Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another interesting passage from A Sense of Direction

From time to time there might arise what might be called a battle between the director and an actor. What do you do? The director always surrenders. That is the law. The reason for this is practical. If you win a battle with an actor, you lose. There's no such thing as a director winning a battle with an actor. So, if the beginning of a battle occurs, you yield immediately. It doesn't make any difference what the issue is. "I absolutely refuse to wear these boots." "Well, let's find something else for you to wear. Would that be better?" As soon as you accept a supportive position, the next step is creative.

If the director has an ego problem, it may be impossible for him to lose a battle with an actor. Then he must go back to grade one and be a stage manager until he has learned that his ego must be subservient to the art and that he must be graceful in relation to the actor. As we've said before, the director needs the actor as an ally, and we defeat our purpose completely if we make the actor an adversary. In battles, the director always loses.

You can get it at