* BioMethod * The subdirectories (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) are not developed yet! *
Actors are the opposite of people. - Tom Stoppard
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
Kids, you got it wrong! I don't mind, if you do monologues from the movies, as long as you know what you are doing. Especially, in Acting One. I understand, I would say the same -- go for something, which expresses YOU, something close to home! Something you know -- your age, your environment...
Andy: Do you guys know what I did to get in here? I taped Larry Lester's buns together. Yeah, you know him? Well then, you know how hairy he is, right? Well, when they pulled the tape off, most of his hair came off and some skin too. And the bizarre thing is, is that I did it for my old man. I tortured this poor kid because I wanted him to think I was cool. He's always going off about, you know, when he was in school, all the wild things he used to do, and I got the feeling that he was disappointed that I never cut loose on anyone, right? So, I'm sitting in the locker room and I'm taping up my knee and Larry's undressing a couple lockers down from me and he's kinda, kinda skinny, weak, and I started thinking about my father and his attitude about weakness, and the next thing I knew I, I jumped on top of him and started wailing on him. Then my friends, they just laughed and cheered me on. And afterwards, when I was sittin' in Vernon's office, all I could think about was Larry's father and Larry having to go home and explain what happened to him. And the humiliation, the fucking humiliation he must have felt. It must have been unreal. I mean, how do you apologize for something like that? There's no way. It's all because of me and my old man. God, I fucking hate him. He's like, he's like this mindless machine I can't even relate to anymore. "Andrew, you've got to be number one. I won't tolerate any losers in this family. Your intensity is for shit." You son of a bitch. You know, sometimes I wish my knee would give and I wouldn't be able to wrestle anymore. He could forget all about me. (John Hughes, The Breakfast Club)
We will do the classics later...
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SummaryPost your monologues to the Class List!
QuestionsBesides Mona Liza, on this page the paintings - "Judith" by Klimt (1901) and "L'Olympia" by Manet (1863) * (gone)
"Think of the monologue as an operatic aria: when the emotion and complexity of a character's Subtext becomes overwhelming, a monologue is a great solution. And it tells a story -- either of an event that happened or an emotional development. Ideally, it does both of these at the same time." [ * ]
* Method: Mono ... Monologues, Mobologues II
* Biomechanics: Mono I, Mono II
Acting One: Monologue ... Mono II
Many monologues are on subject pages, lessons, shows...
At auditions they ask you to do a monologue. In Fundamental of Acting the midterm is a monologue. In six weeks we have to cover the distance between the text and two minutes of performance on stage. The first, the biggest problem is the text of your monologue. The better your selection is, the more difficult is to overpower it. Yes, you have to make immmortal lines by Shakespeare into a "material" -- you have to be in front, but behind the text.
We start with the Monologue Breakdown. The usual "1-2-3" of dramatic composition: exposition, climax, resolution. Make another copy of your monologue, or even better, type it -- you will be re-writing the text many times. No, not the words. The stage directions. On the left put your movements, on the right -- emotions. You know, like playwrights do -- ("after a pause," "smiling" and etc.)) The rule: you have to write no less stage directions for yourself than the spoken words you already got.
Oh, the painting above is Mona Lisa, the Leonardo's masterpiece. Naked. you don't paint the dress, you study the body first, the structure, something which gives forms to the visible. In our case -- the words.
I will attend her here, And woo her with some spirit when she comes. Say that she rail; why then I'll tell her plain She sings as sweetly as a nightingale: Say that she frown, I'll say she looks as clear As morning roses newly wash'd with dew: Say she be mute and will not speak a word; Then I'll commend her volubility, And say she uttereth piercing eloquence: If she do bid me pack, I'll give her thanks, As though she bid me stay by her a week: If she deny to wed, I'll crave the day When I shall ask the banns and when be married. But here she comes; and now, Petruchio, speak.
[Enter KATHARINA] [ ...see scene study ]
Good morrow, Kate; for that's your name, I hear.
What makes it a good piece for a performer that this monologue satisfies the main prerequisite of action -- CONFLICT. What is Petruchio's objective? What is his obstacle? Does he have INNER CONFLICT? (Write your answers in your journal)
Second, the text gives an actor the ground for easy doubling: two-faced Petruchio (what he thinks and what he intends to do) turns into multiple characters. He plays Petruchio #2 and Katarina as well, comes back to his original persona and leaves again.
