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“Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.”
- C.S. Lewis

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only revolution that counts is a revolution of the human spirit.”
- Henrik Ibsen

Ronald Rand in Let It Be Art


Essays

LIFE AND ACTING: Techniques for the Actor

Let These New Plays Happen to You

Celebrating Uta Hagen Centennial at the HB Studio

Taking the Business of Acting Online

Mary Overlie: Original Dance Anarchist and Post-Modern Evangelist: A Tribute to Mary Overlie 1946-2020

The “Real” Illusion of Mime

Art is the Means by which We Make Ourselves Visible

Theater - A Celebration of All Life

To Think the Thought

Yat Malmgren and the Drama Centre, London

Directions for Directing: Theatre and Method

Writing for Life

Our Theatrical Mission

Strolling Player: The Life and Career of Albert Finney

A Great Reminder for Us All

by David Amram

H20 – Paintings of and About Water

A New Way of Professional Theater

“Let Thousand Flowers Blossom”

A Double Life: My Exciting Years in Theatre and Advertising

 

Hirschfeld

“You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self.”
– Richard Bach

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”
– Wilma Rudolph

“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”
– William Faulkner

“Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.”
– Ernest Hemingway

“My favorite piece of music is the one we hear all the time if we are quiet.”
– John Cage

 

Theater -
A Celebration of All Life

IT CERTAINLY FEELS LIKE TIME is flying faster these days. Don’t you think so. Every day is like the first read-through of a play – a complete jump into the unknown. You don’t know what’s going to happen. This moment carries within it nothing even remotely to anything any of us have ever experienced before.

Are there positives in all of this uncertainty?  How do we find and keep our center in the midst of so much turmoil, fear and hysteria?

I’m reminded of a short poem I wrote a short time ago:

On an island far out in the sea,
a young woman lived alone,
looking out at the sea.

On one of its crags she sat,
meditating, asking God
to forgive the world.

“They’re so young, she said,
“and sometimes they need help.”

Her prayers rose up to
heaven, and lo and behold,
were granted.

“As long as the world
listened,” she was told,
“and changed its ways.”

She sits waiting now,
looking out at the world,
wondering…

Painting by Ronjay (Ronald Rand)

Many of the great plays contain within them an element of the “bottom falling out” – confronting the totally unexpected, stepping into the unknown. Many times, we’re led on a journey, following either “the hero” or a tragic figure facing their greatest doubts, confronting their deepest fears. In the deep recesses of their soul, in the pit of their stomach, tracing every possible route in their mind, they face an inescapable trajectory into the abyss.

Jeff Daniels in “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Aaron Sorkin on Broadway.

Questions resound through our lives every day: When will this be over?  How will we survive?  What will the “new” normal look like?  Who are we to rely upon today?

We have, and will always have, ourselves. There’s no greater power in the universe than the great strength and courage inside, which is more than we think is possible. We’re much more than we are ‘on the surface.’ And we can do than we think we can.

Broadway Junior Theatre Celebration, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center,
Charlotte, North Carolina

For those of us in the theater, this is an especially excruciating time, because not only do we find ourselves “stage-less.” All of a sudden, a new way has to be discovered.
Without our means to do our work, we feel at sea. The theater is our home. The stage is where we truly come alive, to tell our stories.

But it’s not available for us, so what do we do?

We’ll keep creating!

Today all over the place on the internet, we see ‘virtual’ stories springing up, re-broadcasts of stage performances, other ways and means of expressing who we are, what we need to celebrate in the face of this scourge, to keep the celebration of theater alive.

There’s no escaping what we’re confronted with. So, let’s keep the ‘flame of art’ burning till we’re back on stage, working in film and television, performing “live” for an audience.

Everything will be different when we come out of this. There’s no question, at least for a good long while. And we will have lost many dear friends and family.

I’m reminded more than ever before, and something so apt for this moment, by the words of one of my teachers, Harold Clurman, when he said: “My message to young people in the theatre today is more than ever, “To thine own self be true.” Discipline yourselves to speak from your heart and from your mind, that is, from your own experience, to the people who have provided you with the ground and framework of that experience. The more scrupulous your effort to make the passage from your conscience and consciousness to theirs the more successful you will eventually be – in whatever way is most important to you. In short, every decade the call must be raised anew: “Come out! Come out! Wherever you are!”

Through our art, let us come out! Through our humanity, let us come out! We have the means to re-affirm the goodness that makes us who we are. To heal one another and make it possible for all of us to come together and do the theater we’re meant to do.

And like a lark singing in a meadow at dawn, we will again arise To Sing! To Act! To Dance! To Play! ◆ 2020 (poem and painting by Ronald Rand).

 

RONALD RAND Goodwill Cultural Ambassador, International Performing Artist, Mr. Rand continues performing in his 20th year in his solo play, “LET IT BE ART!” bringing to life Harold Clurman, the "elder Statesman of the American Theater,” seen in three Off-Broadway productions, in 25 countries, 20 states and represented the U.S. at the 2018 Theatre Olympics in New Delhi. Most recently, he received ovations performing at Nairobi’s National Theatre representing the U.S at The Kenya International Festival, at Sri Lanka’s Colombo International Theatre Festival, and at the famed Ritz Theatre in northern Alabama presented by TVAA. Author of CREATE! How Extraordinary People Live to Create and Create to Live, and the best-selling Acting Teachers of America. Founder & Publisher of “The Soul of the American Actor” Newspaper, celebrating its twenty-first year, Mr. Rand has appeared in many plays Off-Broadway, regionally, and in hundreds of film and TV shows. An internationally renowned director, his award-winning production of “LUV” is in its 8th sold-out year at Sarajevo’s Chamber Theatre 55 with Zana Marjanovic and will resume in 2021. He wrote the libretto for the new opera, “IBSEN,” with its World Premiere scheduled to be performed by the Indian National Symphony Orchestra in Bangalore in 2021. A U.S. State Dept. Fulbright Specialist (2013-2018), Mr. Rand has taught his master acting workshop, “Art of Transformation,” in 25 countries and twenty states at over seventy-five festivals, universities, and schools around the world. www.LetItBeArt.com, www.CreatetheBook.com, www.IbsenOpera.com

 


"It is a law of life that man cannot live for himself alone. Extreme individualism is insanity. The world's problems are also our personal problems. Health is achieved through maintaining our personal truth in a balanced relation of love to the rest of the world. No expression is more emblematic of this relation than the creative act which we call art. No art by its very constitution typifies the social nature of that creative act more than the theatre. The theatre, to be fully understood and appreciated, must be seen as a manifestation of this process of interchange between society and the individual. It must be judged as a continuous development of groups of individuals within society, a development which becomes richer, acquires greater force and value as it grows with the society in which it originates. Only in this way can the theatre nourish us.  - Harold Clurman

The Soul of the American Actor Newspaper