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Interview

Przemek Blaszczak Sommer Interview

SZENEN

WECHSEL

10 Questions for Przemek Blaszczak

asked by THE PINEAPPLES

  1. 🍍Why do you call the body an instrument?

Przemek Blaszczak: When we think about acting, the first and only source of our art is ourselves. Just as a piano or violin player practices their instrument daily to discover its potential, actors must do the same with their bodies. By recognizing our abilities and potential, we can discover how much freedom and understanding we can achieve.
As actors, we need to develop an aware, precise, and creative relationship with our bodies—the instrument of our art. All our emotions, thoughts, and ideas are connected to and filtered through our physical interaction with the external world.

This is why approaching the body as an instrument and studying its possibilities provides better understanding and greater freedom in the creative process.

  1. 🍍It seems to us that you dedicated yourself to Grotowski’s work. What does it offer to you what other approaches don’t?

Przemek Blaszczak: Grotowski’s work is a strong point of reference for me. I never had the chance to work with him personally, but his path, questions, and perspectives are very alive in my own work. I don’t want to say what other approaches lack, as I believe there are various ways to think about and make theater. This particular approach seems to be closest to my heart.

I have always been inspired by the depth of his questions and his practical interest in human nature through action. His focus on understanding human nature and potential, stripping away masks and social roles to find something simple and core, is probably why I followed this path.

  1. 🍍Participants of your Workshop “Awakening the creative Body” in the Schule des Theaters don’t need to prepare a text to work with. What will they focus on instead?

Przemek Blaszczak: We will focus on individual and group training of the actors. Individually, we will deepen our relationship with ourselves through daily practice, recognizing our possibilities and boundaries, and pushing them. This is in line with Stanislavski’s concept of „work on oneself.“

On the group level, we will focus on transforming from many individuals into a group, ensemble, or chorus, and exploring the possibilities this offers. Stanislavski said that words are just the tip of an iceberg of physical actions. This is why I didn’t ask for a prepared text. We will concentrate on the spheres that need recognition and preparation before words can appear out of necessity. We will shift our focus from what we have to say to what we are actually doing.

  1. 🍍There are a lot of different methods for performers. Is there a certain experience in your artistic life that convinced you to include Aikido?

Przemek Blaszczak: I have always sought precision and efficiency in my work. Martial arts, especially traditional ones, offer a clear system that shows immediately what works and what doesn’t. They hold the knowledge of generations of practitioners and shape a unique kind of body, mind, awareness, and energy.

I wanted to find a training tool for actors with this kind of objectivity. In theater, we can often get lost in our feelings and interpretations. After many years of practicing both theater and Aikido, I felt that the discipline, simplicity, and precision of martial arts would benefit theater artists. I combined my love for both disciplines and found that it works well for me and my actors.

  1. 🍍Is there a difference for you between actors and performers? If yes, what kind?

Przemek Blaszczak: For me, the terms „actor“ and „performer“ are just definitions. Actors focus more on acting-showing, representing, and describing states and feelings. Performers, on the other hand, focus on performing actions without the intent to show or pretend. The performer is not acting in the sense of pretending but is doing, like a martial artist performing a cut with a sword. This is my personal distinction between actor and performer.

One story: of man involved in organised crime who had always wanted to be a writer. But did not have the circumstances or a quiet place to do this. I saw him change from a dangerous, ferocious man, to slowly becoming a man who began to express his feelings and over time he transformed into a poet. That was quite amazing to see.

  1. 🍍Is your work also helpful for actors who want to work mainly for film? If yes, in what way?

Przemek Blaszczak: Yes, it is. By focusing on practical questions—what and why I am doing something—we bring attention to the here and now, which is the source of our freedom as actors. I do not teach a specific method but share perspectives and useful tools. The next step is for actors to develop their personal technique, making this approach inspiring for all types of actors.

  1. 🍍Do you believe that people who come to your workshop here in Vienna should already be fit?

Przemek Blaszczak: I always start from the beginning. The workshop is physically challenging, but I adapt to the group that attends. It’s not an advanced dance choreography workshop but one focused on recognizing individual potential and blockages. Participants don’t need to be fit, but they need to be ready to understand their bodies and work with what they discover. Being open to facing what you can’t do is the first step to change.

  1. 🍍Was there a situation where a participant complained that the training was too hard? If so, how did you handle it?

Przemek Blaszczak: I always ask participants to be aware of their limits—when they can’t do something, when they are pushing too hard, or when they don’t want to try. The workshop is structured so that no one is pushed beyond their comfort level. Participants can adapt the intensity to their needs. This helps them understand their own capabilities and limits.

  1. 🍍What do you think is the most important ability people have to bring in when they want to become a performing artist?

Przemek Blaszczak: I believe artists must be open and curious about the world and have a strong connection to themselves—knowing what they need, want, and what they want to convey to others. They need to be willing to work hard on themselves, avoid self-indulgence, and keep searching for the truth they want to share. They need to be generous and honest. I believe.

  1. 🍍Did you ever explore pineapples? If so, what was your most memorable discovery?

Przemek Blaszczak: Actually, I’ve mostly explored pineapples by eating them. I really find their structure fascinating, like a cone made of many little pins. It was interesting to learn that they grow on the ground, not on trees or bushes. I enjoy eating pineapples and I believe it is very good, healthy kind of food. I often wonder how they make their way to Central Europe, where they don’t grow, and whether it’s okay to consume them here.

Przemek Blaszczak Performing Arts Workshop – Internationale Sommerakademie  10. – 14. Juli 2024

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