By Melissa Bruder, Lee Michael Cohn, Madeleine Olnek, Nathaniel Pollack, Robert Previtio, Scott Zigler, David Mamet
6 operating actors describe their equipment and philosophies of the theater. All have labored with playwright David Mamet on the Goodman Theater in Chicago.
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Extra resources for A Practical Handbook for the Actor
If that is the case, simply break the play down into its individual components and then extrapolate from those actions the single idea uniting them. That single idea, once it has been put within the context of the analysis formula, is the through-line of the role you are playing. However you find your through-action, you must do a complete three-step analysis that is as precise and thorough as that for the individual actions. The through-action will provide a means by which to gauge the strength and accuracy of each individual action.
Tools: To accuse, warn, lay out the facts, challenge. Second Beat 1. Oedipus is putting together all of Jocaste’s information. 2. Enlisting a loved one’s aid. Tools: To explain, confess, demand, plead, lay oneself bare. Here the beat change occurs because Oedipus received new information about Laios that forces him then to reconsider the possibility that he himself may have indeed been Laios’ murderer. Scene 3 What the character does: Oedipus finds out that Polybos is dead. Oedipus says he still fears the oracle of his youth.
If you feel personally violated by exposing your feelings about such an event, or if it is simply too overwhelming to deal with in the context of your work, it is not good as-if material. The as-if is there to help you invest in the work, not to dredge your intimate secrets out of you. The actor’s job is not to bring the truth of his personal life to the stage, but rather to bring the truth of himself to the specific needs of the play. We have found that as-if’s based on a desire to in some way aid someone else are highly effective and a great deal of fun.