Reflections on the Art of Acting: Using the Tao Te Ching as a Mirror cover
Reflections on the Art of Acting: Using the Tao Te Ching as a Mirror
by Peter T. Lobdell '68
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CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2013; 112 pp.
Genre: Non-fiction
Category: Art
Additional Information - Library Catalog

“Reflections on the Art of Acting” is a small book — a tiny book. It makes a singular and clear point about acting that hasn’t been well articulated in the history of writing about acting. I describe, define, and delineate “the double”. The actor — the character. “Reflections on Acting” is a mini-memoir as I use a few stories from my life in the theater to illustrate my conviction that acting is a rare art — even as it is ubiquitous as advertising, entertainment, and diversion. I write to argue to my readers, both in the theater and outside, that we can live deliberately and improvisationally at the same time. Paradox is the center of the art of acting. In “Reflections on the Art of Acting” I use the Tao Te Ching as a goad to my thinking. The poetry of the Tao Te Ching allows me to write in a slightly elevated way, every now and then. This book is small , but it is highly concentrated. I was hugely affected by Eugen Herrigal’s Zen in the Art of Archery. Joe Chaikin’s The Presence of the Actor has inspired me to think about what I do and what I teach. Obviously this little book has to be presented as an art object. It should appeal to a much wider audience than theater teachers, students, and professionals. Setting my writing against the Tao Te Ching has allowed me to articulate artistic ideals in the training and practice of acting. I have also given non-actors some keys to creative concentration. I hope to inspire my readers to the notion that an examined life might do without judgment.