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2008 updates : monologues in I.1 & I.2

NEW : 2009: Lul Theatre
2003: Film600: Bad Theories, Wrong Subjects
2005: total directing & total acting
2008 : t-blog + beta.vtheatre.net online?
* Spring 2007 : THR221 Intermediate Acting *

monologues on video?

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* one act fest


THR121 Fundamentals of Acting Textbook Spring 2003:
Acting in Person and in Style
Subscribe to my Open Class @ 3sisters

THR221 Intermediate Acting (BM) Textbook Spring 2003:
Actors on Acting
Subscribe to my Open Class @ 12night

Spring 2003: THR331 Fundamentals of Stage Directing Textbook:
The Director's Eye
Subscribe to my Open Class @ Directing!


THR334 Film & Movies Textbook Spring 2003:
How to Read a Film
Subscribe to Open Class @ 200x Aesthetics


BM * acting2 * Monologue Study * Auditions
... Oh, you know it all from the Acting One class! You have to have two contrasting monologues (for auditions); here we talk about comedy (drama is in method.vtheatre.net).
film acting:
Stanislavsky
stanislavsky.us

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Oh, you know that your monologue has to have exposition, climax, resolution... the dramatic composition (ABC). Yes, it has to have a conflict. In comedy, as extreme as possible. Go for the "opposites," the CONTRAST (big man gets in a smal car and etc.) "character" "conflicts" with his "situation"... Yes, there are "situation comedies" (TV is full of sitcoms) and "comedy of characters" (more sophisticated ones); usually it's a combination of both.

Character? First recommendation: go for a steriotype, discover the architype in it, get to the type -- and build on it. Walk, speach patterns (accent), master gesture -- and the physical theatre drills from 101.

WWWilde: BM as STYLE
Rehearse in stages: rehearse for conflict, genre, physicality, vocalization -- lair by lair, next come only after the previous "characterizations" are found and expressed. Here are the samples my students used in class (including "dramatic" ones).
In Method Acting Intro we learn about objective and super-objective. The same can be said about the Biomechanics. The small blocks of movement have to be built into one physical design of the role.

In acting classes we go through games and exercises to find the physical expression of the character, but the character is not an objective in itself. Meyerhold often speaks about archetypes, because at the end we have to see the big picture -- the fate, the life story. And, yes, we have to remember the pictures.

Remember you are in THAT role!

I will talk about objective and subjective reality in Actor's Chronotope, but here we have to state the basics. The only "objective" reality in theatre are the real people, their time and the space of the theatre. The dramatic action doesn't take in actuality, we have to transform the OBJECTIVE realm into a new -- SUBJECTIVE world.

Why? Because the drama is about to take place in one (single) spectator's mind and heart, my friends.

Who does it, the miracle?

He does, the stranger. With your help, of course.

You see, all you need to do is to learn how to do it -- and you are ACTOR.

But can you help the one spectator you know best -- yourself?

Can you see what your character sees? If not, the audience won't be able to see it too. Don't believe that actor doesn't have to "live his part" and can think about his dinner while playing Hamlet. If a boxer would do it, he is gone. They say that the actor doesn't have to feel what his characters feels. Really? I feel what the character feels even reading a book!

If you think that Biomechanics negate Stanislavsky, read what Meyerhold had to say. His problems with the System was that whatever actors feel is not visible, not expressed, not communicated. I say -- this is SHOW business! Show it to me! Let me SEE it! No, I do not want to "understand" -- I want to EXPERIENCE what the hero lives through! Articulate it, the emotions!

Summary

Meyerhold: "In order to rescue the Russian theatre from its own desire to become the servant of literature, we must spare nothing to restore to the stage the cult of the cabotinage (stylised character from Commedia) in its broadest sense."

Notes

* Monologue Study Pages: PreActing, Biomechanics, Method, BMplus *
filmplus
Overview of the Acting One -- THR121 Fundamentals of Acting (including textbook and terminology).

Auditions: * Performerís name
* Short description of situation where character speaks
* Title of the Play, Writer, Character's Name

Be prepare to answer, if asked:
* Attitude/tone of author depicted in text
* What does the character want in the scene?
* What is the goal or objective?
* What is the emotional state of the character?
* Act/Scene of monologue and why did you select this monologue?
* What is this character like?

