Logic and sequence come to our aid as a matter of habit. ‘But, strange as it may seem, onstage we forget the logic and sequence of

even the simplest actions. Do you recall the way singers wave glasses about when they are supposed to be full of wine? Do you recall how they quaff great goblets full but never choke from the huge flow of liquid going down their throats? ‘Do that in life and you’ll choke and drown, or spill three-quar ters of the

wine over your collar and clothes. Actors have been perform ing actions that way for centur ies without ever noti cing the absence of logic and sequence. That’s because we haven’t prepared ourselves to drink wine out of an empty card board carafe onstage in a natural manner. We don’t need logic and sequence for that. ‘Normally, we don’t even think about them but, never the less, our actions

are logical and sequen tial. Why? Because they are essen tial, we do what we have to out of motor habit, and are uncon sciously aware of what we have to. ‘Every action we perform subcon sciously or auto mat ic ally in real life has

logic and sequence. They are, so to speak, normally part subcon sciously of all the actions we need to do to survive. ‘But we don’t need the actions we perform onstage. We only pretend we

need them. ‘It is diffi cult to do some thing when there’s no actual need, no neces sity

for it. Then we don’t perform real actions, we do them “in general” and you know that this leads to theat rical conven tion, that is, lies. ‘What are we to do? We must create a large action out of indi vidual, small

actions which fit together logic ally and sequen tially. That was the case with Kostya in the “burning money” when he was count ing it. ‘But then I took him in hand and direc ted each of his small, constitu ent

actions. Without me he wouldn’t have been able to fulfil the task he’d been assigned. ‘Why was that? Because, like the vast major ity of people, he pays far too

little atten tion to the finer details of life. He didn’t take an active interest in them, he didn’t know which indi vidual parts make up our actions: he wasn’t inter ested in their logic and sequence, he was happy just to let them happen. ‘But I know from prac tical exper i ence how much we need logic and

sequence in the theatre and I work on them all the time. I observe life. I advise you to do the same. Then it won’t be diffi cult for you to recall small

constitu ent actions onstage, their logic and sequence and to try to put them back together in one large action. ‘As soon as you feel the logical line of a stage action, as soon as you have to

repeat it several times, in proper sequence, it imme di ately becomes a living part of your muscu lar and other forms of memory. Then you feel the genuine truth of your action and truth evokes belief in the reality of what you are doing. ‘Once actors know the sequence and logic of their actions, once they

recog nize and accept them as living organ isms, then genuine action becomes part of a role and happens subcon sciously, as in real life. Study the logic and sequence of phys ical actions dili gently.’ ‘How can we study them? How? . . .’ ‘Take pen and paper and write down what you are doing:

1. I look for paper in the desk. 2. I take hold of the key, turn it in the lock, pull the drawer towards me. I

push the chair back to make room for the drawer. 3. I try to remem ber how and in what order things are arranged in the

drawer. I know where to look for the paper. I find it, choose the right sheets and set them out on the desk in order.