August 3, 2022
Why are Shakespeare's play still relevant today? In this video, we'll answer that question. For the actor, he's the guy that will consistently make you better. For the layperson, Shakespeare allows us to see how little we'vechanged in 450-plus years. There are cautionary tales there Denzel Washington was recently interviewed about where he is in his life and he said if the rest of his life was only working on the plays of August Wilson and William Shakespeare, he would be a very happy man. As an actor, you're always looking for who will make you better and no one will do that like Mr. Shakespeare. You will seldom have the experience after working on a Shakespeare piece that you go nailed it. Yeah. Moving on. Yeah. I've never met a classical musician that says, yeah, Mozart. Got it. Moving on to Beethoven. One of the things you learn working on Shakespeare that's critical is how to breath mark a text. Because you know, there's a certain meter to most of his writing and if you break the back of the meter. Yeah, by the time you get to the end of that idea, that lengthy sentence, by breaking it up into little pieces, the audience is confused. It doesn't make sense. So, why is Shakespeare still relevant today?
The other thing about producing him while you young aspiring producers out there. You don't have to pay for rights to the play. You can just do it. How about that? So, that's another good thing. Baz Luhrmann did a net adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. We just had a MacBeth with Mr. Washington and Francis McDorman. Why are these done over and over and over again? Well, they're like a really good piece of music and we want to hear your interpretation of it. You might think you don't like Shakespeare that's because it was taught to you in freshman English. Folks, Shakespeare's plays are never meant to be read silently, they're play scripts. You must read them aloud. Part of what we love about having a studio here in New York is actors come from all over the world. Even if they're training online, they will come periodically to New York. And one of the things they love to do in the warm weather is they'll all get together and read Shakespeare aloud in central park. Doesn't that sound romantic? Mr. Shakespeare's plays are sexy. They are romantic.They are sometimes bloody. High school Doesn't love that stuff. So, when we were reading those plays in high school, all that stuff got soft-pedaled. In great productions of these plays they're dangerous. Right. The characters want dangerous things. So, you know, you've gotta reacquaint. And by the way, what I said about Mr. Shakespeare is true of all plays. I don't recommend reading plays silently. Yeah.
Because they're written as play scripts to be said to be heard and it helps when you read it aloud, particularly if there's more than four characters with Shakespeare always has. That you might in your playing. You know, give someone a different sound, cuz it makes it clearer for you. When you're reading it silently If there's 18 characters by page seven you're confused. For the actor, the other reason it's so important to work on Shakespeare is he works you out. He calls you out. You will find that when you start working in film and television, you don't really get to do a whole lot of what you're really capable of doing it. Doesn't require everything you have. You're sitting at a dinner table. You're in a cafe. You're having a little conversation that's not much more than just behavior. But you know, how are you exploring the outer edges and the outer limits of what you're capable of? When that role does come up in a film or a television show, will you be ready for it? Shakespeare is the great preparer. So, if you're having as much fun as we're having, please subscribe. The key to playing the lady lawyer, the male lawyer, the district attorney, the head of surgery is muscularity of speech. When you watch these medical and legal shows, there are polysyllabic word constructs that require a certain muscularity of speech. You'd be looking at a chart and saying, let me see, you're suffering from a circumoral hematoma, right. Now, I got a buddy that I surf with and if he were reading this, he'd say, yeah, I think you got a circa morbid hematoma. That's not gonna get you the job. And by the way, that's the technical term for a black eye. So don't give yourself a black eye. Right.
Always err, on the side of overtraining. So, much of being an actor is a lot like being a firefighter. You've gotta be ready to slide down the pole at a moment's notice. Do not be an emotional terrorist. Which means you panic when something comes up and now you're frantically reaching out for someone to help you. That moment needed to happen a couple of years ago. Okay. Remember, it's all happening now. Shatter imposter syndrome. How do you do that? Work on your voice, your speech, your body, and Shakespeare every day. In our community, our global community, I have everybody learn. Hamlet's advice to the players, male and female, both. One of our students Female is playing Hamlet at cafe La Mama, which is an iconic theater of the off Broadway theater movement here in New York. So, how did that happen? She fell in love with Hamlet. Well, she's getting to play it. Look at that. So study Shakespeare, work on your voice and speech and your body every day. Ultimately, you'll cultivate a half a dozen dialects too. This will make you feel like the actor with the unshakeable skill. So these videos are theory. Come observe a class on Saturday as our guest. This work needs to be personalized. I sometimes think of myself as a tailor. Come visit a class and we'll devise a personalized strategy for your craft and for your career. See you Saturday.