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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: Olivier
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0596  Thursday, 28 February 2002

[1]     From:   Brandon Toropov <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 12:27:00 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0585 Re: Olivier

[2]     From:   Ruth Ross <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 17:30:05 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 13.0585 Re: Olivier


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brandon Toropov <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 12:27:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 13.0585 Re: Olivier
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0585 Re: Olivier

Andy White writes,

> My experience has been
> that as convincing as
> film actors may be in front of the camera, if you
> put them on-stage
> their efforts are pathetic.  They have no sense of
> how to communicate
> more than six feet around them.  And yes, I'm
> talking about big-name
> actors, working both in England and America.

I think I recall reading an interview with David Letterman once in which
he lamented at having to do all the work when interviewing (big-name)
movie stars with no stage experience. His experience was one of
frustration --  for much the same reasons you cite.  The smasheroo movie
bigshots, whose total acting professional experience is often confined
to sound stages, sometimes have no sense at all of what it takes to
connect with an audience. They are also, not infrequently, miles away
from knowing how to set up a joke and deliver it in such a way as to
make a gathering of live human beings laugh. Many of these stars,
Letterman (or whoever it was) lamented, come in completely unprepared,
and simply expect the host to make something interesting happen for
seven minutes.

It's interesting to watch him interview people now.  Sometimes, when he
starts tearing a guest apart on camera, it's evident that he's doing so
because that's the shortest route to keeping the audience entertained.
Prepare or die.

Accomplished stage actors, I've noticed, tend to do quite well on his
show. He stands back and lets them racont.

Brandon

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Ruth Ross <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Feb 2002 17:30:05 -0500
Subject: 13.0585 Re: Olivier
Comment:        RE: SHK 13.0585 Re: Olivier

Andy,

I thoroughly agree with you re: film actors performing Shakespeare on
stage. I saw Billy Crudup ("Almost Famous" -- he was the rock star) as
the Duke in "Measure for Measure" at Shakespeare in the Park (Central
Park in NYC) this past summer. He was awful! No stage presence. Gestures
too small and unconvincing. There should be a rule: you can't act in a
Shakespearean play on stage unless you've appeared on a stage before.
Period.

Ruth Ross

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