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notes from macy

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just got back from william h. macy's class at the atlantic. awesome. awesome. awesome. a lot of it was rehash of practical aesthetics week 1, but it's great to hear from the creator's mouth. here's some notes:

• there is no character, only the illusion of character created by the actor, the writer, and the audience.

• you cannot control your emotions, much less 'recall' them. you can only imitate them, which is a lie. what you can control is your -will-.

• you are sufficient. you don't need to be 'better.' you contain all the things you'll need to play any role. you may need to learn incidentals, how to walk in the shoes, but those are externals, and are not acting.

• 'i don't know' is an acceptable answer. also, it's fine, and brave, to just do nothing on stage.

• practice stillness. get comfortable in it.

• use eisenstein's unadorned moment. don't 'say' anything with what you do. just do it. let the audience glean what it means.

• the arc of the character is not your concern. play each scene like it is the only scene in the play.

• do the role. don't 'do something with it.' don't say 'it's a small part but i can do something with it.' understand the writer's intent, and fulfill it. just do the role.

• directing plays is one week of discovery and three weeks of babysitting.

• need to cry? fake it! the scene is never about your ability to cry. put your hands over your face! no one cares! the audience wants to know the story, not watch you try to work up real tears.

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