OH, BABY! It wasn't as big as "Dirty Dancing," but it was pretty amazing and certainly life-changing!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Unless each chapter is illustrated with pictures, it is not acceptable as an actor’s study of character.  Search for eyes that may be the person you are studying. spines, feet, hands, (in actors) shoulders, head carriage, etc.  It is useless to write “mountain climate has mde this person rugged” unless you describe and illustrate the muscles movement that can be called “rugged” -- So far in journals the kinesthetic aspects of character study has been lacking.  as a result your stage appearances have been inadequate from-the-neck-up characteristics.  You have only about six more class days before stage exams.
The basic drives at the lowest level of life are self-preservation and racial preservation.  At the lowest level, food, protection from the elements, and from enemies are of first importance.  The sex drive is strong for racial survival depends upon it.  Once these basic desires can be satisfied with ease, they can become sublimated or perverted.  The concern for self can be directed to concern for others, or it an be intensified in various degrees to accumulation of possession for the sake of possession.  Tom Wolfe’s mother had to save everything, literally everything -- string, newspapers, old cans, etc.   So the drives turn into compulsion or obessins or into social concerns for humanity, for one’s country, for God, etc.  The savior or the criminal?  Since the sex drive had to be so strong that the survival of the race is certain, to keep man in the despair from social suicide, it is not strong that it should result in perversions or in great sublimations, in excesses or in repressions.  (This leads us to the drives of character, the needs, the desires, their depths, their intensities.  These stem from the environmental actors you have supposedly studied -- in the adjustments or failure to adjust -- in the life of your character what desire dominates?  With what does it conflict?  How strong?  Does it lift one to tip top?  Or tie to the earth?  Does it drive straight forward on a direct line of action (Lady Macbeth)? or waver?  Vacillate?  Die?  For personal reference: your desire to be an actor: ration?  Dream?  Realistic?  Compensation for other failures?  Self-motivated or parental motivated?  How great is it?  What stops it?  does it recognize obstacles?  What’s your price?  If it means giving up someone you love?  If someone offered you a very substantial income in another field?  If some actor-friend committed suicide because of failure?
Observe expression of drives in other people -- Watch their eyes: when A talks about his success in WaaMu, what are B’s eyes saying?  What does his ciagarette say?  Watch his feet.  Find a Lady Macbeth walk.  A Hedda walk -- an O’Neill walk.  What story of ambition, defeat, frustration, does a spine show?
What is the most important thing in life to your character?  God?  Country?  Parents?  The Neighbors?  Ego?  Ethical, moral, social standards?  Artistic? 

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