Monday, February 09, 2009

Stop. Thinking.

Fomr Angela Learns to Act, a blog written by Angela who is, in fact, learning to act in One of the Top Programs in the Nation (and you don't believe her, ask her professors). In "Quotations Volume 19," which collects things her teachers have said in class, she contributes this gem:

Movement Professor: (to Iceman) I'm seeing tension in your temples. [...] I'm guessing it's a habit from thinking.
Acting Professor: (emphatically) Stop. Thinking.
Maybe this was a joke. But I doubt it. Back in the late 1970s, when I attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (one of the biggest rip-offs this side of Scientology), one of my acting teachers saw that I was carrying a book of criticism with me. "What are you reading?" she asked imperiously. "Eric Bentley!!! That's about the LAST thing you need." Because that whole thinking thing really gets in the way of your acting. Let's keep our actors in the artistic version of barefoot and pregnant, lest they realize the emperor has no clothes, their director has no vision, and their playwright has no clue.

Anyone pondering whether to attend a school for theatre, when you interview ask the interviewer two questions: 1) What books have you read recently? and 2) What books ought I to read? If he or she stammers and sounds like Sarah Palin -- "read all of them" -- then stand up, shake hands, and head for somewhere else. Bad things are going to happen.


isaac butler said...

i worked at AADA once. Coulnd't agree more.

Angela said...

Haha. In context, it was funny.