In quantum mechanics, parallel universes i.e. life coaching and neuro-linguistic programming join the Art of Acting and form a new method known as “Perceptual Acting and Directing”, proposed by director Maria Tsaroucha and promoted in America’s universities. “ 9 parts of desire” playing at the multi-purpose venue ERGOTAXION and “Alfa is tin ni- Otan I psychi synanta to symban” by Konstantina Giambourani playing from February at Stathmos Theatre and supported by the Hellenic Physical Society and the Hellenic Mathematical Society, have both been directed by Maria using her new method.
Maria Tsaroucha issued a book at the young age of 13 and for this reason was given an award by Kosta Tachtses and Antonis Samarakis. Everyone was talking about a teenage word maker. She finished school in Athens and went on to study sociology. She then sat the National Theatre’s exams. “I decided to move abroad so I sat exams for four schools in London and then six in the United States and passed all ten! I finally opted to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, America’s National theatre and the best acting school”, she says during our meeting.
She graduated with honours and returned to Greece where she married her ex-husband and became a mother of two while at the same time worked as an actress. Maria notes that “Motherhood was a wake-up call for me! Once I became a mother I realized that I had to evolve as a human being. We owe it to our children to help them become good people. We have to help them be happy! I realized that I had to expand my horizons not cognitively but fundamentally. The method that I am proposing is the result of more than ten years of self-awareness research. It took on a form over the last year! Perceptual Acting and Directing is a new theory-action system with exercises and is essential for every artist who is acting. It is an instruction manual for life that helps an actor evolve and mature through self-knowledge, life coaching, dominant philosophical statements, NPL, visualizations, the Actor-Director Odyssey Method and the interpretation of quantum mechanics”.
Science and art are two sides of the same coin. Maria claims that “My intention is to teach my method in universities abroad. My aim is to carry out research with a quantum physicist and perhaps theatre in the future could be considered a science. This method is a multi-tool for every actor. Just as a surgeon needs tools to operate, an actor/actress requires a method to play a character. He/she needs a plan. It is wrong to give someone a role and have them wondering how to portray the character. There is a method, a safety net that an actor/actress experiences and feels when up on stage!”.
She became interested in interpreting quantum mechanics over the last year and a half and this as she adds opened up a whole new world to her. “I had so many questions because I never actually believed that I was interpreting “characters” nor that I was myself when performing. Quantum mechanics gave me all the answers and helped me find out “who I am” when I was up on stage. Quantum mechanics offers undisputed data such as the fact that parallel universes exist or that humans are energy and that we can create and communicate beyond our five senses. Quantum mechanics answered all of my existential questions which was a great relief”, she says.
For Maria Tsaroucha it is essential for an actor/actress to know him/herself and answer all of his/her existential questions before portraying a character. She promises actors/actresses to initially help them find out who they are not only through self-knowledge or even philosophically but scientifically and then go up on stage. As she notes “Acting methods teach a person how to act when on stage and not who the person is who is acting on stage”. Perceptual Acting and Directing has come along to fill this great gap. My method allows an actor to expand /her understading and his/her sixth sense by experiencing the truth beyond the material and emotional situation that allows him to identify with his/her character. This is assuming that you know who you are”.
Do you believe that we can get to know ourselves in depth? I do believe so. According to Maria Tsaroucha the ‘ego’ and our everyday roles in life are important obstacles in our development. “Our everyday roles prevent us from having fundamental and complete communication with the person standing in front of us. When you have to play the role of a mother, a partner, a daughter you automatically restrict yourself to certain traits. It is essential to stop playing the parts that you adopt in order to fulfil your socio-psychological needs. You need to learn how to live with your real ‘self’ freeing yourself from your ‘ego’! My method helps deconstruct our ‘ego’.
How would this help an actor/actress? “In theatre you create a new life, a new CV, a new ‘existence’. An actor must initially deconstruct him/herself in order to play a character, how else can he/she transform”.
Why do we often see so many actors repeat themselves in a different role? “Unfortunately this does happen, it should not be the case and it is not always so, it really depends on the actors you are referring to. I imagine that you are not talking about Daniel Day-Lewis or Jessica Lange who are classic method actors and where classic method acting is the foundation to my own method that I have developed and to which I have included self-knowledge and quantum mechanics”, she replies.
Does Perceptual Acting and Directing only apply to actors/actresses? “In theory it could apply to others but I decided that I only want to address actors perhaps because I felt that I owe this to the world of Art. I truly believe that Perceptual Acting and Directing has come to add knowledge to the art of acting and to help develop it further”.
What are the main exercises used in your method? “I have developed exercises for Method Acting such as the basic exercise of repetition so that actors are focused on one another when on stage using energy and meditation. I have also included the study of the biographical character using the four-dimensional perception in relation to his/her bodily nature. To always refer to the character using ‘I’ and not ‘We’. Another exercise involves becoming one with the universe’s energy, this way you realise that you are not material but energy along many more exercises”.
What is the purpose of this method? “This method helps you become a better person and actor.”