An insurance salesman is entangled in endless conflict with his wife. He is spiteful and arrogant. He is a nasty person. He decides to leave the insurance business and take up acting. Yes, he will become an actor! He will trade in the steady income of his business career for the uncertain life of a man of the theater. He is convinced this will spite his wife. He goes to acting school. He masters his craft. He auditions for the role of Hamlet in an off-Broadway production. He is cast in the role and the premiere performance is critically acclaimed. Brooks Atkinson writes that it is the finest Hamlet he has seen in years.
Now the question: Was the insurance salesman acting or was he simply acting out? Or was he acting and acting out. Does it even matter?
Dr. Palombo once said to me: “You’re acting.” I have no idea what he meant and didn’t ask.