“Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.” This quote has been embedded into the minds of young artists who practice theatre. It came from the eminent practitioner, Stanislavski. He challenged the world of theatre, by creating a method that increased the dramatic process or artistry of each character presented in a play. He teaches the complexity of what it takes to be a true artist of acting. Sonia Moore then took all the elements, notes, and teachings of Stanislavski and combined them all into an accessible book, The Stanislavski System. Throughout this source of media, the actor can read about how to increase the believability of each character by focusing on the emotional memory, physical actions, imagination, concentration, rhythm, and the total essence a character might carry. Stanislavski really pushed the idea of a trained actor ultimately reaching success.
Unfortunately, time has changed since Stanislavski in 1930. Imagery and artistry has been in a complex battle since then. In 1930, true artistry reigned and was fought for. Now in 2011, people are literally bending over backwards to be famous – to provide an image for themselves. People stand in long lines to be seen, and more than half do not have any training or craft whatsoever. They only come with this vision of stardom in their head. Then the industry helps this ill form of illusion, by stating, “if you have the look you’re in. If you don’t, you’re out.” I know this from experience.
These thoughts of imagery vs. artistry entered my mind after hearing a song by Christofer Drew. Not many people know of him, but he was an artist falling into the same line of thoughts. I drew an analysis based on his song, Sellout. Drew was an independent artist for the longest time, allowing his unique melody and poetry lure in a huge demographic of audience. When he got signed years later into a record deal, he finally got to enter successfully into the music industry. While living his dream, he noticed quickly that true artistry and training has nothing to do with the entertainment field anymore. It has all to do with the imagery associated with that specific person. He lays it out clearly with his song, Sellout. Some of the lyrics pulled from the song include the following: “I sold myself to the Corporation. I got a problem with the way you think that you can program me like a damn machine. Fuck this scene. I’m sick of imagery instead of artistry. I’m sick of poets working part time jobs, while pissy people pick and choose the stars.” These are just a few of the lyrics borrowed from this overall rebellious song against the media and also against the people that had promised him a successful future. Sure he gets a lot of money, but in the process it seems like the imagery had suppressed the artistry that naturally wanted to flow from his soul.
Due to this, I argue that fame keeps artistry in bondage and keeps it from being free. I will not stand against the entire entertainment industry for this problem, because I know that there are still some left who believe in the power of artistry. I stand against imagery and the illusions that put artists in a bind, while well-constructed images of people fill the television screens. Then I stand up for the unheard voices, the unheard music, and the unheard performances that could bring a powerful divine nurturing to America and across the world. Artistry may loose in the end, and when that happens, my friends, the entertainment industry will loose value and will eventually die out. That will be a sad day for a lot of truly talented people, and will also redefine the way we perceive dreams forever. Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.