All three articles had their own unique twist on the process of acting. My favorite reading was Stanislavski's "An Actor Prepares". This ficitonal story made it easier for me to understand what he was saying. The other two articles were a little dry and harder to understand. Stanislavski mentions that actors should not be concerned about their physical appearance. This is something that I can relate to. Through our various acting activities in class, I have noticed that i'm centered on the physical qualities of an actor. However, Stanislavski's piece helped me understand that acting should come from the soul. The second piece I read was by Goffman. His piece critically analyzed the processes behind acting. His article also exposed my process of judging other people. People in our society tend to judge people before they even talk to them. Goffman talks about the process in which we judge others. Actors must embody the character in order to satisfy our society's norm of that character. Certain conventions and images must be placed into the minds of the audience. Finally, the last article I read was by Grotowski. He states that acting is not a product of impusles. It is actually a series of blocks instead. The actions we chose not to display are more important than those we do display. In our recent class activity I chose not to show certain actions because I felt others would judge me. Overall, all three articles made me rethink some of my views on theatre. Just when I thought I had figured it out, these articles make theatre more complicated!
The idea that people follow their traditions very closely in these plays is stimulating. Everyone on the mountain, followed the rules exactly. Normally people would be nervous in this kind of situation, but the teacher clearly outlined the steps of what was going to take place. In the first play, the boy sacrifices himself for his mother. The second play is more interesting, because the boy rationalizes his decision. He tries to explain to the others that he had made prior decisions based of the assumption that he would not get sick himself. Overall, all of the plays show a strict enforcement of culture and traditions.
This close adherence to tradition is also troubling in some aspects. It bothers me to see that all of the plays are Black and White. Either the boy sacrifices himself or makes the group turn back. There is no middle ground. Their traditions don't allow much flexibility. In essence, the people are stript of their free will. They justify their actions by using what has been done in the past. I just can't imagine throwing a boy off a valley and feeling little regret. On the other hand, the boy did essentially kill his mother by making the group turn back. In this case, I might have thrown him off!