Establish the three floor positions:
Petruchio --- Petruchio-Actor --- Katarina
or even better, make the line of action into a triangle:
(1) Petruchio / \ / \ / \ (2) Petrucio-Actor ---- (3) Katarina
Now, select the lines of the monologue you believe belong to those three different "characters". Move into position 1, 2 or 3 with the appropriate line, see what kind of movement you got for your monologue.
Pre-acting is a good criteria for measuring how well the Actor's Text is developed. Performance is the text.
For ground (floor) plan techniques, please, go to the directing pages. Your floor plan has to be attached to your your monologue breakdown pages.
Of course, Meyerhold is agreed that "all psychological states are determind by specific physiological processes," but he believed that "from a sequence of physical positions and situations, there araise those points of excitation which are informed with some particular emotion" ("Meyerhold on Theatre").
It natural for us to understand spacial relations before we learn time's complexity. In Monologue or even Improv assignments I began with SPACE BREAKDOWN. Horisontal (floor plan) and Vertical Levels (at least three). Instead of DS and US stage positions I ask them to treat it as a distance (conflict) levels. First with the audience. After they go through a basic text analysis with sript breakdown for pauses, changes, key words we go to it's physical expressions -- how it's done in space. Coming to DS (Closeup equivalent) indicates increase in dramatic tention. Getting up from the floor is a vertical expression of raising conflict. I direct students to treat spacial relations with the public as a prime connection. I have to introduce "The Triangle Rule" right away in my scene studies (Every action is taking place between three parties: Actor1--Spectator-Actor2).
Here's Khlestakov's monologue from "The Inspector General" by Gogol (my adaptation):
K: Oh let me tell you! Champaign, caviar! I'm at some party every day of the week. The Canadian Foreign Minister, the French Ambassador, the English Ambassador, The German Ambassador and I play golf till we're exhausted. I'm barely able to drag myself up to my dorm... What nonsense I am talking - I forgot that I live in the mansion. You would be interested to see my reception hall in D.C. before I am even awake in the morning: there are ministers and diplomats jostling each other, bussing like bees - all you hear is bzz, bzz. Sometimes even members of the president's cabinet drop by. At one time I even ran a country. Very curious - the president had vanished, nobody knew where. Well, naturally, there was a lot of talk, "How will we manage?" "Who will replace him?" Many in the congress were eager and took it on - but as soon as they tackled it they saw that the job was too much for them. What seemed easy, but look deeper into it and it is a hell of a tough kind of job! They see there's no way anyone can manage it - so they run to me. And all at once politicians come racing, then more politicians, and more politicians... Think of it - thirty-five thousand politicians! "What's the problem?" I asked, "Sir, come and take charge of the government," they say. I must admit I was a bit taken aback. I came out in my robe, meaning to turn them down. But there, I thought... "Very well, gentlemen, I accept the post, I accept," I said, "so be it.," I said, "only with me, gentlemen, you had better look out! I won't stand for any nonsense. No, sir!" And, as a matter of fact, when I walked through the government offices you would think an earthquake had stuck - they were all trembling and shaking. Oh, I am not one to play games! Even Saadam Hussein, Castro and the United Nations are afraid of me. And well they might be! I am like that! No one gets in my way! I tell them all, "Don't teach me!" I am everywhere! Everywhere! I pop in and out of the White House. Tomorrow they're promoting me to the Chief of Staff!Define:
(Slips and almost falls. All support him respectfully)
If we believe that Theatre is "Empty Space" and actor creats dramatic space through establishing directions, he must do it according to his character. This is Mr. K (Khlestakov)'s space; and this is how we read and relate to the character. Specific movement in space is the CHARACTERIZATION. First line of the monologue establishes K's address and target -- he's about to picture the scene which exits in his mind. And he has to visualize it for the other characters, he has to creat a new space and set. To do it, he has to operate with the audience immagination, and he constracts it in our minds he can move and live within a new "his" space. It's not empty anymore, now he is obliged to exit in this sace without violating his own rules. Of course, acting choices are for actors. But a basic structure pre-design (or at least juggested) by Gogol, and I ask them to discover it. They could follow or play against it, but they must know it. We go through an avalution of their home work. Let say, they come to class with the follow breakdown:
