Date of Degree
MFA (Master of Fine Arts)
First Committee Member
Anne Marie Nest
Second Committee Member
My name is Greg Delany Walker. I’m an MFA candidate in Theatre Arts with a specialization in Acting at the University of Iowa. The following is my thesis that addresses my artistic process as an actor. My main focus in this thesis is to unpack my beliefs about what makes good acting and how I personally achieve that. I detail many schools of thought that pair well together to seek out vulnerability in actors. Vulnerability is my chief struggle as an actor given that I have a tendency to overthink things and rely more on intellect than on passionate expression in my daily life and in my work. That tendency leads me to be polite as an actor, which has gotten in the way of my being able to reach my full potential.
I discovered time and time again how important it is to understand and embody acting techniques so deeply that I can let them go. All the different techniques of analysis, physical and voice work are essential, but they need to transition to being second nature. The techniques outlined in this thesis, learned in my life and through the program at the University of Iowa, have to be so ingrained that I don’t need to think of them in the moment on stage. The key to being present on stage seems so simple in a way, but it has been a great challenge for me to fully let go of control to allow for my potential public failure and humiliation. The times that I’ve embraced failure have been the strongest moments for me as an actor because of the power of risk.
My hope is that by detailing my own process and experiences, with that idea of building technique and releasing into the present moment, that others could be further empowered to do the same in acting or in life.
Acting, Failure, Performance, Theatre, Vulnerability
iii, 51 pages
Includes bibliographical references (page 51).
Copyright © 2018 Greg Delany Walker
Walker, Greg Delany. "Embracing failure: the life between polite and pushed." MFA (Master of Fine Arts) thesis, University of Iowa, 2018.