The Universal Imagination

The Universal Imagination

The Universal Imagination

By Peter Frisch on Aug 22, 2018 at 10:30 PM in Acting Tidbits

Recently, an actor-friend said to me “You have to use yourself in your work, what else do you have?” Seems logical enough, doesn’t it? But what “self” was he talking about? The defended, habitual self that limits choices, ideas, even perception? Or the searching, curious self that can explore new ways of thinking, feeling, speaking and moving through the creative use of the imagination and the power to believe? As he is a proponent of Method approaches including “Emotional Recall” and “Substitution,” I suspect he meant the former.

But how can we create character when we constantly employ our own limited experience, searching through our baggage to repeat the familiar, our personal cliches? How dare we diminish the writer’s vision by shrinking it to fit in the small box of our own life events! It is only the universal imagination that that enables actors to soar and transform. Learn how to harness that very human gift and there will be no limit to your invention, no end to your joy in the acting process.

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"He taught more than any other teacher I had . . . is responsible for creating the kind of actor I am today. He taught me how to truly take risks in my work, invest authentically in my characters, and expect nothing but professionalism from myself and my colleagues. Peter’s standards were high and exacting, and as a student, I was thrilled to be held to them. It was the first time I had been treated like an actor, not just as a student. The method that Peter taught is still one that I use today – he gave me the tools to access, emotionally and intellectually, very dense material. He allowed me to see that with every character, every piece there is always a way that is deeper and truer than you first imagine.”
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