By Melissa Bruder, Lee Michael Cohn, Madeleine Olnek, Nathaniel Pollack, Robert Previtio, Scott Zigler, David Mamet
6 operating actors describe their tools and philosophies of the theater. All have labored with playwright David Mamet on the Goodman Theater in Chicago.
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Extra info for A Practical Handbook for the Actor
You are legitimately willing to sacrifice, and you think that the sacrifice required of you is subjugation to the will of a teacher. But a more exacting sacrifice is required: you must follow the dictates of your common sense. It would be fine if there were many great master teachers of acting, but there are not. Most acting teachers, unfortunately, are frauds, and they rely on your complicity to survive. This not only deprives you of positive training but stifles your greatest gift as an artist: your sense of truth.
It would be fine if there were many great master teachers of acting, but there are not. Most acting teachers, unfortunately, are frauds, and they rely on your complicity to survive. This not only deprives you of positive training but stifles your greatest gift as an artist: your sense of truth. It is this sense of truth, a simplicity, and feelings of wonder and reverence—all of which you possess—that will revitalize the Theatre. How do you translate them onto the Stage? This book offers some wonderful, simple advice and suggestions.
The essential action, then, is what exists in the scene when you eliminate all ideas about what you think the author is saying the character feels at any given moment in favor of what he is trying to accomplish. The idea of Lorna dumping Moody for Joe involves all the emotional aspects of a romantic triangle, but what is essential as an end result is one person trying to get another person to take a chance. The scene definitely will have an emotional life, but one spontaneously born out of the actor’s experience of trying to accomplish something, the degree to which he succeeds or fails, and his reactions to the other person while he is trying to fulfill his action.