Actors have been alternately praised and vilified, enshrined and banished, honored and disdained by the public and by fellow artists since before Thespis. Although many, including actors themselves, have sought to articulate what it is we do and how we do it, there has always been disagreement regarding the terms of that discourse. Too often the discussion about what we do and how has been confusing, idiosyncratic, and, worst and most often, that discussion has been framed by non-actors.
It is time for that to change. It is time that actors, as a community, come to terms. Like all groups—cultural, ethnic, social–the language we employ to describe what we do must come from within the group. We, as actors, must finally find the words.
What is acting? What is an actor? Objectives, intentions, tactics, actions, throughline, subtext—we think we know what they mean, but these terms are employed quite vaguely. Soon, we must begin the process to define these terms—and ultimately ourselves—and resume our rightful place in the theatre—center stage.