Mamet

Sometimes, the pressure to over think a role becomes suffocating. I like the idea that it’s ok to be instinctive, to keep it simple and bring ourselves to the character, rather than trying to over complicate things by twisting ourselves into someone we don’t recognise. David Mamet is under my skin. “Invent nothing. Deny nothing.” […]

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Bite-sized Stanislavski #2

More gorgeousness from “Stanislavsky and the Actor” (Jean Benedetti). Actors are responsible for the maintenance and development of their skills. Students cannot just be passive recipients, dutifully obeying the tutors. They are the ones in class, they are doing the exercises and the improvisations. If they do not commit themselves fully to this work, if […]

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How Do You Arrive?

At the start of this week’s class, Danielle asked us to spend 10 mins thinking about how we felt when we arrived. What was our state of mind? How aware were we of what was happening with our breathing? Our instruments? Here’s what I wrote. How do you arrive? Are you ahead of time, behind […]

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Bite-sized Stanislavski #1

As an actor, no matter what my appearance, no matter what my ability to transform myself through costume and make-up, at the Centre will always be myself. I have no other resource from which to create a performance but my own life. Jean Benedetti – Stanislavski and the Actor Gorgeous

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The Stroller’s Tale – Charles Dickens

A lovely extract from Charles Dickens’ “The Pickwick Papers”, which certainly made me think about how theatre performers were regarded back in his day. The Stroller’s Tale “I have thrown these few notes together, because the subject of them was well known to me for many years. I traced his progress downwards, step by step, […]

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“Muscularity of Language”

Scene work feedback. The delivery is too much “the same”. Let the muscularity of the language come through. Work with the rhythm, pitch and tone. I think “muscularity of the language” is one of the most beautiful phrases I’ve ever heard. I find myself saying it over and over in my head. Gorgeous.

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Arthur Miller’s women

I love the way that Arthur Miller portrays his male characters as flawed and damaged. Willy and Biff Loman. John Proctor and Samuel Parris. But there’s a nobility and grace to his female characters that often goes unnoticed. Elizabeth Proctor’s quiet acceptance of John’s indiscretion. Linda Loman’s eternal dignity and strength as she carries Willy […]

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Larry Moss and Given Circumstances redux

One of the talents you need is to be able to break down a script and identify facts that the writer gives you that help you understand your character, what each scene is about, and what the whole script is about. These given circumstances may make you emotional when you read them, and that’s important, […]

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Mamet Speak “Invent nothing…”

Mamet speak. “Invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school.” Invent nothing. Don’t fake it. Be who you are. Be you. You. Don’t pretend to be someone else. Deny nothing. Don’t hold back. Be truthful. Be honest. Give everything. Give yourself. Speak up. Use your voice. Speak with intent. Be bold. […]

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Larry Moss and Given Circumstances

I read a fantastic excerpt from Larry Moss’ “An Intent to Live”, where he talked about Given Circumstances, using Chekhov’s Treplyev (”The Seagull”) as an example. Moss writes with so much intensity and conviction – he’s a pleasure to read. One of the young kids in my acting class presented a Treplyev monologue this term […]

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