Lying and Creativity
This post on Confabulation really hit home for me.
As an acting teacher, the need for actors to inhibit inhibition is primary. Acting is in many ways confabulation. The actor must believe fully in her "lie" and be able to repress her own personal "reality" in order to reveal a deeper "truth." We train bodies and voices relentlessly in order to allow the expression of these confabulations to emerge. As Ian said, the artist must be both expert and child.
While in the past, acting was considered to be interpretative rather than creative, we now have a different understanding and different training methods. This new idea probably emerged with the advent of film and television. The public simply wouldn't accept the presentational approaches used over the centuries. The close-up dictated a new more penetrating way of watching actors.
There is a stronger need therefore, for the actor not to be seen "lying." The need for "personalization" becomes more important than "characterization" as a goal.
For this to happen, the actor must be able to marry script with improvisation, the formal with the impulsive, in the same way the jazz musician acknowledges the main score and creates around and in response to it.
Oddly enough, as this more personal approach grows deeper, the meanings of the work become more universal.