…someone who remembers.
On the simplest level, someone who remembers his lines, his cues, his moves, his notes, to do up his fly-buttons, to tie his shoelaces, to carry his props, to enter, to exit. Simple things, complex things. An actor is someone who remembers.
On another level, an actor is someone who remembers what it felt like to be spurned, to be proud, to be angry, to be tender – – – all of the manifestations of emotion he experienced as a child, as an adolescent, in early manhood and maturity. An actor remembers the “feel” of all the feelings he ever felt or sensed in others. He remembers what happened to other people through all periods of recorded time – through what he has read and what he has been taught. In tracing the lineaments of his own sensibility, he has the key to understanding everyone else.
On a deeper level, an actor is someone who remembers the primordial impulses that inhabited his body before he was “civilised” and “educated”. He remembers what it feels like to experience intense hunger and profound thirst, irrational loathing and sublime contentment. He recalls the earliest sensations of light and heat, the invasion of internal forces and the comings of celestial light. He remembers the anguish of disapproval and the comforting security of guardians.
He remembers vividly (not necessarily articulately) what it feels like to be isolated, to be partnered, to be set adrift, to be reclaimed. He remembers the miasmic stretch of time before becoming aware of the details of his own identity. He remembers the world before it became his world. And himself before he became his self.
To be without memory and to be an actor is inconceivable. An actor is someone who remembers.
— This was just sent to me from a dear friend currently studying in London. I agree whole heartedly.