[ selection of monologue should be appropriate to the ability, age, and sex ]

** Write the character analysis in your Actor's Journal!

Mono (evaluation) criteria:

1. 5Ws

2. Objective/Obstacle

3. Master Gesture

4. ABC - composition (exp-climax-resol.)

5. Space (9 squares) -- addresses

6. Timing (directing Public)

7. Use of prop (new)

8. Name(s) of monologue

9. Genre (comedy/drama)

10. Improv test of character/situation


* Question : What are you working on?

"Layer by layer" -- Kaplan. [ voice, walk and so on. ]

Monologues [ from Acting I with some Actor's Text directions ] :

Another Dad at Career Day written by Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel
[From the movie City Slicker/ Morelli gives his speech to his child's class on career day.]

Morelli: Thanks the teacher for the invite(up Center)Hello class I'm michaels father and supervise construction job sites(center"With a smile")So I'm doin' this job on 60th and 3rd(Down left"with heavy itailian accent"). Big, friggin' ballbreaker of a job, right(Down right"excasperated")?. And we got the area roped off, you know, so some shmuck don't come and take a wrecking ball between the eyes (Down Left"Showing amazement"). All of a sudden this woman, with the big dark glasses, the Bloomigdale bags, she starts walkin' right through the ropes Up left,Left towards down left" ranting"). I yell down at her, "Hey! You can't go there you stupid bitch(down left)!" Suddenly this steam fittin' bursts, and this enormous two thousand pound goddam crane crashes right down on her legs(down center)! And she's screamin' "My legs! My legs!" and I say, "No shit, your legs; you got a two thousand pound goddam crane on 'em" Now, do you know how in an emergency you can get like superhuman strength(Down right)? I reach down and I lift this crane, and the nestels were able to slide her out from under, and the doctors were able to save her legs(Right). So the moral of the story is don't walk where you're not supposed to walk 'cause there might not be someone with superhuman strength to save your little ass(center). And don't do drugs (up right). That's it. [ ... ]


MISS JULIE [approaches the chopping block, as though drawn there against her will]. No, I don't want to go just yet; I can't-- -- -I must see-- -- --Quiet! There's a carriage outside--[Listens to the sounds outside while keeping her eyes fixed on the block and the axe] Do you think I can't bear the sight of blood? Do you think I'm so weak?-- -- --Oh--I'd like to see your blood, your brains, on a chopping block--I'd like to see your sex,* swimming in a sea of blood, like that bird there--I do believe I could drink from your skull, I'd like to paddle my feet in your breast, I'd roast your heart and eat it whole!--You think I'm weak; you think I love you because my womb desired your seed; you think I want to carry your brood beneath my heart and nourish it with my blood--to bear your child and take your name--by the way, what is your surname?--I've never heard it--you probably haven't got one. I'd become 'Mrs Gatekeeper'--or 'Madame Rubbish Dump'--You dog, who wears my collar, you drudge with my crest upon your buttons--I share with my cook? Compete with my maid?--Oh! oh! oh!--You think I'm a coward and want to run away. No, I'm staying now--and let the storm break! My father'll come home-find his desk broken open--his money gone--Then he'll ring--on that bell--twice for his lackey--And then he'll send for the police--and I'll tell them everything. Everything! Oh, it'll be so good to end it all--if only it is the end--And then he'll have a stroke and die--And it'll be all up with us--quiet--peace--eternal rest--And then our coat of arms will be broken upon the coffin;* the Count's line will be extinguished and the lackey's race will continue in an orphanage--winning its laurels in the gutter and ending its days in gaol. [lesson 9: Image Buiding (textbook)]

...


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MONO -- Actor's Text

Get yourself a monologue for presentation in class for BM analysis (bring an extra copy for me): samples

monologues in acting1 (Biomethod)

... two weeks (beginning) for monologue study!

Prisoner of 2nd Avenue, Neil Simon

You donít know the first thing Iím talking about... You donít know what it is to be in my place... Youíve never stood in line for two hours waiting for an unemployment check with a shirt and tie, trying to look like you donít need the money. And some fat old dame behind the counter screaming out so everyone can hear, "Did you look for a job this week?" "Yes I looked for a job." "Did you turn down any work this week?" "What the hell am I doing here if I turned down work this week? ...You never walked into your own building and had a ninety-one-year-old doorman with no teeth, asthma, and beer on his breath giggle at you because heís working. Youíve never been on your own terrace and gotten hit with a bucket of ice-cold ice water. I haven't forgotten that son-of a-bitch! (he goes to the terrace door and looks up) I haven't forgotten you, you son-of-a bitch!!!!!

