Motion picture acting
In writing this series of articles, my aim is primarily to aid those who wish to make acting their profession — but I am not unmindful that there are many people in other professions, as well as in private life, who can benefit from what is said here if they will take the trouble to put some of these ideas to work. It cannot help but make you more successful at the "job of living" to speak a little better, to be more poised, and to be more interested in, and interesting too, those about you. Anyone who has the desire and is not physically handicapped can develop a graceful carriage.
Anyone who can speak at all can learn to use more cultivated speech and can acquire a more pleasing voice. And what a boon that last would be to the jangled nerves of this explosive, jittery old world in which we live!
While these talks are decidedly "professional" (and who am I to write any other way, after more than forty years as an actor, director, and dramatic coach?) still, I have written them for the amateur. They are, therefore, as nontechnical and as simple as I know how to make them.
The articles on posture, movement, and speech are not only pertinent to the training of an actor but to folk in every walk of life. Every man, woman, and child is a "salesman." We — every last one of us — must sell the world a bill of goods before we can obtain what we want out of life. But, first of all, we must "sell" ourselves, our personalities, our talents. If we were selling canned tomatoes we would never dream of presenting them in battered containers or with stained, faded labels, would we? Well, we can't sell ourselves that way, either. And remember this — no one ever made a good job of selling anything on which he himself was not sold. So, cultivate self-esteem but see to it that the product is worth the price you are asking! People are too busy, living their own lives, to look beyond our exteriors in the first encounter.
They haven't time to wait for us to grow on them. It just doesn't make sense to expect them to search beneath the surface for our sterling qualities when vi we habitually sell them off us in voice, appearance, and manner. Yes, every one of us is a salesman. . . .
How's business? It is equally and eternally true that "All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players. . . ." We play the roles in which we cast ourselves (or meekly allow ourselves to be cast) from the cradle to the grave. Why not make it a good performance?
What I say in these talks is what I have said to the many actors I have been privileged to direct, among whom are some of the greatest stars of stage and screen, and to the young actors who are now in process of becoming the stars of the future.
If I can help you to prepare yourself for the opportunity when it comes, or to avoid a few of the pitfalls along the way, then I shall feel I have accomplished enough to have made the writing of these articles worthwhile. Your success will be my everlasting, if vicarious, triumph, and will give me the greatest happiness.
In all my years of experience in the theatre and in Hollywood, I have never met anyone more fully equipped to teach the young actor and actress than you, Lillian Albertson. You have the particular genius not only of being a great - a very great - actress yourself but of conveying the fine technique of your art in words. And that is why your book is, in my opinion, a "must" for everyone interested in dramatics, and in general self-improvement. You have a rich reservoir of experience to pass on to others, and you do it so ably in this book.
I am thinking of your fine background of stardom in your great success, "Paid in Full." Later you became one of the most famous women theatrical producers in the country, and it was during this time that you started Clark Gable on his road to fame in your stage production of "The Last Mile." During the last five years, it has been my privilege to watch your wonderful coaching at RKO Studio of all the young players on the lot, and I have seen such stars as Barbara Hale, Jane Greer, Bill Williams, and Paule Croset develop under your tutelage.
the book details :
Author: Lillian Albertson
Publication date: 1947
Company: New York, Funk & Wagnalls Co
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Download 3.6 MB