Tagged: , vintage
Concentration is a important piece of the Method Acting puzzle.
The purpose of the sense memory concentration exercises is to train the actor to create and recreate any object or groups of objects through sheer concentration. This will stimulate an emotional response. You should be able to concentrate on a real object, or on a memory of a real object. An object can be anything, imaginary, physical or fantasy, upon which you have chosen to concentrate.
In life, you generally focus all of you attention on a single task or series of tasks. The task in this case is the object. Your attention may shift from object to object, as required by your goal or because you were interrupted. Likewise, you must focus your attention and concentrate on a single object while acting. As you gain experience and concentration skills, you can begin to focus on multiple objects. Your object may change as the scene progresses but devote all your concentration to the object you have chosen.
When you an acting scene to perform (called a “side”), you must choose the object that you will concentrate on. Try to choose objects relevant to the scene. Otherwise you can choose object irrelevant to the scene just to keep you focus within the scene. The more scene work you perform, the easier it will become for you to choose relevant objects. There are over one hundred sides available for you to download at website below. It is you choice as what object you will use for different scenes, and remember that an object can be anything.
Sufficient concentration will prevent stage fright. The character you portray will be concentrated on a person or object during a scene. You must also be concentrated on the same object. When you become so concentrated on your object, you will become oblivious of an audience. You cannot concentrate on the audience if you are fully focused on the object.
The Fourth Wall
The fourth wall is a concentration effort by the actor to create an imaginary wall on stage between yourself and the audience. This removes the audience from your awareness and allows a private and personal scene. An actor who is unaware of the audience will not suffer from stage fright.
halloween is over :((
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I want to get right to the point with this article and explore why I think so many fathers are so totally opposed to their sons taking ballet and where the American prejudice against male dancers comes from. I am not trying to offend anyone with this article, but at the same time I have caught so much flack and encountered so much ignorance as a male dancer myself that what I have to say may irritate some. I hope this will be taken in an open-minded way as this is a real problem and I seek to explain what the real, ground-level reasons are for it.
Ever since I can remember I heard my friends giggle or make jokes at any man wearing tights dancing on stage. In the days long before YouTube and Cable TV, movies might be shown in school as part of a history or civilization class and would inevitably touch on the arts and then at some point show ballet. As soon as the male dancer appeared, here came the jokes and snickers. Since I had done ballet myself since the age of 4 this always struck a real nerve with me but most of the time no one else knew I took ballet so I would just sit quietly and listen to the snide remarks. I must say that while this is not at all the same thing as someone being made fun of or joked about because of their race, I do think I know something of that same feeling because I always loved ballet and would never not do it but hearing people disparage something I knew to be so great and that was a part of me really hurt in a way that leaves you feeling totally powerless to deal with it.
Much later in life I finally gained the perspective to look back on my childhood and also hear the comments being made anew and make some insights into where this prejudice comes from. What follows is my analysis of the prejudice against male ballet dancers.
1) Smooth or graceful movement confused with moving “like a girl”.
Many, many men don’t ever fully appreciate the value of being able to have a wide range of motion for the body and the ability to move separate parts of it at the same time and smoothly so as to maintain balance. Practically all the sports anyone has watched on TV since the 1950’s shows athletes very highly conditioned to move in straight lines as fast or powerfully as possible. Male ballet dancers MUST move in a different way because the goal of a dancer is to maintain balance rather than impart a large amount of energy into a ball or into another person’s body to knock them down. A great many confuse this with ballet making men move like girls. Quite apart from this, ballet actually makes men move a lot like someone practicing Tai Chi or Kung Fu or especially Yoga. Add to this the idea that ballet is a pure creative exercise set to music, not something intended to hurt or render another person unconscious, and you arrive at the basis for one of the big misconceptions of ballet regarding men. Curiously this is also the reason why many men find ballet extremely challenging to do and gain a grudging respect for it later in life if they ever take a class their daughter might be in during an open house type event.
2) Boys don’t wear tights
Let’s examine this one. When I warned that I may offend some people with this article, this part is exactly what I was referring to. I don’t know how else to approach this, so here it goes: Every male athlete wears tights or far less. Swimmers? You wear lycra speedos. Wrestlers? Seriously, what is that spandex bodytard thing you guys wear? Football? Lycra-spandex cut off tights with some extra padding and a cup. Don’t confuse the shoulder pads and upper jersey with the fact you guys also wear a chopped up version of tights. And, if boys are doing “girly” things when they dance, what do you call getting right behind a Center’s rear end and putting your hands almost in his crotch before a snap of the ball?
3) My son will be gay if he takes ballet
Now I am a flaming heterosexual if you ask my wife. I do know many gay guys, but many of the gay guys I know are sports junkies and never ever did any ballet. And as body-built up as they are from pumping iron all the time they’d have as much luck doing ballet as Arnold Schwarzenegger. This one really stumps me to be honest and it comes up a lot as a reason why dads will not let their sons take ballet. Are there gay male dancers? Sure. Are there gay men in every profession including sports? Yes, there are, and again as the football and wrestling examples given above show, if I were a gay man I’d do those sports because then I’d be in direct physical contact with other athletic guys rather than ballet where 99.99% of the time you are dancing with GIRLS! More specifically, you are partnering girls which involves holding them in all kinds of very difficult positions and getting sweat all over yourself from them which no gay man wants because most gay men do not want close contact with women. Honestly I have to say there is just no basis to this prejudice just as there is no basis to any racial prejudice and the answer to any prejudice is education not arguing the prejudice itself because it is founded on ignorance or outright stupidity. To be brutally honest fathers who are too over dominating of their sons run a much greater risk of causing their boys to become gay than any art form including ballet could ever pose.
