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Fall 2005 UAF
2005: Chekhov -- Farces & Letters
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Directing Actors: Creating Memorable Performances for Film & Television Directing film or television is a high-stakes oppucatiopn - the white water rafting of entertainment jobs. It captures your full attention at every moment, calling on you to commit every resource and stretch yourself to the limit. But for many directors, the excitement they feel about a new project tightens into anxiety when it comes to working with actors. Directing Actors is a method for establishing creative, collaborative relationships with actors, getting the most out of rehearsals, troubleshooting poor performances, and giving directions that are briefer and easier to follow.The following issues are discussed: * what constitutes a good performance * what actors want from a director * what directors do wrong * script analysis and preparation * how actors work * the director/actor relationshipDirecting Actors is the first book of its kind. Judith investigates in detail the sometimes painful, often frustrating, but potentially exhilarating relationship between actor and director. It provides simple, practical tools that directors and actors can use immediately - and takes the reader on a journey through the complexities of the creative process itself.
Although one chapter is entitled 'Result Direction and Quick Fixes', the tools and suggestions of the book are now superficial band-aids or facile jargon; they are radical excursions into the perhaps most misunderstood artistic collaboration - that of director with actor.
Judith Weston brings to this book twenty years of professional acting and nine years of teaching Acting for Directors. Her students include academy Awards and Emmy winning directors, writers and producers of studio and independent feature films, television episodics and MOWs.
* The first book to directly address directors about working with actors
* Offers practical techniques in managing the director/actor relationship
Next: Intronew pages -- (list)
I used 12night List for Comedy BM and 3sis for Method and Realism.
from the very first egroup:
Date: Sat Sep 25, 1999 9:28 pm
Subject: [3sis] dailynews 23/24 Sept.99
Daily News 3sis 23/24 Sept.99
Tuesday Rehearsal: Kate and Heather. Confirm your times with me (rafaela)
We phantasize in order to construct ( Nietzsche ?)
Contra-point principle = discover the possible subtext. Phenomenon of text and contra-text.
How to show : Text : I love you, I love you: Action = tells us he doesnít
Some people lie to themselves and they know they lie and they belive in their lies. (George Sand). Topics chosen are expandable- they can be speculated on therefore canít be terribly concrete.
Inspector General for Russians like Shakespeare. Other writers are measured against the comical characters.
Goethe's Faust was written a 100 years before chekhov;s 3 sisters. Goethe was very popular in Russia.
Characterwork: Have pity with their lives (character). Explore them but remember process is everything, result is nothing (trotzki). Give them dimensions. If I could make everybody in the play love everybody, I will have drama, because I have conflict. Think about it but then let go of thinking and do. Then come back and think some more , and let go again.
Conceptuals Quotables notables 23/24Sept.99 One-on-One
Anatolyís Chekhov similarity to Bergman: Who does he have pity with?
Andrei : language in act 1 is different from the following ACTs. Did he learn his little speech. Christian=jung=collective Andrei has to suffer. Andrei pays for what he does. His sisters donít carefor his children. Whatís wrong with them
Antichrist=false phrophet=satan @ the end of the world; Last judgment: all people are bad.
Baron = land comes with the title. Is he a german or russian baron. Whichever one he is. He came from a glorious past. In the original staging by stanislawski chekhov liked Merkholds ( he wa s agerman jew) intepretation of the baron . They exchanged letters.
Characters' POV (point of view): What happened?
Chekhov possible thoughts = Mysogenist ?; In the world without men (male principle) the world would become an animal kingdom, because man is stupid but women are evil . who has soul ? Problem with women is they have soul but it is evil .
Chekhov was playwright who did not write poetry and never thought of himself as great writer, but he was very popular. Russia was all about poetry. But there are lots of references in the play about poetry. Ie. Irinaís line =Pushkin poem. In the play he refers to the past glorious golden age but not to his contemporaries. Why does he not mention nietzsche.
Comedy: the saddest person on earth is the one who wants comedy.
Doctor x olga: olga is not his favorite. She has a love hate relationship with him.
Doctor x mother: she was shy intially but his permanent presence and passion for her swayed her. They made love. He wanted her to go away with him when she was pregnant. But she said no. He left her. Her heart broke - she got even more depressed.After the birth of irina she drinks more and more and finally dies.
Duel: at the time of 3 sis were banned. They were a nono-. To partake in it or be an accomplice like the doctor meant your career your social life was over. Being shunned. Why does nobody acknowledge this? The doctor as well as solyonin are destroyed after the duel. Are the 3sisters = 3 witches?