Iím waiting for him. Iím just waiting for him. Heís up there now, but one day heís gonna be down there, and I'm gonna be up here, and then we'll see. One cold, snowy day some Son-Of-A-Bitch in this building is gonna be buried under three feet of snow. They won't find him until the Spring. (yells up again) They won't find you until the spring, you son-of-a-bitch!

He thinks I donít know what he looks like... I know what he looks like alright. I know what they all look like. Iíve got their faces engraved in my brain.

They can get your clothe, Edna. They can get your clothes, your Valium, your television, your Red Label Whisky, your job, they can get everything. But they canít get your brains.Thatís my secret weapon. That and the snow.I pray to God it snows tomorrow, Iíll wait for him. I bought a shovel today, oh yeah. I live for it. I live for the first snow of the winter... He gets home at five-fifteen, I checked with the doorman...I gave him a five dollar tip, it was worth it. (yells up) I know what time you get home, you bastard! Try using the service entrance, I got that blocked off too!

(to Edna, oblivious of her on the phone) Do you have any idea, any conception of the impact of two pounds of snow falling from a height of fourteen floors...Theyíll find him in the garage. (yells up) Theyíll find you in the garage, you bastard!....I know what you look like.

(he goes out onto the terrace) And if it doesnít snow this winter, Iíll wait till next winter. Iím in no hurry, smart ass. (yelling up) Iíve got nothing but time...Nothing but time, baby... (he laughs as the curtain falls).

[ comedy 3 min ] Define:
5W's
ABC of Dramatic Structure
Floor Plan

Mamet, Oleanna
Carol: Why do you hate me? Because you think me wrong? No. Because I have, you think, power over you. Listen to me. Listen to me, Professor (pause) It is the power that you hate. So deeply that, that any atmosphere of free discussion is impossible. It s not unlikely. It's impossible. Isn't it? Now. The thing which you find so cruel is the selfsame process of selection I, and my group, go through every day of our lives. In admittance to school. In our tests, in our class rankings Is it unfair? I can't tell you. But, if it is fair. Or even if it is unfortunate but necessary for us, then, by God, so must it be for you. (pause)

You write of your responsibility to the young. Treat us with respect, and that will show you your responsibility. You write that education is just hazing. (pause) But we worked to get to this school. (pause) And some of us. (pause) Overcame prejudices. Economic, sexual, you cannot begin to imagine. And endured humiliations I pray that you and those you love never will encounter. (pause) To gain admittance here. To pursue that same dream of security you pursue. We, who, who are, at any moment, in danger of being deprived of it. By the administration. By the teachers. By you. By, say, one low grade, that keeps us out of graduate school; by one, say, one capricious or inventive answer on our parts, which, perhaps, you don t find amusing. Now you know, do you see? What it is to be subject to that power. Who do you think I am? To come here and be taken in by a smile. You little yapping fool. You think I want revenge. I don t want revenge. I WANT UNDERSTANDING.

5W's
ABC of Dramatic Structure
Floor Plan

Danny... Deep Blue Sea, John Patrick Shanley
Danny: I was at this party. A guy named Skull. Everybody was getting fucked up. Somebody said there was some guys outside. I went out. There were these two guys from another neighborhood. I asked 'em what they were doing there. They knew somebody. One of 'em was a big guy. Real drunk. He said they wanted to go., but something about twenty dollars. I told him to give me the twenty dollars, but he didn't have it. I started hitting him. But when I hit him, it never seemed to be hard, ya know? I hit him a lot in the chest and face but it didn't seem to do nothing. I had him over a car hood. His friend wanted to take him away. I said okay. They started to go down the block. And they started to fight. So I ran after them. I hit on the little guy a minute, and then I started working on the big guy again. Everybody just watched. I hit him as hard as I could for about ten minutes. It never seemed like enough. Then I looked at his face... His teeth were all broken. He fell down. I stomped on his fuckin chest and I heard something break. I grabbed him under the arms and pushed him over a little fence. Into somebody's driveway. Somebody pointed to some guy and said he had the twenty dollars. I kicked him in the nuts. He went right off the ground. Then I left.
[ drama 2 min ]
5W's
ABC of Dramatic Structure
Floor Plan

"Man of the Moment": Alan Ackborn (with actor's stage directing, class archives) *

(facing and talking as if in the midst of an interview)

Now he's really a stone mason, but he's had a spot of bother with the local law...

