Week 5: Artist 5 | Created to Create 2016 | Boyan Ivic Paunovic, Actor, Professor of Acting, Directo
After graduating at Belgrade Academy of Dramatic Arts in Acting, Boyan gained initial performance experience in Belgrade theatres. While still in Yugoslavia, Boyan started his graduate studies in clinical psychology at the Belgrade University, choosing to specialize in work of Jung, more specifically in the field of Gestalt psychology (in the field of “Enneagram).” Ivic specialized in the field of Functioning of Psychological Mechanisms, which are in charge of our creative self, our perception, and our audiovisual brain content.
Currently, Boyan lives and works in Barcelona, Spain, where he has been for the past 16 years, working as an acting professor and international acting coach. He is also passionate about theoretic physics and finding ways of connecting different fields of human perception that are guiding toward the same purpose, which would be, as Boyan describes it-development of human consciousness through audio visual dimension.
Where were you born?
Where do you live/work?
Barcelona, Spain, Europe
What fuels your desire to act?
I work as an actor because acting is the most efficient approach for practical development of human consciousness towards better and more truthful way of getting to know human nature and the limits of our/human perception. Any obstacles on the path of my acting development are, in truth, direct obstacles in the development of general perception of fundamental human nature and it’s limitations.
In what ways do your martial arts study/practice compliment your acting work and teaching practice?
Wing-chun (Kung Fu) has fundamentally contributed in the most wholesome way to my individual human development and through that, my development as an actor. Tao Te King says that “complex is a servant of simple.” Simplicity and specificity of thought in Kung Fu discipline has essentially directed me to apply the same principles in acting work. There is a Chinese saying, “Whoever is a master of one technique, is a master of all of them.” I could not agree more with this statement. Through my practice of both acting and Kung Fu, I am able to more fully understand both disciplines and gain greater facility in both of these fields.
By practicing and growing in both acting and Kung Fu, I am able to see them as two versions of the same archetypical, fundamental, human tendency to achieve the same thing. Acting and Kung Fu, to an unskilled eye, can feel as something completely different. But, the more I practice, it seems more clear to me that, both acting and Kung Fu are going towards the same goal, which is better knowing and more successful control of human awareness.
When do you typically practice and for how long?
I practice non-stop. As the first law of Hermetic* says, “The universe is a creation of our mind.” I constantly work on observation, analysis, and conclusions connected to human nature. In my view, the goal of human advancement and especially acting growth is found in development of attention in relationship to who we are and where we are. In my view, any work that does not include development of human consciousness is not only wrong, but also counterproductive for an actor. I practice by analyzing, making a few connections/discoveries a day, nothing more…nothing less.
What would be some positive ways in which your study at the Belgrade Academy of Dramatic Arts, Yugoslavia, has influenced your acting development?
Training at the Belgrade Academy of Dramatic Arts was of fundamental importance for my development as an actor and as a person. More specifically, elements like breaking through clichés, freeing yourself from the weight of false perception, specific ways of approaching/creating a character, developing your identity are only a few elements I carry with me to this day. It is impossible to bypass the value of my initial training in my overall development as a professional and in my further research of human consciousness through acting. Self-discipline, which is essential for successful advancement in acting training, is the best possible tool for removing obstacles that our fragmented identity constantly throws at us. As much as our ego that wants us to feel that we are, indeed, the center of the universe, and this false notion causes our greatest suffering.
What are the challenges and or joys of an artist who pursues acting in a country and language that is not his own?
This fact was not really ever in my thoughts. I do not think it is so important that I have been developing as a professional, away from my original culture. As the time passes I feel more and more puzzled by Serbian culture, and I have more questions as time goes by. It is funny, that I often feel as a foreigner in Serbia and am often wondering how would I approach roles in theatre or film. As a long time student of Jung, I have become more intrigued by “general” and archetypal human condition, things that connect all human beings, regardless of culture. I feel inspired by archetypal vision of the world. Very soon after moving to another country, I was able to feel myself as the citizen of the world, with all those human problems, and human happiness and unhappiness that plagues humanity regardless of country of origin. In my humble view, all national, cultural and other obstructive human tendencies are harmful if one reaches to work and excel as an expert in anything on a global level.
The most inspiring thing about being an artist is…
I do not see self as an artist. I see my work as a sort of scientific research on human condition that starts from an artistic perspective. Pythagoras said, that mathematics is a language of gods. I was incredibly fortunate in my life so far to have space and time to keep researching and experimenting. Any element of acting that is not possible to be as simple and doable, as math or geometry does not interest me as a way of working.
Acting is a craft with its tangible; practice and universal principles and laws just like any other craft. When I observe actors such as De Niro, Meryl Streep, Christian Bail, Hilary Swank etc. we do not, in my view observe artists. We see “engineers of life itself”. These actors as many other masters of their craft are so skilled that the do indeed engineer their performance so that the audience can experience things from their precise choices. Their work, in my view, is with mathematical precision. This is why for me being an actor is much like being an architect of life. And audience is the only one capable of deciding if they are indeed witnessing/ receiving a work art or not. For myself, it is a beautiful thing to be researching almost scientifically in the field of art.
The biggest obstacle in working with self is…
My biggest obstacle in acting work is the same as in life. Fundamental ignorance can become an obstacle to all of us. Every time, our ego attaches itself to any one of thousands of subconscious obstacles, fears, and false perceptions. It causes us to behave in a way that we feel it is “us” and in truth it is our ego speaking. Our obstacle is identifying with our ego, which causes suffering. This limited field of possibilities, individual choices and small self can never replace the infinite field of collective consciousness. So keeping our ego in check is so important. When “ Boyan” steps on stage, I can never be as creative as when I leave that small self-aside. This moment is when magic, creativity and play can begin to happen.
In 2016, SUPER SPACE is serving as a vehicle to facilitate Created to Create Project.
CREATED TO CREATE
INTRODUCING ONE ARTIST PER WEEK, FOR 52 WEEKS IN 2016.
Beginning, January, 1st, 2016
ACTORS, ARTISTS, THEATRE MAKERS, FILM MAKERS, DESIGNERS, TEACHING ARTISTS, STUDENTS all chosen because they spend a part each day creating. Artists will be chosen in no particular order.
Introduce artists from different parts of the world. People who use different mediums and whose practice is at a different skill level. A thing they all have in common is unique sense of style and self-expression.