A Brief Criticism of Actors

The actor seems to know how to represent every character but himself or herself. I think I should like to see one in their proper role as their own self, just to see how they flounder about in it, like the rest of us human beings. As a matter of fact, acting may itself be a sort of escapism for these people from their individual selves, with whom they are at a loss to shape and gain a certain distinctive individuality. They prefer the varied masks and costumes of more interesting and exotic personas to cover up the banality and ordinariness of their own persons, to compensate for the charm and allurement of character which they themselves may lack. The character they play is surer of himself or herself than he or she is. They think they are paying tribute to the playwright or historical figure which they portray, but it is only their own sense of pride and arrogance that they wear, to call out to the world: Look at me! I am an omnipotent, immortal god in the minds of mortals! Yet when they pass away, the character will live on while the actor’s name fades into obscurity.

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