Duel (on Film): 2nd version. 3 shots are heard. A wine glass falls and shatters on the floor.
End of the play: Where is the end of the play?
Golden Age in Russia = we speak French and write peotry = this is part of being a gentleman. Or gentle woman.
HOMO-Sexuality: itís never been homosexual (shakespeare sonetts), itís becoming homosexual. Being human is a process.
Kuligin = firstborn male. His mome pushed him to do better thatís why he didnít work on th3e farm. He has abandonned his parents. Behaves like an orphan at his own wedding. Embarrassed about his roots.
Kuligin x masha x vershinin: He comes to the house to see what they are doing but also comes to be seen , so masha can have pity with him. Kuligin sets vershininís house on fire. The revenge of the little powerless man.
Leonardo da Vinci: last supper. Spring show. Remember the long table Lermontov: was a poet. He had a drinking buddy maned martinov. One day he challenged him for a duel. He died when he was 26 years old.
Masha= repeats her motherís life
Monica x Bill: who was the aggressor? Man = the weakest character on earth when in unhappy relationship and a pretty girl walks along. Masha = predator?
Nobility: 1/3 was russian the rest was foreign (german, french, italian.).
Olga: What about olga? Did chekhov fail with her as a character. Chekhovís wifeís name was Olga. She was an actress (Moscow Art Theatre). Love and marriage happened around when he was involved with three sisters. What does olga want?
Relationshiplinks Who doesnít like who?
Silver age=autumn of great culture, artistic and spirituality are declining.
There is emptyness = the doctor.
Solyonin x Baron; Is it a true love story?
Solyonin x Kuligin: kuligin is like a cat. Kuligin speaks latin. Anatolyís cat speaks french. It is CIRCUS.
Solyonin=Lermontov. He doesnít have a monologue. He is so active in other peopleís lives. He is lermontov ,who missed the boat. There is a wrong time and wrong place to be for some people. A Lermontov that comes around a second time is wrong. Solyonin thoughts: I cannot write and love does not exist.
Vershinin = repeats daddyís life
Vershinin: Does he love his wife. What about his first wife. Vershinin doesnít pay for what he does. He doesnít seem to suffer. He loves to talk about his misery and how bad his life is.
Sample: from the post to the eGroup:
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 21:00:02 -0000
Subject: [directing] My scene
For my scene I have cast Rose as Alan and Jeff as Benny. In my concenpt the two characters are infact two halves of the same whole, a yin and yang if you will. I cast Rose as the masculine character and Jeff as the afeminate(or vaguely european) in order to create a dichotomy between the actor and their character. To make it personal they are the waring parties in my own personal life, id vs super ego. One just wants to get laid and not care about what he has to do to get there, while the other cares too much for what others will think and feel and gets nowhere.
Set: Plain, I want the illusion of the singles bar to be purely a manefestation of my actors.
Props: Manequins, which the characters bring out in the begining try and hit on twards the end. Empty pint glasses and unlit cigarettes which the characters use.
Costumes: Alan- dressed like a player, but very masculine Benny- very well dressed vaguely european
Lights: No color blue as a general wash over stage
In the begining of the scene I want the two characters to set the scene by bringing on stage manequins(female) Alan being rough and uncaring twards how he man handles the women and Benny being kind and gentle and getting no where. The first couple lines of the scene can be delivered while still putting the manequins into place.
