You read the catalog description, now what is Acting One is really about?
It is a zoo.
You find here boys to pick up the girls, girls for modeling games, soccer and hockey mom with kinds in elementary school, retied firemen and grannies, disturbed kids of all possible genders, and the rest of human race who take for "humanity credit"!
I think that pets, especially, dogs and cats should be able to take it too!
If we want to have fun, they should be in also!
By the second week half of them are gone.
Don't bather to memorized their names.
There many accidental students in this world; most of them in acting classes.
... Oh, Jesus, I am writing it on the wrong page! Go to
121 Journal (2002 sample)
Lion King Tickets
Odd Couple Tickets
Use The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde Online) for class monologues and scenes!
THR121 Fundamentals of Acting
THR221 Intermediate Acting: Biomechanics
THR321 Advanced: Method
GeoAlaska: Theatre & Film
Forums: Realism & Method, Comedy & Biomechnics
We do not offer Advanced Acting II and Advanced Directing (replaced with the senior thesis); contact your advisor.
: days 'til the year 2007! Work!
Method for Directors?
ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan
prof. Anatoly Antohin Theatre UAF AK 99775 USA
I'll talk about your journals, during our conferences (one-on-one), bring with you all your paperwork for the class.
* one act fest
South Pacific – Stage Manager, Actor, Makeup
The Man Who Came To Dinner – Actor, Makeup, Costuming
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Actor, Makeup
The Good Doctor – Actor, Costuming, Makeup
Guys and Dolls – Lighting Designer/Director, Actor, Makeup, Costuming
Anything Goes – Costuming, Makeup
Second Language Theatre – Participant, 1st Place in 2-Person Scene
I have always had a strange and inexplicable attraction to the writings of Oscar Wilde. I’m not sure what it is about his mixture of philosophy and the ridiculous, but I love the way he has a sense of humor about the most common (and often the most frustrating) characteristics of humans.
Phyllis, from Fat Men in Skirts, by Nicki Silver fascinated me the first time I read this monologue. Though the topic is certainly off-color by the standards of most, the perspective it reveals is eye opening. The people you see on the streets have mothers too. Perhaps because my mother is such a wonderful person, and I have always felt a great deal of compassion for those raised in an atmosphere that didn’t encourage them to think for themselves . . .. Phyllis struggles with what she was taught and a bitterness towards her mother that, under the circumstances is completely understandable. The only thing I can’t decide, and I think I vary it according to my mood, is whether she’s almost angry at the end, or half ashamed. To challenge with ones eyes or to let them fall somewhat downcast has been my greatest challenge.
Acting for me has always been a frustration, a feeling that no matter how well your performance is given, you will never truly do the character justice. Trying to convey to others not only what the character is, in its very essence, but to make them feel it. Can that ever really be accomplished? I tend to move away from the theatre of the absurd, striving rather for a person, completed through my interpretation.
*My notes from class today: Movement! No reading! Eyes in anger say so much. Background would be helpful: Date? (1917) Resentful? Feeling! Depth. Acknowledges himself to be base. Do not focus on the text, but on the focus of your dialogue. SLOUCHING, SMILING, yay! I smiled while I told you I slept with your wife, and you smiled too . . . Let’s all just have one big happy party.
To be a truly great actress (or actor) one must be at home inside oneself. Unless you know who you are inside yourself, how can you know who you are inside someone else? A wise person once wrote, “It’s what you do when no one’s watching that defines who you are.” Perhaps we (as people) should watch ourselves more.
*Class Notes: Monologues Retrospective comments
1. Caddyshack? The problem is that you don’t have the other person there creating the balance of position for the audience. Bobbing head details. I don’t think the man was malicious, I just think he was telling his tale. Innocence can make it funny without causing us to dislike the character.
“I’ve just got the feeling I can’t do it today” THAT’S WHY IT’S CALLED ACTING!
2. Pacing rage . . . The Taming of the Shrew almost despairing at the end. Sarcasm! It’s so important to have background on the character, if you don’t your performance is definitely missing something.
3. The monologue is fun! But the outfit she’s wearing doesn’t go with it. When you’re doing a monologue you should dress in clothing that will not hinder your character’s performance.
The whole teaching methodology is go to the limit and then come back to reality?
You decide where (and what) your frame of movement is, and your frame of tone. Then you move around with it.
4. Very good intonation!!
5. How old? When you’re playing someone older or younger you have to make sure you’re acting like it . . . otherwise your audience will become completely confused and not know what to think.
Though this is an “actor’s journal” since I am primarily interested in directing this is going to contain my thoughts on that as well, it can’t be helped, you can choose to say that I am directing myself. I think it’s important to make a cohesive unit of a monologue (any monologue) that you choose to do, this can be done by repetition of motions, location onstage, height, and intonation. What I admire most in an actor is subtlety, if they look like they’re acting, it’s not acting. True talent will take whatever part it is given and will enact it in the most realistic way possible. This does not mean that I don’t realize that caricatures are often written into scripts (especially comedies) but they should be used only when appropriate, and really good actors do them better anyway. I think that at all times the author’s wishes and intent should be taken into consideration.
