What is the difference between being a performer and an actor ?
A performer performs and an actor acts. This would mean the former is a more truthful portaryal of what one feels and what one one believes in. Acting however, is mostly imitation. You create impulse or stimuli that you want to be influenced by and therefore respond to them in a way that you are motivated to.
Performance is about honouring your own beliefs and your own stimuli that is predominantly intrinsic. When a musician is creating music with his violin, you dont say “he’s a great actor”, but you say “he’s a good performer”
The same would apply to a dancer, a Circus acrobat, a magician and a puppeteer. Over the last 3 months, I have come to realise the power of being a performer over being an actor. Being a performer is more gratifying. It feels good when Aruna plays Aruna on stage as opposed to playing Martha or Bettie or Olivia.
Playing creatively with what comes naturally to you is a basic start to making performance. This does not mean that you don’t learn new things. For example, if performers decide to invest in a new skill through training, that becomes a life skill more than just a skill for a particular show. Performers can learn to Juggle or skate, and then their acquired skills are displayed when they’re performing This way, you are not acting like you are skating, because that’s just not possible.
I always believed that I was a hopeless actor. However, over the last 3 months, I seem to develop a strange confidence of being a performer, where I play with material that’s mine. Material that i can personally connect with. Material from my own life – Personal Material.
This does not mean that we cannot approach adaptations or scripts that already exist. We just have to approach them in a slightly different manner. Focus on what the play means to you as opposed to what it generally means. Creating performance also inspires you to make original work that’s inspired by what you have seen and experienced. A sense of attachment comes through when performers create work that has their personal stamp on it.
I am looking forward to create performance that is devised, original and involves personal material, stories and experiences.
Let’s see how and where this goes !