THE LINE THAT PICKED UP 1000 BABES
(AND HOW IT CAN WORK FOR YOU)
by eric berlinAlan: This place is ameat market (perhaps hanging sign on female form "meat") Benny: People meet people that's all (timidly struggling with moving a maniquin onstage) Alan: That's all.(helping him) Benny: They have to. You're here, too, dont forget. (watching Alan manhandle manequin moving it from up stage right to down stage left) Alan: I'm here being me. Benny: What's that mean? Alan: Being me. You're here being whoever happens to be popular at the time. What that book says. (stairing at the women not at Benny) Benny: Man, forget the book, cant you? Alan: No. I cant. It's too stupid to just forget. Benny: Well try... Man (weakly) Alan: I have a couple of questions.(lights but doesnt cigarette) Benny: About the book? Alan: Yes. Okay? Then I'll back off.(manly shruggs and gestures) Benny: Bull Alan: Just listen. Benny: What? Alan: Okay. Question Number one. If there's one line that's picked up a thousand babes, like it says, then why is that book 200 pages long? (ostracizing) Benny: Well hell. What you dont know. There's more to all than just the line, there's more. You have to say it the right way. There's ways to say the line. You have to say it to the right girl You- Alan: The right girl? (interested) Benny: Yes Alan: Okay. (pause Alan grins) No, go on, what? Benny: What's the matter with that? Stop putting down what you dont know about, huh? You cant say the line to just anybody. You cant try and pick up some ninety-year-old lady.(actually standing up for himself) Alan: Is that what the book said or did you figure that out by yourself? Benny: There's a long chapter as to who the right girl is. Alan: You mean "babe". Benny: Yeah, girl, babe, whatever.(frustrated) Alan: Which leads me to my second question. I've always wanted to ask this. What the hell is a "babe"? Benny: A girl you moron. Alan: You see? When was that book written? Nobody calls girls babes anymore. Benny: Oh no? Alan: Do they? Benny: You dont call them babes to their faces. Unless you're trying to make some point - Alan: Oh, behind their backs! I get it. Benny: Alan! It's just the same thing. Babes are girls. The guidlines in this book - Alan: Are time tested. I know you told me. Benny: It was written in the seventies. Babes are girls now. Alan: But not every girl is a babe. Benny: No Alan: The book says that. Benny: Right Alan: A very specific type of girl. Less than ninety, for one thing. Benny: Yes. Alan: Say, eighty-six, eighty-seven Benny: Now, look Alan: So where do you draw the line? Are there Forty-year-old babes out there? Benny: Dont use the book, Okay? Dont even listen to me. All right? But what Im saying This book has been time tested. It works. Alan: Actually, I hear that some girls dont even like to be called girls now. They're women. Benny: That's the worst kind of girl. Alan: You mean, girls who think, Girls who think are automatically out. Benny: They can think, I dont care. Alan: They just cant think a lot. Does that book give you tips on how to talk about current events? Benny: Current events? Who talks about current events in a place like this? Alan: How'd the authors of that book know you'd be coming to a place like this? Benny: They said to Alan: Which brings me to my third question: Why would you take a handbook for picking up girls to the bar you plan on patronizing? Wouldnt it be better idea to just read it and leave it at home? You dont want the girls here to know you're using a book, now, do you? Benny: I have it in my coat pocket. It's a pocket sized book. They'll never know I have it. If I have to read it I will go into the mens room. Alan: What if it falls out? You're having a drink with this girl - this babe - and you've used the great "line" and a couple of pretty good back-up lines, and then she tells a really funny joke. And you laugh so hard that you almost fall over backwards, but you get your balance back, but out of your coat pocket falls this book. Naturally it falls face up, so the title is readable by everyone in the room, so everyone knows you're using a handbook to pick up girls. And once they know that, no girl on the planet will ever speak to you again. Benny: That wont happen. Alan: Why's that, babes cant tell jokes, either? Benny: I mean, the book wont fall out. Alan: Oooooooookay. Now about this babe business. Show me a babe. Benny: Lets see- her over there. (nodding unclearly in direction of manequin) (manequin he was struggling with earlier) Alan: Where? Benny: By the jukebox Alan: Looking in at it? Benny: Yeah Alan: How can you tell? She's not even facing this direction. You dont even know what she looks like. Benny: You dont need to know what see looks like. Alan: Then what the hell are you going by? Benny: Look at the way she's dressed. Tight blue jeans is the first thing talked about in Chapter Three Alan: Chapter Three? Benny: Chapter Three: "what is a babe?" Alan: There- wait. There she is. Okay, now you see what she looks like. Is she a babe? (can see her face because Alan has grabbed the manequin and turned it around and is pointing at it) Benny: Yes Definitely (cant make eye contact with manequin) Alan: Why? What seals it? (manhandling manequin) Benny: The make-up. Alan: She's wearing too much. I see her face and I still dont know what she looks like.(funny) Benny: That's just it. Too much make-up is a sure sign. Alan: A sure sign of... babeness Benny: Call them what you will Alan: But, now, wait, do you like girls with too much make-up? Benny: I can take them or leave them Alan: Or take them and leave them.(jabing for real now) Benny: Now that's not fair. Alan: Okay sorry... so are you going to do something about her? Benny: I dont know maybe... Maybe. (Benny repeats "maybe" until it is clear that he never will do anything about her, Alan carries her off back stage, Benny orders another drink from imaginary bartender)
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