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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 Sep 2005
This review is from: True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor (Paperback)
"You readers are of a generation that would like to stay in school...You will encounter in your travels folks of your own age who chose the institutional path, who became the arts administrators rather than the writers. These folks chose to serve an institutional authority in exchange for a paycheck, and these folks are going to be with you for the rest of your life, and you actors and writers and people who come up off the street, who live without certainty day to day and year to year are going to have to bear with being called children by these institutional types...It is not childish to live with uncertainty, to devote oneself to a craft rather than a career, to an idea rather than an institution. It's courageous and requres a courage of the order that the institutionally co-opted are ill equipped to perceive. They are so unequipped to perceive it that they can only call it childish, and so excuse their exploitation of you.
"...Any system built on belief functions through the operations of guilt and hypocrisy. Such a system, whether of acting training, meditation, self-improvement, etc., functions as a psuedo-religion, and is predicated on the individual's knowledge of his or her own worthlessness. The system holds itself out as the alleviator, cleanser, and redeemer of the guilty individual."
"...The Stanislavsky 'Method,' and the techniques of the schools derived from it, is nonsense. It is not a technique out of the practice of which one develops a skill--it is a cult.
"Concetration cannot be forced. It is a survival mechanism and an adaptive mechanism, and it will not stand down and stop making its own connections simply because we'd like it to. Acting, finally, has nothing whatever to do with the ability to concentrate. The ability to concentrate flows naturally from the ability to do something interetsing. Choose something interesting, legitimately intesreting to do, and concentration is not a problem. Choose something less interesting and concetration is impossible.
"...If you decide to become an actor, stick to your decision. The folks you meet in supposed positions of authority--critics, teachers, casting directors--will, in the main, be your intellectual and moral inferiors. They will lack your imagination, which is why they became bureaucrats rather than artists; and they will lack your fortitude, having elected institutional support over a life of self-reliance. They spend their lives learning lessons very different from the ones you learn, and many or most of them will envy you and this envy will express itself as contempt. It's a cheap trick of unhappy people, and if you understand it for what it is, you need not adopt or be overly saddened by their view of you. It is the view of the folks on the verandah talking about the lazy slaves."
David Mamet
Excerpts from
TRUE AND FALSE
Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor
This book was written for actors.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Dec 2009 02:06:07 GMT
x iLeon says:
Well, thanks for the quotes, they were very helpful, but more as a "don't buy": they read like religious polemic!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2013 15:41:09 BDT
D. Burke says:
You're missing out . it is definitely anti religious, and requires a strong, independent and open mind, especially if you've been indoctrinated by some 'systems' already. Mamet has fifty years *practical* experience. Worth ten times the amount in theory.
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