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
Instead, deal directly with the true obstacle you now face—a person who is harder to get through to. If you embrace the difficulty you now face in executing your action, you will find yourself living truthfully in the moment because your inattentive partner will demand your full concentration; all that you do in order to fulfill your action will be in response to his lack of contact with you. Don’t ever feel that you are not being exciting enough; if you are executing your action fully and living moment to moment, you are doing your job.
The right tool is, as you will learn later on, mainly dictated by what the other person in the scene is doing. 2 Analyzing a Scene Now that you know what a good action entails, you must learn to choose the best action for a scene. The following simple formula, if employed consistently, will always lead to a performable action in line with the intentions of the playwright. Ask yourself these three questions: 1. What is the character literally doing? 2. What is the essential action of what the character is doing in this scene?
For example, creating an as-if in which you are infiltrating the Nazi forces that have abducted your family may be an interesting fantasy, but unless you have experience as an international spy, the as-if will not work because you have no idea what to actually physically do in that situation. In other words, it’s not something you can act on. Using again the example of Stanley Kowalski, here are a few examples of good as-ifs: 1. What is the character literally doing? Screaming for Stella to come home to him.