David Mamet

The recent convert David Mamet, has written some good work about acting.   He’s come out with views of late that have estranged him from many artists.   Perhaps he should write a play about his new views rather than a book?  Good playwrights like good speech writers know how to work an audience.  A joy of studying audience/performance communication is looking at how (good) playwrights wire in that subliminal connection.  This is what David Mamet says:

Common Sense for the Actor

“The Actor is onstage to communicate the play to the audience.  That is the beginning and the end of his and her jobs.  To do so the actor needs a strong voice, superb diction, a supple, well-proportioned body and a rudimentary understanding of the play.

The actor does not need to “become” the character.  The phrase, in fact, has no meaning.  There is no character.  There are only lines upon a page.  The audience sees an illusion of a character upon the stage.

The actor is as free of the necessity of “feeling” as the magician is free of the necessity of actually summoning supernormal powers.  The magician creates an illusion in the mind of the audience.  So does the actor.

David Mamet
David Mamet


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