I love this article:
I have loved the theater since my fifth grade teacher handed me a script, the lead, and a chance to be good at something since I wasn’t good at paying attention, doing my homework, or any other part of the normal schooling experience. There is nothing like the process of learning a role, of becoming, getting underneath, finding the heart of a character.
Finding the truth in a play doesn’t happen when you’re first reading through a script. It can’t be fully discovered in a reading, no matter the talent of the readers. But the magic of discovery when an actor is making their character’s words their own is unique. It usually is only uncovered after weeks and even months of rehearsal, learning, tying together, asking why. Sometimes it’s a slow dawning. Sometimes it’s an “A-ha!” Sometimes it only comes with some real hashing and digging. Sometimes the actor finds it on their own. Sometimes the director, the other actors, the stage manager, whomever, provides that key, that breaking point.
It’s not a science. You don’t engineer it. It doesn’t follow a formula. It’s found by playing. There is no substitute for play in its fullest experience and expression.
Your final sentence speaks very loudly to me, only with an alternate meaning for “play”. I’ve altogether been too serious most of my life, and the past few years when I’ve really thrown myself into the air and learned to PLAY have amounted to a spiritual conversion.
Play offers a lot to life, and owes a lot to life. You cannot separate the two 🙂