Acting: The First Six Lessons
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In his beloved classic, Acting: The First Six Lessons, master acting teacher Richard Boleslavsky presents his acting theory and technique in a lively and accessible narrative form. Widely considered a must-have for beginning as well as established actors, Boleslavsky's work has long helped actors better understand the craft of acting and what it takes to grow as an artist. This enhanced edition includes additional exercises from Samuel Seldon's First Steps in Acting, which provide further opportunity to practice the techniques discussed in Acting: The First Six Lessons.
Richard Boleslavsky's knowledge of the theater was based on an impressive depth and breadth of experience. A member of the Moscow Art Theater and director of its First Studio, he worked in Russia, Germany, and America as an actor, director and teacher. He was a leading Hollywood director in addition to producing plays and musical comedies on Broadway.
tone of mercy. Hate, accusation, denouncement. The end of the world. Because the world for all of us is the one whom we love. When he is gone the world is gone. When the world is gone we are gone. And therefore we can be calm and empty and oblivious to everything and everyone who a minute ago was so important and powerful. The Creature is alone in her whole being. I can see it in her contracted body and wide open eyes. If there were an army of fathers behind her now, she would be alone. And only
cute of him. The man was a genius. Would you believe that I never miss an opening night of a successful play? I: It’s very kind of you, Madame. THE AUNT: Not at all. I’m doing everything to promote—(she almost sings it…. The tea is unbearably hot.) a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l art of the theatre. Shakespeare…. Noel Coward… And what an actor Alexander Woollcott has turned out to be. I: He has studied hard, Madame. THE AUNT: Unquestionably. And in the right way. He watched actors for years. He remembered
always when she discovers that two and two are four.) I know now. That is what has happened to me here, on this height. I gave myself up entirely to the terrific change of Rhythm performed so quickly, so masterfully. I: So impressively. An elephant would stagger under the effect of that change. No great virtue for you. THE CREATURE: Very kind of you, dear Sir, but that is not going to be your last word. Suppose after a while I am sensitive to music? Where do I go? To what should I be sensitive
do? I am certainly glad to see you. I have followed your work although you did not come back to me. I never thought that you would come back. I thought I had frightened you the last time. THE CREATURE: Oh, no, you didn’t! But you cer tainly gave me a lot to work on, an awful lot. What a horrible time I have had with that idea of concentration. Everybody laughed at me—Once I was nearly run down by a street car because 16 THE SECOND LESSON I had tried too effectively to concentrate on “the
whole year. The body positions that the part demands are not difficult for me. I feel comfortable in all of them. I use my five senses simply and logically. I am happy when I act and still I don’t know how! I don’t know how! What shall I do? If they fire me, it will be the end of me. And the worst of it all is that I know only too well what they will all say. They will say, “You are very good, but you lack experience”—and that’s all. What is that cursed experience? There isn’t a thing anybody can