Inserted here are excerpts from a conversation between me and a friend about drama and acting:
Me: *shakes head* I think acting shouldn't look like you're acting
Friend: like Jack Nicholson
F: several people have said that he's himself in every role
F: and that's their basis for disliking him
F: I think he's great, though
M: I don't think so at all
M: he looks the same, his voice is the same, but you can tell by his intonation, gestures, movements and emotional patterns that the roles he plays are different – subtlety
M: he knows where he is himself, and he doesn't overact because he's uncomfortable in a role
M: Keanu Reeves . . . (on the other hand)
F: what an actor
F: I cried when I saw Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
M: do you remember "Little Buddha" (A movie we watched in History Class)
M: that's when I cried
F: he was such a convincing Sidartha, though
M: have you ever seen The Producers?
F: the Gene Wilder/Zero Mostel version
M: yes! now they didn't act naturally, but they were supposed to be caricatures, that's what made it funny
M: But if you had someone WAY too dramatic playing Nora (Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House), for example, that would just make it weird
. . . the conversation then drifted towards lunch. (Inapplicable, though not unimportant)
One of the things I notice in class is that people need to research their monologues, have some sense of time, background, appearance, situation, emotion, universal position. Where is the person? (Physically? Emotionally?) Where do they come from? (Family? Friends? Location?) When do they come from? (Time period? Any significant historical events that would have shaped who they are? If so, what were their opinions of these events?) What do they do? (Job? Hobbies? Athletic/intellectual/both? What kinds of books do they like to read? What movies do they watch? Where do they squeeze the toothpaste tube?) What is the person thinking about? (This minute) How old are they? (If there is reference to more than one time period, what were they like at each point, and what does the more modern think of the former?) How do they move? (Gestures say so much about who we are internally)
Then you get into movements, when portraying a character you have to depart from the movements you would put with certain situations; IT’S NOT YOU! Study how people of that age move? Of that background? From that area? Study voice, intonation and expression in all of these areas as well. I know that you have, in addition to all the study, to make the person real, but that’s where it gets into good acting or not. To add that spark of humanity to a character is what makes them real for the audience - they can feel it. Authenticity is important, but it’s more important to be REAL. (But not real yourself, real the character through you) Never forget your personal interpretation, but be willing to look at your character from different perspectives.
*Class notes: What is he feeling? What is his background? How is he approaching this situation? I don’t think he’s trying to hurt him, or put him in his place. I think the character was above that. You don’t always have to prove yourself! Truly big people don’t.
I think that life need not be always a melodrama. And to be able to act naturally is the ultimate goal. There are caricatures in drama, certainly. But not ALL the characters are that way.
No one talks about intonation, or emotion, or even memorization, characterization?
Why read standing in front of the class? At least put some emotion behind it, skim it first for comprehension (so you know what’s going on) and then do it for the class with as much emotion and inflection as you can muster.
Professionalism becomes very important in theatre. Why would a director want someone who “doesn’t feel like it” or “can’t today” if you can’t do it today will you be able to do it for the performance? You have to get past your insecurities to be a good, professional actor. You also get into the trouble of romantic involvement . . . some people can’t separate themselves from the characters they play, and so they don’t understand that acting allows you to play characters you may not morally or politically agree with. There is a smallness that goes along with not being able to see anyone’s perspective but your own.
I’m supposed to discuss the 5Ws of my character, here goes:
1.) (Who?) Phyllis, 35-40, stressed. Mid-upper-class. Slacks and a sweater like Aunt Elsie. If she worked, it would be in an office as one of the more executive people, but probably she’s never really had to, because her parents took care of her, and later her husband (her ex-husband) though she’s been involved in lots of “activities.” They divorced as the natural evolution of their relationship. Her own parents didn’t have a healthy relationship and she now has trouble being real with others, as with being real with herself, because she’s not sure who she is when she gets past all of the things she’s been taught. She doesn’t have any particular accent, she was raised on the East Coast but attended a West Coast university. Not because she really cared, but because she was fulfilling the expectations of her. She is only now beginning to wonder what she’s been missing all these years. Physically she’s moderate. Neither beautiful or plain, fat nor skinny. She is any woman. I see her with neutral brown hair and stressed features.
2.) (What?) A person, who’s just been in a plane crash. I have placed her en-route to visit her mother.
3.) (When?) Mid-morning or mid afternoon. I place it between summer and fall, so that her clothing is sufficient to keep her warm, but not oppressive.
4.) (Where?) On an island, any island, but far enough away from people so as to take several hours at least for them to be rescued.
5.) (Why?) She’s lost, and questioning herself, calling to the audience, and to God, “What is this? This life that I’m in? What does it mean? Why?” She is rather like Nora in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.