I advice students to follow the punction first and indicate the duration of breaks (from / to ///). All the changes must be expressed in voice or space levels. The next assignment is to fill in the script changes. Again, I'm not looking for the "right" choice but a choice. Their choices must be there; we test them in class (first through Cold Readings). Basically, they are writing their own (new) stage directions -- I call it "ACTOR' SCRIPT". This "paper acting" stage. I instroduce FLOOR PLAN very early. The space must be established...K Oh let me tell you! // Champaign, caviar! / I'm at some party every day of the week. / The Canadian Foreign Minister, the French Ambassador, the English Ambassador, The German Ambassador and I / play golf till we're exhausted. I'm barely able to drag myself up to my dorm... /// What nonsense I am talking / - I forgot that I live in the mansion. // You would be interested to see my reception hall in D.C. before I am even awake in the morning: / there are ministers and diplomats jostling each other, bussing like bees / - all you hear is bzz, bzz. / Sometimes even members of the president's cabinet drop by. / At one time I even ran a country. / Very curious - the president had vanished, nobody knew where. // Well, naturally, there was a lot of talk, "How will we manage?" "Who will replace him?" / Many in the congress were eager and took it on - but as soon as they tackled it they saw that the job was too much for them. / What seemed easy, / but look deeper into it // and it is a hell of a tough kind of job! / They see there's no way anyone can manage it / - so they run to me. / And all at once politicians come racing, / then more politicians, and more politicians... / Think of it - / thirty-five thousand politicians! / "What's the problem?" / I asked, / "Sir, come and take charge of the government," / they say. // I must admit / I was a bit taken aback. / I came out in my robe, / meaning to turn them down. / But there, I thought... // "Very well, gentlemen, I accept the post, I accept," / I said, "so be it.," / I said, / "only with me, gentlemen, / you had better look out! / I won't stand for any nonsense. / No, sir!" / And, as a matter of fact, / when I walked through the government offices / you would think an earthquake had stuck / - they were all trembling and shaking. // Oh, I am not one to play games! / Even Saadam Hussein, Castro and the United Nations are afraid of me. / And well they might be! / I am like that! / No one gets in my way! / I tell them all, / "Don't teach me!" / I am everywhere! / Everywhere! / I pop in and out of the White House. / Tomorrow they're promoting me to the Chief of Staff!
(Slips and almost falls. All support him respectfully)
(From my adaptation, 1992 Production)
The addresses: (1) all main characters are on stage. (2) Of course, to himself.1 Himself-in-the past vs. Himself-in-the-present. (3) To God. (4) To Mr. K. (5) "Liberals" (human kind). (6) To the audience.2
This list could be extended and explored from within every address. More important for actor to establish some directions. We have couple vertical directions (God, Humanity), off stage addresses (Mr. K3, audience). Several areas on stage (4), such as "the group" ("them", Mayor's crowd). "His wife" (Anna). I ask my student to draw a floor plan for every monologue or scene they do in class, even if it looks like a chart.
OFFICIALS \ I / ? - MAYOR - WIFE / I \ Mr. K AUDIENCE
Where a character or a group would be position is up to you, but it must be there in order for you to create a dynamic space for this monologue. "Wife" could place on the left or right, but without designating a spot for her, you wouldn't have a direction to react. I ask my students not to move imaginary addresses during the monologue, unless it's necessary. Should Mayor's daughter be on his right, or together with her mother? After you had establish your addresses, you have to find ways to indicate them (turning to, looking at, making step toward, etc.) There are plenty of choices to be made but now actor is forced to make those choices.
"Is this monologue right for me?" Any monologue is right for you, if you do it right.
