My school works very well. Its secret? The quality of its teachers and the administration which is led by my wife, Michiko Miyazaki Gaulier, with a Japanese masterful hand.
When a journalist, short of ideas, asks if in the course of fifty years I’ve often changed my ideas, I reply: ‘No, never!
I don’t change my ideas. I refine my ideas. I purify my ideas.’
Have you never thought that your wild outbursts, so disgracefully anti-Stanislavski, your diatribes so appallingly anti-the admirers of this same Stanislavski, an ideologist of the United States whom you have described as a ‘worthless doctrinaire’, someone who cheerfully mixed up Sigmund Freud, theatre characters, Hamlet, Shakespeare, Marilyn Monroe, etc. Have you not brutalised them excessively?
No! I had been too moderate. At that time, I was wary of my irreverence. I handled the controversy brilliantly and refused to write that Stanislavski (and his American admirer) were idiots, real ones like those now still made only in highly specialised schools. One other thing inclined me to be tolerant: Stanislavski had tried to rescue Meyerhold from the murderous claws of Stalin by appointing him his ‘assistant’. Wasted effort! The murderous claws ripped them both in one strike, shamelessly.
Then I got old! Today, I say, in all serenity: ‘the theoreticians of the theatre (except Meyerhold and B.Brecht) are all minus habens (dimwits, dunces, idiots, imbeciles) who prowl around universities, hoping to hear a faint echo of their mental masturbations. Even in the United States? Especially there.’
Do the universities send back approving echos? Are they sympathetic? Gentle? Graceful?
They venerate the bones which onanists of all sorts throw at them, a bone to gnaw on, upon request.
In 1980, I started my school. Ten years before, I had taught at the Ecole Jacques Lecoq, after having studied there.
In 2020, I’ll have clocked up fifty years of teaching.
I have always thought, (from the day of my birth, 4th March 1943) that the pleasure of playing, of appearing in your best light, in the spotlights, in your original beauty, that pleasure leads theatre. Intellectual hand jobs, by nights, demean the soul and the body.
To create living theatre, let’s enjoy ourselves to the hilt.
Is that all you have to say after fifty years of teaching?
by Philippe Gaulier