It is often commented on by audiences
that "many times a performance is effective when
the actor does nothing." Such an accomplishment
results from the actor's greatest, most secret skill.
From the techniques involved in the Two Basic Arts down
to all the gestures and the various kinds of Role Playing,
all such skills are based on the abilities found in the
actor's body. Thus to speak of an actor "doing nothing" actually
signifies that interval which exists between two physical
actions. When one examines why this interval "when
nothing happens" may seem so fascinating, it is
surely because of the fact that, at the bottom, the artist
never relaxes his inner tension. At the moment when the
dance has stopped, or the chant has ceased, or indeed
at any of those intervals that can occur during the performance
of a role, or, indeed, during any pause or interval,
the actor must never abandon his concentration but
must keep his consciousness of that inner tension.
It is this sense of inner concentration that manifests
itself to the audience and makes the moment enjoyable.
it is wrong to allow an audience to observe the actor's
inner state of control directly. If the spectators
manage to witness this, such concentration will merely
become another ordinary skill or action, and the feeling
in the audience that "nothing is happening" will
The actor must rise to a selfless level of
art, imbued with a concentration that transcends his
so that he can bind together the moments before and after
that instant when "nothing happens." Such a
process constitutes that inner force that can be termed "connecting
all the arts through one intensity of mind."