Here is my second monologue with actors text. I haven't done it in class yet so it's still vunerable to criticism. It is from Mary Chase's play, HARVEY. -Rose HARVEY: By Mary Chase (sitting at the doctors desk at the mental institution. I am attempting to have my brother committed because he see's a six and a half foot rabbit named Harvey. But, so do I. I've decided to play up the characters Midwest accent as best as I can, but it comes out a little too southern so I'm still experimenting with accents.) Veta: (Complaining about my brother to the doctor.) We have to move over on the sofa and make room for Harvey. We have to answer the telephone when Elwood calls and asks to speak to Harvey. (Standing to emphasize what a disaster that was!) Then at the party this afternoon with Mrs. Chavenet there- (ugh! I can't even go on about how bad that went! I sit.) We didn't even know anything about Harvey until we came back here. (I throw my hands in desperation on his desk. Not a thing! We were totally in the dark! Can you imagine? No? Ok I'll tell you.) Doctor, Don't you think it would have been a little bit kinder (hmmm?) of Mother to have written and told me about Harvey. Be honest now,-don't you? (No? Nothing?!
) Veta: Yes- it certainly would have. (Who he is you ask? Well!) Veta: He's a rabbit. (standing.) (This doctor is not listening to me. I have to sit again, and talk to this man like a child.)) (patiently) Veta: Doctor- I've been telling you. Harvey is a rabbit- a big white rabbit- six feet high- or is it six feet and a half? (gesture to indicate his height.) Heaven knows I ought to know. He's been around the house long enough. (haha, laugh it off, I'm not ready to tell him I see Harvey too.) (Imaginary doctor is still not getting it. ) (impatiently): Doctor- (standing and being much firmer.) do I have to keep repeating myself? My brother insists that his closest friend is this big white rabbit. This rabbit is named Harvey. Harvey lives at our house. Don't you understand? He and Elwood go every place together. Elwood buys railroad tickets, theatre tickets, for both of them. As I told Myrtle Mae- if your uncle was so lonesome he had to bring something home- why couldn't he bring home something human? He has me, doesn't he? He has Myrtle Mae doesn't he? (She leans forwards.) Doctor- ( He inclines toward her.) I'm going to tell you something I've never told anybody in the world before. (Puts her hand on his shoulder.) (In a whispered, dead serious tone.) Every once in a while I see that big white rabbit myself. (Wait for his reaction. Nothing, just a cocked eye brow.) Now isn't that terrible? I've never even told that to Myrtle Mae. (Guessing that his subdued reaction and note scribbling is in no way a indication that he thinks she's crazy she continues, happy to pour her hear out finally.) (straightening, because this is serious.):And what's more- he's every bit as big as Elwood says he is. Looking him dead in the eye because I'll break his legs if this gets out in the women's group.) Now don't ever tell that to anybody, Doctor. I'm ashamed of it.
Tim's Dramatic Monologue: Pacey's Relationship with his Father from the TV series created by Kevin Williamson [Pacey and his father are on the beach. The father has just fallen over from being drunk] *enter and make apparent that my father has just fallen down over drunk* Pacey: So I guess this is as good of time as any to have that father- son talk. [in a gruff voice, meaning to imitate his father] *at this point, step over him and change voice* (work on accent Tim!) So, how ya doin' in school, Pacey? * [back to normal voice] Actually, Dad, I'm doing alright. I'm really turning things around. Turns out I'm pretty smart. *smile* *step over him again* [gruff voice] Good man, Pacey. Always knew you'd turn out to be something. How the ladies treating you? [normal voice] Well, I met this woman. [gruff voice] Is she cute? [normal, he laughs] Aw, cute, man. Andi's beautiful. She's smart. She's funny. I tell ya, this girl is something special.For whatever reason, she seems to think I'm pretty special, too. *pause here, this is my climax. when you ask why he can't see that, move his hand away from his face and put your face close to his* Why can't you see that? Why can't you see me, huh? When did you give up on me? When I was 5? 10? 12? I'm 16 years old, Dad! [begins to be emotional and break down] *don't rush this part!* *Be screaming at this part. But control your voice* *there is so much anger, at this point, you aren't completely talking to him, you are talking to everyone* And I'm here and I'm not provin' that but I'm tryin' so hard for you. It's your job. It's your job to love me no matter who I am or what I become because you're my father! You're my dad! You're supposed to love me you son of a bitch. *bring it back down with this last line to show the resolution* I can't do this by myself.
Film-North * Anatoly Antohin * eCitations *
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