A&O – MEDIUM – PERFORMANCE – Human Acting and Drama and Music.

  Potential media for artistic expression are indexed by Wikipedia; beyond the traditional media of familiar art forms (painting, music, language, performance (theatre, opera, dance, song), consider EARTH, AIR, FIRE, and WATER and even SELF as a medium of ART (as in performance: acting, drama) as the most refined and elaborated form of COMMUNICATION)

In the mid-1960’s, my older cousin (and one of my best friends) was Zelda (Sirkin, aka, Zel deCyr). She lived in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, aspiring to a career in acting but successfully transitioned to voice coach by the time we were closest.  She studied with Stella Adler at her School for Acting, and shared some of her experiences with me. She was given to the occasional melodramatic flourish, but her career training sometimes made me question their authenticity. One time, I found myself asking explicitly if an emotional response to some thoughtless family behavior was genuine.  She seemed uncharacteristically thoughtful in saying “I don’t know.” (or was that even better acting?)  This resonated with my own habit of pretending to be really sympathetic about a friend’s state of mind –particularly poignantly recalled when it was part of dating dynamics, usually reflected upon with regret.

Reading about acting in Simon Callow’s 2022 essay/review of Isaac Butler’s The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act.  Notice how the differences in teaching and learning style imply one cognitive competence or another “Was acting” the author asks, “not simply a gift, something you either had or didn’t have? Or else a craft, a matter of technique, a set of skills, vocal or physical, to be mastered?”  Emotional recall, imagination, devotion to the medium (script or libretto), trusting he director or coach.  The often overheated discussions of theory and practice could extent to the multiplicity of variables: the writer, director, venue, audience—each emphasizing one aspect of a complete  work of art or another and demanding collaborative balance reach its maximum potential.


“My songs are like poetry. Some are pretty heavy–so heavy I can hardly carry them. Sometimes on stage, when I’m singing them, it gets so sad and deep and beautiful, I have to wear dark glasses to keep the people from seeing me crying… With the words that I’m saying and the way I sing it, sometimes I give my own self the blues.” –John Lee Hooker