“We did it ourselves!”

“When the Master governs, the people are hardly aware that he exists…The Master doesn’t talk, he acts. When his work is done, the people say ‘Amazing: we did it, all by ourselves!” –Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu (Stephen Mitchell Translation)

“For me, being a director is about watching, not about telling people what to do. Or maybe it’s like being a mirror; if they didn’t have me to look at, they wouldn’t be able to put the make-up on.” -Jane Campion

Even though they’re miles ahead and can probably tell actors exactly what to do on day one, the best directors let actors struggle. They give them space. They ask questions rather than giving answers. Because they know it’s way more powerful and lasting when actors take ownership over their character. When they make their own discoveries. When the actor thinks “Aha! I figured it out all by myself.”

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