This week's Dyer reading focused on various types of performance, as well as signs that we read and help us to understand a performance. Performance is defined as,"what the performer does in addition to the actions/functions s/he performs in the plot and the lines s/he is given to say." In analyzing a performance, we are basically trying to make sense of the underlying tones, gestures, facial expressions and various other signs that an actor deploys to make their portrayal of character believable. It is sometimes hard to make sense of some of these signs, and often a matter of opinion when trying to describe how they affect an actor's performance. However, it is interesting to note how different types of actors go about performing different roles, and how their style affects their portrayal of a character.
Essentially we find that there are two approaches to acting that can be coined acting from the outside in vs acting from the inside out. The first involves observation of outside people and using their reactions to inform an actor's performance-there should be no trace of the own actor's personal feelings. The latter is the opposite; actors are encouraged to "live the character" by basing the performance on what s/he feels inside. The two methods provide very intriguing philosophies on the art of performance, but I still think that all actors ultimately end up showcasing a piece of themselves, as with any type of art. It is hard to imagine a performer with the ability to completely separate themselves from a performance and base their actions solely on the observations of others. I think that most characters that are portrayed contain some trace of the performer's personality, or at least a similar on screen acting character which makes the actor a unique artist.