Sometime ago I came across a quote of Stanislavski in which he reflected on his life and on what, at the end of it, he found most important. The translator used the English word cognition. This is an odd word, which means understanding or knowledge. Stanislavski stated, that in a life that had brought him the world’s applause and extraordinary fame, in the end the most precious of his accomplishments was this: cognition.
William Esper about Paul Dekker
So do all serious artists spend their lives in the pursuit of knowledge of their craft and of human condition.
Such a searcher was Paul Dekker. He has spent his life on a fanatical quest to understand the true nature of acting. He hungers to know everything that can be known about this subject.
He has been on this journey for a long time. He first came to me as a way stop on that journey because he wished to know everything about the work of the great American teacher Sanford Meisner as I understood it and had developed it.
He began by observing my classes in the MFA/BFA Professional Actor Training Program at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts. After a time he had to return to his students in Holland but later he returned to actually do the work under my guidance in my New York Studio.
Never was there a student who was more intensely serious than Paul Dekker. Never was there a student more intensely focused on understanding every aspect of this approach.
It was my observation that Meisner’s work is not as well known in Europe as it is in America. This is beginning to change fortunately through the efforts of many people who like Paul Dekker quest after what is eternal in our work.