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Actors are a breed different from everyone else, a fact really only understood by actors and a few directors.
And, oddly, there is a connection between the theatrics of an actor’s professional and personal life, and life in the courtroom, I’ve found. It’s all performance art, and there’s no reason for an actor, if he has the time, and lacks money, to be afraid to go in there and fight.
The space just looks a little different, it can be very intimidating, and it’s the ultimate in “method acting”. I’ve yet to see any of our most famous practitioners of the art of acting or directing or teaching venturing into the courtroom arena. The time I spent under Lee Strasberg’s tutelage didn’t cover that either. A courtroom is no place for a sense memory. You might read what I have to say in the side-bar titled “What’s a Pro se to do?”
The actor’s work is to do with the non-academic study of behavior, and there are no graduate certificates of success in it, other than Acting Awards, which no one takes too seriously.
But through the years, 60 of them in the profession, I have picked up a lot of other things to think about, and I’d like to share that too.
I have developed a fondness for practical real life. I like to do things for myself, and I trust few people to do things for me. I am also a photographer and a pilot.
I believe that the actors’ role in society is not only misunderstood, it is also not exploited and used in other than the usual ways.
The real world, through identification, uses the actor’s pretend world as a kind of simulator, whether they’re aware of it or not. Much like a pilot who can test himself in dangerous situations without fear of harm.
I do believe that a group of serious actors (not standup comedians), students even, would have had no difficulty assuming the pretend role of terrorists, and if challenged, would have come up with the awful plot of 9/11 as their number one choice with no trouble at all. The idea of using planes as explosive weapons, and suicide as an act of glory, would have easily been in the actors’ arsenal, his bag of tricks, and it obviously wasn’t in the government’s bag of tricks.
Actors, used in this way, could have put this country on its guard.