Hey all, these were the notes from thus week.
-Austin teaches at HB.
-May be useful for actors or improviser/comedians!
Lemme know wachu think!
When you’re confused about what a line means in a play, say the line and figure it out, the same thing with specific physicalities or stage directions.
SLA is a sort of theater that people act out upon each other.
What they’re addicted to is the whole roller coaster ride of meeting and falling in love in a very hot way.
SLA people have problems when it cools down, like it does in any relationship,
SLA functions the same way as cocaine, they feel great for half an hour, an hour.
They create circumstances that are variations on a relationship to feel all the rush in a small amount of time.
The whole first half of the play so cycling through their own experience of cycling through their greatest hits of falling in love.
These are rituals as exacting as a Masonic group.
You’re getting angry because it’s time for that ritual, you need that hit.
What happens with any other addiction is that any other form of human interaction becomes depressing,
Austin Pendleton- how to do a first read
Don’t do it the first time you read through the play
More specifically, you should never do anything on a stage that is not produced in the moment by what the other person doing.
Even if it is similar night to night, it’s not because it’s the same but it’s because whatever is hitting you in that same way,
Don’t go back to the book so quickly.
Acting happens after the words have left your mouth. You send a verbal action as opposed to “my lines”.
Talking about lines is one step to “line readings” which is the road to hell, putting you in your head.
And then once you send the verbal action, the situation is out of your hands. You’re at the mercy of your scene partner.
If you keep going back to the book instantly, you miss the moment, it’s gone.
The other person’s verbal action during a monologue are non-verbal.
Ultimately it has to go fast because otherwise it’s slow, so you’re reacting to the other person just faster.
Simply: Inhale their lines and exhale yours. What your inhaling is not just their lines but yours too, their physicality, tone, etc.
For monologues, Some people imagine a person, I talk to an object.
89 percent of the time, the things we call monologues are not true monologues, they’re said to another person.
If you only focus on the content, you’re missing the other person, which is 80 percent of what they have,
People bring in monologues taking about their dead dog and weep and make the dog important, but why are they saying it to the other person, who are they talking to, why now.
If it’s a true monologue without another character implied, you’re talking to god, or another person you’re imagining you’re having an argument with, or the audience.
Uta used to feel that if you’re in the middle of a routine physical activity, the words tend to come out of you more.
It used to be that you see people walking down the street talking to themselves.
In “what have you done”, he insists Austin walked around Central Park after auditioning for Brian de Palma having a violent argument talking to himself angry at Brian de Palma.
Because you’re engaged in the physical activity, the words are released from you without force.
The activity can often not be what we’re talking about.
A non true monologue, you’re telling it to someone to try to get them to do something you want them to do.
I pick a spot or an object on the wall and you can see that the object or spot won’t move or change which can build you up.
Just take what’s there and try to change it, the phone or spot.
When you talk and do a monologue in Shakespeare, you can talk to the audience, which is what Shakespeare probably intended.
To be or not to be, talking to strangers because I need help figuring it out from you, I can’t get any help from all the crazy fraught people in this play.
Wait for a response and then absorb the fact that she’s not going to say anything,
In life when someone lets us keep talking they’re allowing us to expose ourselves, letting us go out on a limb of hang ourselves with our own words.
It’s a beat by beat realization, you don’t know you’ll get to talk this long, but you don’t know what it means until you find out.
Anger is one of those things, when we feel good in an angry scene we feel release, so often if we feel good in an angry scene we aren’t doing good work.
Anger is like vomiting, it’s a release but it’s a bad release, something you have to get over to get better,
You shouted that person and then you don’t take in what you feel what you feel, the consequences of what you feel after shouting out them. Plays are not about release they’re about tension.
Addiction is an expression of great anger, I hate my life, my lack of control.
Anger is hot but it’s also anger.
We don’t always know what we say is actually true, your favorite movie, your relationship with your mother. I don’t know if what I say is true, they come up in response to what’s going through me in the moment. I’m not lying, I’m just going through my feelings.
Attach that uncertainty to everything you say,
There’s a thing about acting, you don’t figure out but you’re opening yourself up so you can find things that you can ride.
A certain event happens in our lives, it has meaning to us, we don’t assign it meaning, if you’re frightened enough in your life, stories happen that crowd out the real stories.
There’s no idea about the facts of the play, we only know why people are saying things to each other, charging moments in our life with meaning.
It’s possible you don’t know what’s true only what you need to say instinctually in the moment to make a point.
People lie in the theater like other people have hot dinners.
How do you particularize it if it’s not true- we do it in life all the time, it’s even easier, they’re used to make a point.
The event in this play that’s important is saying what you’re saying and seeing how the other person reacts to what you’re saying.
Who cares what the literal content is, what response does it evoke in other people.
An audience in a play is exactly like a kid at bedtime that they want to be told a story, something they can lend their belief to.
The feeling of wanting to know what’s going to happen next and hearing what’s going to happen next is deeply comforting to an audience.
The pressure of the past on the present is the subject of almost any play ever written.
If you can say that sentence I can say anything I want, it makes you feel very free indeed in a play.
The more yourself you are in the circumstances, the more you bring into it, the more you are the character.
People pole vault over the other actor on stage, but if you look at her, the other actor on stage, you’re forced to deal with your current situation in the play.
People often ignore in their characterization the relationships they have with the other characters in the scene.
For an antidote to that self consciousness, if it’s all about the other person, it relieves us of that,
The process of characterization does not exist without the relationships, that’s the highway to characterization, all of their relationships, past and present are how our behavior is shaped.
Objectives exist in a realm of overwhelming feelings that make those objectives important.
But once you’ve experienced those overwhelming feelings you need to rise above them so you can express what you need to.