Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


One of the great things about having a degree in Drama is that it's excellent life prep. Learning how to analyze a scene, discover a character's motivation, and stating an objecive for a character to pursue -- these techniques translate very well to real life, in which one has oblique conversations where one must discover what the other person wants. Heck, even buying a car is a bit less painful with a bit of dramatic training under the old belt.

So I find that when (as now, prepping for my Shakespeare class) I read books on directing, they usually contain some advice that's applicable in larger settings. For example, here's a selection from Notes on Directing: 130 Lessons in Leadership from the Director's Chair by Frank Hauser and Russell Reich:
23. Assume that everyone is in a permanent state of catatonic terror.
This will help you approach the impossible state of infinite patience and benevolence that actors and others expect from you.
I wish I'd had some advice like this under my belt not just for previous directing situations, but in any circumstance in which I've had to try to get a large group of people to participate or follow directions.

Not of general relevance, but something I thought was interesting (tender eyes may want to avert themselves now):
Meaning It

There is only one intensive in the English language: the word "f*ck" (or "f*cking").

Listen to the actor declaiming:
O! What a rogue and peasant slave I am!
Note how he strains to make the derogatory language real, as if he really means it. Get him to put in a few "f*ckings":
O! What a f*cking rogue and peasant f*cking slave I am!
Hear how it immediately hardens and sharpens the images, makes them more like real anger and real self-disgust rather than disguised self-pity. Not just impressive, but meant.

Should you keep these word substitutions in performance?
I tried it myself with some Shakespeare, and true enough. Nothing intensifies like the F-bomb. For all you concerned parents reading: I do not intend to teach this in my Shakespeare class. Just sayin'.


Anonymous said...

The Blackadder Says:

It also helps if you imagine Samuel L. Jackson saying the lines. "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!"

Enbrethiliel said...


It's so f***ing true! =P

entropy said...

It's so weird to see +JMJ+ and then the f-word.

Enbrethiliel said...


Now that you mention it . . . Yes, it is weird, isn't it??? =P