(jumpin up facing the audience)

No(!!!!!!! ) (and then I draw it out)
The first thing you've got to remember about an interview is that who ever interviewing you will know less about what you are talking about than you do. Because nine times out of ten he'll be talking to you about

(beat, waiting for answer, before rushing back in...)

you. Which makes you the resident expert now doesn't it. (explaining to Americans:) As far as your concerned it's a home game he'll already be nervous just coming down the tunnel (swing)

(beat, regaining composure beginning again)

You see there is an art to being interviewed you have to be able to use an interview to your own advantage. Because after all what is an interview this guy (pointing back to where the interviewer would be seated) is trying to get you to say (enuciating) one thing, usually incriminating (higher vocal). and you are wanting to say something of your own (gesturing self) entirely different from what he wants you to say.

(had gestures pitting fist against fist)

So it's a battle to the death (looking up) isn't it?

(returning to interviewing chair)

If your being interviewed you have to turn things around. You say things like: that's a very intresing question John (turning away and working to a smirk) and I'd like to answer it (pause) if I may (pause, then turn and point) with a question of my own.

(turning back to the audience)

See that always throws them, because they're (crazy sign a hand gesture) not usually geared for answers, only for questions. They're interviewers see, and not meant to have oppinions so they can't answer anyway, but when they don't that makes them look (beat) furtive. And if ask you a question and you don't like the answer to the one that he's given you

(beat, almost looking for a response)

give him the answer to another one.

(move into a speaking pose, and then slowly turn back to the audience)

and when he intterupts you, whick he will do once he realizes your giving him the wrong answer. you simply say:

(turning back to interviewer, in a hurt whinny voice)

I really must be allowed to answer this question in my own way, John (hurt, beat) please.

(gesturing excitedly)

because that too will make him look like a pushy bastard.

(regaining again)

And if he does get a question in, and you happen to know the answer and don't mind giving it to him(slowing down, enuciating) talk (pause) as (p) fast (p) you (p) can, wilt still making sense, but (p) don't (p) whatever (p) you (p) do(p) leave (p) pauses.

(rushing it)

Because they're looking for pause see to edit you about and change your meaning. That's when they put in thos nodding bits you've seen then when the bloke's nodding his head off for dear life about a bugger in another room.
but if you don't pause then they can't get in to edit you can they(! building to high pitch) which means they have to leave the interview out altogether which means they haven't got a programe, which is generally (singing:) disaster time. or they have to put what you said in it's entirety and not some version of what some monkey would have liked you to say if he'd gotten the chance to edit you. (!!!!!!!!!!) and if you do run out and you do have to stop (building and running together) stop suddenly just like that.

(regaining, panting, still going)

because (pant) this (pant) throws them as well, because nine times out of ten if it's a long answer you've been giving him he wont be listening anyways. (gesturing) he'll either be looking at his notes or looking at the floor manager (dramatically) or wondering just how long is this bleeder going for?(!)

(regaining)

And if none of that works and your really up against it

(bekoning answers then going into the physical recreation of throwing himself and choking)

have a chooking fit through yourself on the floor, knock over the mike and call for water.

(smileling sheepishly)

that usually (laugh) does the trick.

(exeunt)

Define:
5W's
ABC of Dramatic Structure
Floor Plan

How I Learned To Drive, Paula Vogel
I never saw him again. I stayed away from Christmas and Thanksgiving for years after. It took my uncle seven years to drink himself to death. First he lost his job, then his wife and finally his drivers license. He retreated to his house and had his bottles delivered. One night he tried to go downstairs to the basement--and he flew down the steep basement stairs. My aunt came by weekly to put food on the porch-and she noticed the mail and the papers stacked up, uncollected. They found him at the bottom of the stairs. Just steps away from his dark room.

Now that I'm old enough, there are some questions I would have liked to have asked him. Who did it to you, Uncle Peck? How old were you? Were you eleven?

Sometimes I think of my uncle as a kind of Flying Dutchman. In the opera, the Dutchman is doomed to wander the sea; but every seven years he can come ashore--and if he finds a maiden who will love him of her own free will--he will be released. And I see Uncle Peck in my mind, in his Chevy '56, a spirit driving up and down the roads of Carolina--looking for a young girl who, of her own free will, will love him. Release him.

