encompassed still alive and restless souls of theatricl contemporaries by illusive mist of celestial bliss. This poses the question as old as the world of matter; What should we Do? The answer is as old as the hills – DO NOT LIE!


A lie, to paraphrase a famous Stanislavsky’s statement – is like a snow ball, first little, then bigger and bigger, until everyone and everything are covered by a snowbreak. So maybe we all have already been covered by that snowbreak.  And now we are somewhat blinded in that faded witness of senile grey that compresses the breath and thereby blocks the search in creative work by its monumental acknowledgment and over recognition, by ranks of People’s Artist and Honorary Artist. We are captured by flattery and pride, by awards and nominations defined as “national”, and therefore unique, valuable and unitized in the rank of the highest quality theatric cemetery.

Maybe something doesn’t work in the school? Yes, it goes back right there to the famous Ukrainian “A little bit not right!”

“The Seagull” by Chekhov comes to mind, where Shamraev says; ” Irina Nikolaevna, the stage has tumbled! Once there were mighty oaks but now only stubs can be seen.” It’s clear that oaks took the load not only of the stage but of the school as well.

The modern school can hardly be named the school… Rules casted in the different mould are required for a lie. Each participant is to maintain the illusion of harmony at destructive dissonance of so-called educational processes aimed at making managed puppets out of the students. He puppets which are convenient for manipulation in familiar situations of before mentioned educational process, which can hardly be called the one. Just as we can hardly call the theatres for which these actors and directors are being trained, live theatres.

The stumps were covered with moss and the moss is so to speak, camouflage that gives life to dead stumps. Well-turned and chiseled by sample of clusters of overall picture in Ukrainian (and not only in Ukrainian) theater, new professionals, even with their own unique talents, getting into a pattern of one or another theater, immediately become targets. The targets shot back by actors and directors with their pains of unrevealed souls. They used to believe once that they were aimed to become trees, but they were asked to play the role of the moss covering the dead stumps.

Circles of “The Sansara Theatre” are rich for brilliant texts about the perennial problem of deadness of that which is appointed to be alive forever. So let the situation be not provoked again, and let’s just draw the line at already commented concepts of the Genuine Alive and the  Live Theatre.


The line will have a single trajectory – the circle. In order for something to change in the theater school, the theaters for which actors and directors are trained in this school have to be changed. Why the theaters rather than the school? A student, who wants to be an actor in the theater, should first see the theater as a temple in which this actor will be entrusted to serve. Then the holiness of the Temple of the Theater will affect the student’s fitting and defining himself as a future priest of this Temple, and not the next star of the stage.


In fact, the issue of school rises when a need for new specialists appears. We have plenty of specialists but somehow there is a lack of those who want to work in theaters after that school.


The theatre is like the country. We may accept it or not, but one thing is clear. Those stumps covered by green moss, can’t do without this greenness because it gives a sense of life, though in fact, there is just an illusion of life. The same is on the country level where the so-called “upper class” has turned to be dead stumps. And even recent developments in the Crimea and the East show that newborn greenness of camouflage is not able to influence the wise and decisive functions of commanders and leaders. Green men are promising only in the hands of skilled puppeteers.

The theatre is to be a Temple, for only in the temple rituals of living life are created. To all the visitors is opened the life with the essence of not only artistic process, but the process turning on public and country levels. The Greeks in Athens had three temples for that: Parthenon of goddess Athena, stadium Panatynaykon and the theater of Dionysus. And it was the theater where the laws of the state, the wisdom of the rules of war, the laws of farming, the basics of science and spiritual truths were ritually opened to commonwealth.


So as we see the problem lies in the school as the history of “old Greeks” is not studied now.


The genuine actor exists no matter whether he is in demand or not. Nowadays the genuine actor is more like a monk. But in times of change, when the values ​​are changed and non-questioned notions are replaced by unexpected temporary terms, the meaning of the genuine actor remains unchanged. Samurai has to serve his master, and the genuine actor serves the audience.


The form of the work is created through the essence of function of its content. When the genuine actor exists, the Live theater is meant to be! And then, we can only repeat the words of the Great Genuine Artist T. Shevchenko: – “And there glory lies, and glory is – my testament.”


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