Maybe this is true. I am not sure it can be proven either way. However, I do think it is far too slippery a sentiment to espouse when debating weather students/people can achieve greatness in the arts.
First off, how does one define talent? The natural or inborn ability to DO something really, really well? If so, what would a NATURAL ability to ACT endow one with? Looks? Charm? Wit? The keen ability to memorize? A lifelong childlike imagination?
I argue that acting CAN be taught. And good acting DOES come about through practice and study. Screw talent! Yes, certainly, when it comes to acting or performance, some people, children especially, are less inhibited and seem to have a “natural ability” and “great instincts.” However, just because there are child stars and actors who seem to explode onto the scene, most “stars,” “heavyweights,” or “people with chops” have earned their reputation and success through practice and study.
Now, of course, just because acting CAN be taught and learned, that does not automatically mean that anyone who studies will become great. Or successful. I have seen many an actor with the big caps on their resume – MFA – stink it up on the stage. Now, of course, my experience is my own, and there is a lot of subjectivity when it comes to judging people’s performances, but you get my point. An education which costs a boat load of money does not necessarily guarantee the birth of an excellent artist.
This is my theory. What do you think?