August 30, 2006

 Paul McLaughlin               posted 5 May 2006, 12:57 AM / edited 5 May 2006, 01:09 AM

The Rialto Channel run a brilliant series called ‘Inside the Actors Studio’. I just watched the episode featuring William H. Macy, and man was it good. If you can get SKY I recommend this show to all actors and anyone at all interested in both the modern day workings of what actors have to do and the schools of thought behind acting today. Macy’s comments on his work with David Mamet and The Atlantic Theatre Company were priceless.

“Mamet’s model of acting rejects what he sees as the introspective, interpretative, and self-absorbed exercises of the Stanislavsky “Method” (claiming that it “and the technique of the schools derived from it, is nonsense” , and instead embraces the pleasures of extroversion, performance, and active will. Like a good general speaking to the troops, Mamet tells the actor to forget about “emotional preparation” and just get out there and do it, insisting that good acting emerges out of courage–the courage required to focus on a clear objective and act simply to achieve that objective. He urges the actor to avoid doing the interpretive job of the playwright, as “The actor is on stage to communicate the play to the audience. That is the beginning and the end of his and her job” .

-Annette J. Saddick, reviewing Mamet’s ‘True and False’


Brian Hotter       posted 6 May 2006, 12:31 PM

I agree with Paul on The Actors Studio being essential viewing.  This of course depends if you can tolerate the double dead pan delivery of the host, the kind of guy who seems to sustain his existence with unjustified dramatic pauses.  If you can get past him they do have some amazing talented actors who open up in ways that you will not see on Entertainment Tonight or even Close Up. 

The focus of each episode is usually craft and the movies the said actor has been in.  Plus these weird 10 questions or something, where the actor has to tell us his favourite cuss word or what he would be doing if he wasn’t an actor. 

I find the Actors Studio a little dated, Billy Bob Thornton was on the other night and he was still married to Miss Brad Pit Jolie.  Which is a shame because there is no excuse for giving us episodes this old; I mean we pay for the privilege of having Rialto. 

I do recommend for all actors and those interested in the craft to check it out, also check your Sky Guide to see who is on first, we all know there is a big difference between Morgan Freeman and Reese Witherspoon.

Rachel Forman posted 27 Aug 2006, 03:48 PM

There are also tonnes of really great theatre seminars available to download from the American Theatre Wing (aka the people behind the Tony awards) or you can get them through i tunes podcasts.

Fantastic discussions with great actors, writers and directors such as Billy Crudup, Jessica lange, Edward Albee and Anne Bogart to name a few.

I really recommend checking them out.

Paul McLaughlin               posted 30 Aug 2006, 03:43 PM

While doing some accent research I found the below site. It has downloadable MP3 files of accents from all over the world – a great resource.

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