When he came to watch me work, Wade said it was amazing because you couldn’t tell where instinct left off and technique began. I couldn’t either, and Alex said it didn’t matter. Wade thinks Alex has a very commonplace mind, which is the result of confining himself to the movies and never getting a whiff of the keen stimulating air of the theater.
When you work in the theater, even in a flop, you realize all over again that an actor can be the prisoner of his mechanical responses. Anyway, my instinct makes me do a lot of things that Stanislavski teaches, and they’re right. Frankly, this doesn’t surprise me, because I’ve studied in my own way, and I really knuckled down when I made all those recordings on the pier, thinking about the songs and the feelings they gave me, etc.
However, Wade points out that even if you start with a rare natural gift, the world will corrupt it. You have to be a very special kind of person to stand up to the world and say no. Even though I said no to the last scene of Song and Dance and I don’t intend to sing unless I believe it, according to Wade the whole experience is insidious and the world tricks you into believing your own lies. That’s what happens when I go cute.
Gavin Lambert, Inside Daisy Clover, New York, Viking Press, 1963.