Character: Li'l Bit Gender: Female Age (range): 11-40 Style: Drama Length: 1 minute

5W's
ABC of Dramatic Structure
Floor Plan
@2004 bm index *

Moliere:

TARTUFFE: Our love for the beauty which is eternal, stifles not in us love for that which is fleeting and temporal; and we can easily be charmed with the perfect works Heaven has created. Its reflected attractions shine forth in such as you; but it is in you alone that its choicest wonders are centred. It has lavished upon you charms which dazzle the eye, and which touch the heart; and I have never gazed on you, perfect creature, without admiring the Creator of the universe, and without feeling my heart seized with an ardent love for the most beautiful picture in which He has reproduced Himself. At first I feared that this secret tenderness might be a skilful assault of the evil one; I even thought I would avoid your presence, fearing you might prove a stumbling-block to my salvation. But I have learnt, O adorable beauty, that my passion need not be a guilty one; that I can reconcile it with modesty; and I have given up my whole soul to it. I know that I am very presumptuous in making you the offer of such a heart as mine; but in my love I hope everything from you, nothing from the vain efforts of my unworthy self. In you is my hope, my happiness, my peace; on you depends my misery or bliss; and by your verdict I shall be for ever happy, if you wish it; unhappy if it pleases you. I know that such language from me seems somewhat strange; but after all, I am not an angel; and, if you condemn the confession I make, you have only your own attractions to blame for it. As soon as I beheld their more than human beauty, my whole being was surrendered to you. The unspeakable sweetness of your divine charms forced the obstinate resistance of my heart; it overcame everything -- fasting, prayers, and tears -- and fixed all my hopes in you. A thousand times my eyes and my sighs have told you this; to-day I explain myself with words. Ah! if you consider with some kindness the tribulations and trials of your unworthy slave, if your goodness has compassion on me, and deigns to stoop so low as my nothingness, I shall ever have for you, O marvellous beauty, a devotion never to be equalled. With me your reputation runs no risk, and has no disgrace to fear. All those court gallants upon whom women dote, are noisy in their doings, boastful in their talk. Ever vain of their success, they never receive favours without divulging them; and their indiscreet tongues dishonour the altar on which their hearts sacrifice. But men like me burn with a hidden flame, and secrecy is for ever assured. The care which we take of our own reputation is a warrant to the woman who accepts our heart, that she will find love without scandal, and pleasure without fear.
Lesson #
60 or 90 min

1. review (previous class)

2. overview

3. new key terms & definitions

4. monologues & scenes

5. issues & topics

6. questions, discussion, analysis

7. in class work

8. feedback

9. improv & games

10. reading

11. homework

12. online, journals

13. quiz

Links

BM1

homework

Class Project (after the midterm)

playsChekhov, Ibsen, Shakespeare

Actingland.com - Acting resources, career guides, and casting information.

My Amazon.com Wish List

ReadSpeaker AudioFeed - Podcast of this blog

Don Juan:

[Moliere]

SGANARELLE: If you knew the man as I do, you would find it no hard matter to believe. I have no proof as yet. You know that I was ordered to start before him, and we have had no talk together since his arrival; but it is as a kind of warning that I tell you, inter nos, that you see in Don Juan, my master, one of the greatest scoundrels that ever trod the earth; a madman, a dog, a demon, a Turk, a heretic who believes neither in heaven, saints, God, nor devil; who spends his life like a regular brute, an epicurean hog; a true Sardanapalus, who shuts up his ears against all the admonitions that can be made to him, and who laughs at everything we believe in. You say that he has married your mistress; believe me, in order to satisfy his passion, he would have done more, and married along with her not only yourself, but her dog and her cat into the bargain. A marriage is nothing to him: it is the grand snare he makes use of to catch the fair sex. He is a wholesale marriage-monger; gentlewomen, young girls, middle-class women, peasant lasses, nothing is either too hot or too cold for him; and if I were to tell you the names of all those he has married in different places, the chapter would last from now till midnight. You seem surprised, and you grow pale; yet this is but a mere outline of the man, and to make a finished portrait we should require many more vigorous touches. Let it be sufficient that the wrath of Heaven must sooner or later make an end of him. He cannot escape; and it would be better for me to belong to the devil than to him. I am the witness of so much evil that I could wish him to be I don't know where. But if a great lord is also a wicked man, it is a terrible thing. I must be faithful to him, whatever I may think; in me fear takes the place of zeal, curbs my feelings, and often compels me to applaud what I most detest.-- Here he is, coming for a walk in this palace; let us part. But, listen: I have told you this in all frankness, and it has slipped rather quickly out of my mouth; but, if anything of what I have said should reach his ears, I would stoutly maintain that you have told a lie.

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