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The Actourist Part ][: Acting From Beside

Now, class, if you'll just take your seats, we'll begin by reviewing our last lesson:  Acting is believing.

Believing in getting ridiculously huge paychecks to lie to people.  Notice that trend in our society?  Politicians?  Lawyers?  Writers?!  They're making up those stories, you know!  So our lesson is that, as an actor, you can get paid a lot and be eligible for any of the other lying professions in our fine country.  Good thing you're in my class, because I've got a treat for you today:  you don't even need the talent to act!

That's right, because, down in the high-tech acting labs, our scientists have recently discovered a new technique, which we'll dub "Acting from Beside". There's an old film-editing theory that goes waaaaaaaay back, to, like... 1643 or something.  It claims that the same picture of an emotionless clown can be interpreted different ways, depending on the shots that come before or after it.  The clown is sad when you show kittens being declawed in the shot before it.  If the opening shot is a bright flower, the clown is happy, but, if the shot following the clown shows the flower bursting into flames, the clown, in hindsight, would have looked vengeful.  It's true!  Try it at home with your friends!

Oh, sorry... touchy subject?  It works with pets, too.

In 1643, Herbert Von Blenderhaven named this theory the "Keanu theory", and it fully explains Keanu Reeves' career.  It's obvious that acting has never come into play.  The theory can be stretched violently, like a heathen on the rack, crying for mercy amongst fiery stares of the cackling Inquisitors, who prance like crusty marionettes, waving spindly, pointed fingers through the burning air... uh... I, uh...

I was saying the theory can be stretched to prove that real actors can make a poser look good, just by being beside them.  Let's look at Bram Stoker's Dracula.  Keanu was in that.  Anybody remember?  He was shoved in there next to absolute, brilliant masters of the craft like Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins, like some kind of... genius sandwich.  With fecal waste in the middle.  Reeves didn't need to act with such a magnitude of greatness swirling around him.  He could crap it up horribly, and no one noticed.  Oldman and Hopkins acted for him.  Just by standing there, their reactions to Reeves told you what he was supposed to be conveying, but, retardedly, couldn't manage on his own.

On to the Travesty Team, we leap into Hydro: First Flood.  The decadent Graham Woolley ravished audiences like so many pirate rapists with the conscious use of this technique.  Hydro doesn't act himself; others act beside him.  The decision, which he recounted to me in one of those unending dramatic monologues, came with the realization that Hydro can disappear at will, such as he did after threatening the Trooper with his knife blade.  I was the Trooper, by the way.  And I still accept fan-mail at troopdoggydogg@bestactor.com.

Anyway, a character that can disappear at will cannot act, he decided, except acting as a non-actor.  Actors require viewers, so they cannot disappear or the viewers will leave and the actors will become extinct.  Literally.  They'll each be struck by meteors shaped like restaurants or car washes or community theaters, then burst into flames, just like those poor, little dinosaurs of yore.  So a character that can disappear cannot be acted from within or even method acted.  Only Acting from Beside could work, and, with the support of such fine actors as myself, the technique paid off brilliantly.

Now, go out and find yourself someone that can act, and use them to climb to power! And if anybody comes to me, I can't promise I won't accidentally act you off a cliff, onto power cables... or broken bottles of cheap beer.  Or something really degrading like that...

David Casey