The thing that is most true about advising actors is that, at different times, a particular peice of advice might be both true and false for someone. Also what is true for one person might be very unhelpful for another…and it of course all depends on who the advice comes from! There are so many different types of people out here at so many different stages of their careers. We will attempt with this page to bring you acting philosophies; time tested theories and opinions — not necessarily facts. When reading each individual snippet of information, take from it what you feel applies to you and your career. Do not use it as your only information source. Most of all, always be true to you. Opinions and suggestions fly around Hollywood like flocks of hungry seagulls, and half the battle is going with your gut and making educated choices on which ones to trust. Due dilligence, along with an acute ear to the ground and a confidence in your insticts, will make this jungle a little less…boobytrapped. Learn from your mistakes if you can, and even better, TALK to people who have already made them. Trust us, there are plenty.
Please feel free to email us your ideas for future columns….this page has only begun!
To start us off, here are some thoughts from Mr. Shakespeare.
“Speak the Speech” is a famous speech from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (1601). In it, Hamlet offers directions and advice to a group of actors whom he has enlisted to play for the court of Denmark.
The speech itself has played two important roles independent of the play. It has been analyzed as a historical document for clues about the nature of early modern acting practices and it has also been used as a contemporary guide to the performance of Shakespearean drama.
While there is some justification for each of these approaches, they should be distinguished from other, far less valid assertions: on the one hand, that Hamlet ventriloquizes the opinions of Shakespeare on the art of acting in a straightforward and unproblematic way; on the other, that the speech offers a proto-Stanislavskian view of the art of acting. The first elides the difference between author and character, while the second ignores the historical specificity of the discourses and meanings attached to theatrical performance.
|“||Hamlet: Speak the speech I pray you as I pronounced it to you,trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it as many of your playersdo, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw theair too much with your hand thus, but use all gently; for in thevery torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, whirlwind of your passion,you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give itsmoothness. Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustiousperiwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to splitthe ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable ofnothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I would have sucha fellow whipped for o’erdoing Termagant — it out-Herods Herod.Pray you avoid it.Player: I warrant your honour.
Hamlet: Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your
tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this
special observance, that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature. For
anything so o’erdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end both
at the first and now, was and is, to hold as ’twere, the mirror up
to nature; to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image,
and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now
this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful
laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of the
which one must in your allowance o’erweigh a whole theatre of
others. Oh, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others
praise and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that neither having
the accent of Christians nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man,
have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of nature’s
journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated
humanity so abominably.
First Player: I hope we have reformed that indifferently with us, sir.
Hamlet: Oh reform it altogether. And let those that play your clowns
speak no more than is set down for them, for there be of them that
will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators
to laugh too, though in the meantime some necessary question of
the play be then to be considered. That’s villainous, and shows
a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go make you ready.
Art Effects Hollywood assists actors in locating quality headshot photographers, and provides many marketing services. Whether you need a Los Angeles headshot photographer, a Santa Monica headshot photographer, a Hollywood headshot photographer, a San Fernando Valley headshot photographer, a Burbank headshot photographer or even an Orange County headshot photographer, the AEH website should have a connection for you. Our business model is to offer head shot printing and retouching at amazing prices. Our packages of 50 headshot prints is $47, while our package of 100 headshot prints is $67. Check the front page of our website for additional prices.