Now many children – boys and girls – don’t like ballet and won’t take ballet classes and that’s just fine, no activity or sport or art is for everyone. I only hope to spark the checking of the premises for anyone out there who holds to this ignorant prejudice against boys taking ballet because for those that do want to, ballet can be a life-long benefit that will improve mental and physical health, stimulate academic performance, almost guarantee a scholarship to college for any half-way capable male dancer, and foster creativity and imagination for a lifetime. This is hardly something to be opposed to.
ridging the gap between the art world and the street, Keith Haring rose to prominence in the early 1980s with his graffiti drawings made in the subways and on the sidewalks of New York City. Combining the appeal of cartoons with the raw energy of Art Brut artists like Jean DuBuffet, Haring developed a distinct pop-graffiti aesthetic centered on fluid, bold outlines against a dense, rhythmic overspread of imagery like that of babies, barking dogs, flying saucers, hearts, and Mickey Mouse. In his subway drawings and murals, Haring explored themes of exploitation, subjugation, drug abuse, and rising fears of nuclear holocaust, which became increasingly apocalyptic after his AIDS diagnosis. Alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, and Jenny Holzer, Haring is regarded as a leading figure in New York East Village Art scene in the 1970s and ’80s.
American, 1958–1990, Reading, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York
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Tagged: , gimp , pop art
From 1966 to 1969 I taught English at Robert Academy, located on the Bosporus in a northern suburb of Istanbul. Clothing was a problem for us American faculty and our families. What was available in the Turkish marketplace was not of the high quality we were accustomed to in the States. We could not have any sort of objects mailed to us because of Turkish customs charges. We all depended on friends and relatives visiting us from the western world and bringing us needed items of apparel.
Footwear was a particular problem for me. I took up tennis during my Istanbul years. My serving motion involved dragging my right foot along the court pavement, and I kept wearing out the toe of my right tennis shoe. I had a standing order for any visitors to please bring me a pair of Converse All Star Stan Smith model tennies. I searched in vain for a left-handed, large-footed tennis player with a similar problem and who might have a supply of serviceable right shoes that could make pairs with the several unworn left shoes stacked in my closet.
I also attempted some skiing on Turkey’s Mt. Uludag, near Bursa. I had no equipment and depended on rentals. On my first ski trip, I went to every rental place on the mountain in search of ski boots that would accommodate my size 13 feet. They had none. In desperation, I returned to the first rental place where I had tried on a right boot that was only mildly excruciating but better than any boot I had tried subsequently. The boot was still available, but when I asked for its mate, the rental person just shrugged and pointed at a large pile of boots that weren’t even in pairs and suggested that I search on my own for the right boot’s partner. I ended up skiing painfully in mismatched boots that were roughly the same size.
The next school vacation that came along, my wife and I traveled to Munich, where I was sure I would be able to buy comfortable ski boots. Germans, after all, are as large as Americans, I thought. I went to every store that sold ski equipment. Most salesmen just shook their heads when I told them what size I needed. They would be happy to build a custom-made pair for me, but that would be quite expensive and I didn’t have the time to wait for them. I ended up buying a ready-made pair that I thought would be uncomfortable but usable. I later sold them to another faculty member who wore a size 12..
I stand about 6ft. 3″, and at the time weighed somewhere between 195 and 210. On a shopping trip to Athens I visited half a dozen clothing stores and got the same negative head shake when I asked about shirts and trousers. I saved lots of money since the only purchases I could make were neckties, belts and handkerchiefs. Fortunately, parents and friends visited us from the States and were invaluable source of clothing and other supplies not available to us in Turkey. It’s hard for me to remember, having lived the last 40-some years in California, how excited my wife Sally and I used to become at snacking on imported Fritos, bean dip, and Cheez Whiz, items unavailable in Turkish markets.
We had our first-born son during our stay in Istanbul. The birth took place at a maternity hospital named Güzel Bahçe. The Turkish nurses were gushingly congratulatory. It is extremely important to Turks that the first child be a boy. Once our Brian’s maleness was firmly established, all the nurses and scrubwomen kept popping into the room with congratulations and mashallahs.
Sally was in the clinic for a week. There was a couch in her room on which I could stretch out and read or snooze. The nurses encouraged me to pop across the street and buy bottled Turkish beer to help Sally’s milk production. Looking through the window at the half dozen newborns in their cribs, I saw that a changeling situation was nothing to worry about. Brian was the only infant with a hairless, Nordic-shaped head. All the others were dark-haired and round-headed Turkish babies.
Our Turkish landlord and his family were very excited to see us come home
with our baby boy, and they lavished dishes of delectable food on us. I’ll never forget one anonymous gift we found on our doorstep–probably from one of our neighbors. We returned from visiting friends to find a pair of little white leather baby shoes hanging from our doorknob by the laces. On our next outing with our ten-day-old infant, we decided his American tootsies would be shod a la Turca. But there was a problem. The shoes were too small.
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