Today in class Anatoly was wearing a really great sweater.
Comedy does not have to be gross or vulgar, or in anyway immodest or indiscreet. I think that is one of the most unfortunate misconceptions of our day. Lucille Ball wasn’t inappropriate. People think I’m hilarious and laugh at/with me a good deal, but I don’t frequent disgusting subjects that are not fit for my consumption. Perhaps I have a higher standard about what I put in my head than others do though.
ACTOR’S PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY: To express the character.
+physicalization (age, gestures, walk, posture)
My favorite animal? . . . I’m not sure I have a favorite animal. I guess Zander (my fish) would have to be my favorite animal. But I don’t really identify with animals (unless I’m eating them).
Meyerhold – biomechanics
Actor = Actor I + Actor II
*Class Notes: If everything comes only from within something will always be missing.
When you ask children to act and when you ask older people to act the difference is the affect of the world.
Stanislovsky “Private in Public”
Behave in public as if the public did not exist.
Enormous imagination is necessary.
IDENTIFICATION PRINCIPLE – EMPATHY SO YOU CAN BECOME . . . you must understand everyone
At last he’s right, the most complicated thing is the human soul.
Actors + Audience = Performance
It’s amazing when you’re actually performing how much a part of the performance the audience is. You can feel their response. And knowing what they appreciate actually changes, not necessarily physically, but internally changes your performance.
NUANCE IS IMPORTANT!!! Though I agree, it’s difficult to make that clear to someone who’s not used to thinking about it.
*Class Notes: Stanislovsky – psychological theatre
stress on psychological acting
Meyerhold – “if I will draw into my self all the truths of my body”
Stress on physical acting/theatre
It would be really helpful if I watched television or movies for this class. I have no idea what they’re talking about half the time. But when I talk about plays they’re just as lost . . . so I guess it just falls into the category of vicious cycles.
You have to break every action into cycles, everything must be coreographed.
Why is there bouncing (try to keep your own responses from confusing the audience . . . it’s quite distracting) Not all arguments are physically close . . . keep the emotion in your voice even when you get to the resolution.
What is the physical atmosphere, it should be in the body.
DO NOT GAGE YOURSELF BY YOUR AUDIENCE!!! I absolutely detest that little side-glance that so many actors do to find out how they’re doing with their audience. They don’t realize that the audience doesn’t exist in the scene, they’re there, but NOT. DO NOT LOOK AT THEM!!!
“If acting is not enjoyable then we have a problem.”
Doing a scene with someone else makes me feel like I’m victimizing them. Is this insecurity on my part? I don’t think so. I think it’s that I feel sorry for them because I apply such harsh standards towards everything I do and so I don’t want them to enter in lest they become subject to such unachievable standards.
“Acting = Reacting”
1) Character \
2) Situation / Improv
Beginning actors should not be allowed to do Shakespeare. If you don’t do it naturally it’s BAD, and beginning actors (in general) can’t pull it off.
Past -> Present
-> Future (KNOW WHO/WHAT YOU ARE) <
Future begins in present, past transitions to future in present
Don’t let people dislike your monologue, work the audience.
Anatoly said operating on stereotypes was ok . . . I’ve always felt that theatre should break down stereotypes.
*Class Notes: (Personal) Characterization, Volume
Who is this man, what is his history? What would living through what he’s lived thorough have been like?
Swearing doesn’t add emphasis if it sounds like you’re accustomed to peppering your speech with it – sometimes subtlety is the best insult. (and the most effective)
Yelling makes you a smaller person, if you and the other person both yell: both = small. If you’re doing a monologue and another person is a prop in it they you have to create the entire scene in your head, with their reactions and how you respond to them.
Yelling can cause people to shut down just as whispering can cause violence, it’s all in the power of words . . .
“The power of words.” Indeed. If there’ s anything my generation has let ebb away it’s their power over words. As Evelyn Waugh said, “One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.” She also said, “I put the words down and push them a bit.” Jorge Luis Borges said, “Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.” The idea present in all these things is that words must be internalized, grown, and then pushed or guided out. If you know words they will work for you, vocabulary is one of the most powerful things we have, and yet people cannot speak. Pick up a dictionary for goodness sakes! At some point education became a bad thing, no one wanted to look “superior” to anyone else, lack of education became a compliment to all those around you. However this cannot in Truth be so. If you are ignorant and around me, all it says about me is that I surround myself with ignorant people because I either have low self-esteem and need to feel powerful, or I myself am ignorant and don’t know the difference. Unfortunate. We should pride ourselves on education more than we do on material possessions, yet this I do not find in the world.
2008 - acting2
Lesson #60 or 90 min
3. new key terms & definitions (see dictionary)
4. monologues & scenes
5. issues & topics
6. questions, discussion, analysis
7. in class work
9. improv & games
12. online, journals