An Actor Actress (in feminine, actress ) is a person who interprets an action, either through improvisation or based on texts (the work of an author or created through individual and collective improvisations).
The actor builds his work using the voice, mime and other bodily and emotional resources in order to convey to the viewer the set of ideas and proposed actions. He can also use technical resources or objects such as manipulating puppets , or interpreting over the image or voice of others. Combining his occupation with the director and the rest of the professionals participating in the work, and supported by visual or sound stimuli, he acts in places where public shows are performed through performances.
Actors in the Ancient Ages: Greece and Rome
In Ancient Greece , the first Actor Actress who will later be recognized as such was a mythical character called Thespis , who is credited with being the first to dialogue with the choir when he appeared during the festivals in honor of Dionysus , in the 5th century BC. C. in Athens . Brought from Icaria by the tyrant Pisistratus , the actor (who at the time was called hypocritès , or simulator), equipped with a mask and wearing a tunic, played the god Dionysus in a choir, on his chariot that would later be known as the “chariot of Thespis”, creating an argument within an artistic- polytheistic liturgical presentation . That position of protagonist of the chorus has been considered the beginning of the Greek tragedy . He is also credited with designing the second actor, which Aeschylus would later call a “deuteragonist”, by playing two characters through two masks (one on the front of the body, the other on the back).
In ancient Greece, the actors were called hypocrites, a term that comes from the Greek hypo which means mask and crite which means to respond, those who responded behind the mask. Among the Greeks the actors came to obtain the most distinguished positions in the republic. Aristodemus was ambassador, Archias general, Eschino and Aristónico senators, etc. Later, when the form of government changed to a monarchy, the kings continued to give honors and rewards to the most popular actors.
The Romans esteemed and enriched them. The playwright Aesop left his son nearly two million; and the actor Roscio had six thousand five hundred escudos annually. Lucullus gave very often to all the actors dressed in purple, &c. On the other hand, the Roman Senate once issued certain decrees against the actors for their bad habits. In other circumstances, the actors were convicted as alleged informers of generals or outlawed characters.
Declamation was so appreciated in Rome that young people from the most distinguished families mixed with the actors, reciting and declaiming with them in front of all the people . Cicero , being a Roman Consul , confessed that he was able to speak in public for the aforementioned Aesop and Roscio (who obtained the gold ring and was elevated to the rank of Roman knight). 2 3
Currently, there are various currents in action, which have diversified since the 20th century , from the so-called theatrical avant-garde . 4 These have as a turning point authors such as Antonin Artaud , Bertolt Bretch , Peter Brook , the French corporal theater tradition or current arrivals from oriental theater. Among the most outstanding authors that we can classify in the 20th century, we highlight two main ones:
-Konstantin Stanislavsky. Russian interpretive teacher, identified mainly by his experiential technique (in the first instance) and his method of physical actions (in a later period), and being of the realist current. The purpose of this interpretive system was to help the actor to give entity to the characters based on his own personality , creating true feelings and emotions .sincere. There was a great study of the interior of the character, as well as physical training, adequate relaxation of the muscles that allow physical freedom, concentration of attention without limits and perception of the reality of the work “as if it were real”. His legacy covers the entire globe, passing through Europe and the United States, with various ramifications based on his main theories.
– Eugenio Barba . One of the pillars of current theater, he founded theater anthropology , and through the pedagogy he elaborated, scientific discoveries and theatrical art began to be combined , connecting with the field of neuroscience that continues to this day. He develops acting training processes that focus on body control and its expressiveness outside the everyday framework. The vocal and physical method is based on oriental theatrical knowledge and focuses on “why” things are done, not on “what” is done, that is, it elaborates a system that goes from experiential psychological subjectivity to the objectivity of the bodily principles. His group, the Odin Teatret, is one of the most recognized schools with its own methodology in the acting world, as well as the International School of Theater Anthropology (ISTA), where research on theatrical work continues.