Moss Hart, From ‘Act One’ (1959)

Hart-Kaufman

Each actor sits at his make-up table, staring into the brilliantly lit mirror at his own image, making the proscribed movements that will detach him still further from the world of reality and allow him to achieve the anonymity of complete disguise. The more he becomes at one with the part he is to play, the less of himself that peeps through it, the further he sinks into the atmosphere of make-believe and unreality, the safer he feels. He is seeking a judgment from the real world, not of himself but of the hidden image he carries within him that is both his goal and his refuge.

The general conception that all actors are born exhibitionists is far from the truth. They are shy, frightened people in hiding from themselves—people who have found a way of concealing their secret by footlights, make-up and the parts they play. Their own self-rejection is what has made most of them actors. What better way to solve the problem or to evade it than to be someone other than the self one has rejected, and to be accepted and applauded for it every night. They have solved the problem, but not its torment.

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~ by ohkrapp on March 7, 2016.

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