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  • wmccann273

Participation: Essential to the Arts

For me, with the exception of the plays I've written, the art I've collected is often not about the physical thing but about the connection to family, or to an event. We're planning a trip soon to visit a glass factory to observe the art of glass blowing, perhaps even to make something ourselves. And that is where beauty can be captured, at least momentarily in glass and then enjoyed at home later.

When performing in a play, as an actor, for the length of the play I am myself and someone else. Together the character and I and the other actors and their characters are interacting speaking the words of the playwright to entertain others. The others—whether running lights or sound, or moving set and props around—are helping me and the other actors create a world and tell a story for an audience. And the largely faceless audience becomes part of the play, too. The individual responses—laughter, crying, even clapping—of audience members have an effect on the play's performance.

“Holding” for a laugh means waiting for audience laughter to start receding before saying the next line. If an actor starts the next line too soon, the audience will miss his/her words. Started too late it will sound like a line was missed, that the actor did something wrong. So there is something of an art hidden in the art of acting, the art of waiting. Did you even know there was an art to waiting?

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