Mamet writes about the play’s influence on the actor, how the events of the play impose themselves on the actor’s process. The problems the actor encounters in rehearsal and in performance are, in fact, the problems of the character he plays in the story. The play imposes itself on the player. It sounds mystical or magical, and ridiculously so, doesn’t it? But it’s true.
I’ve been having this weird experience in my life lately – this wavering of self-confidence, like there’s some kind of on/off switch on my sense of certainty. In a moment I’ll realize that I have no idea what I’m doing, what the future holds, that I’m a fraud and a fool. And in another moment I’ll realize that I’m sure of myself, content with my time and pleased with my choices, safe in the knowledge that the future will be what it will be.
The first thing we uncover rehearsing Macbeth: “so…he’s, like, totally changed his mind here? When did that happen?” In a moment he is fearful and uncertain, wrestling with his conscience – and in the next he has no doubt, no hesitancy. And I think, “He seems to turn on a dime for no reason, how can I possibly deal with these about-faces?” But then I think, “Wait – how could that possibly be a mystery to me?”
-Jason Maniccia, Macbeth