Thursday, June 30

Performing Arts

The Remarkable Marlon Brando

Performing Arts
I have been watching Marlon Brando movies as far back as I can remember. Long before I knew an inkling about the craft of acting I was deeply affected by his remarkable performances. My father, a huge Brando fan, had seen him in "Streetcar" on Broadway and spoke of the stellar performance he had witnessed. Actor William Redfield saw him play Stanley on stage 17 times. The nuances he brought to the role have been the subject of conversations to this day."On The Waterfront" was another of my father's favorites and hearing him talk about it made me eager to see it on the big screen. When I found out that a neighborhood theatre was playing a double bill and "Waterfront" was featured, I rushed over to see it. For a little over an hour I sat in the darkened theatre spellbound, my eyes glued to t...

John Cassavetes: One Of A Kind

Performing Arts
The most difficult thing in the world is to reveal yourself, to express what you have to. As an artist, I feel that we must try many things - but above all we must dare to fail. You must be willing to risk everything to really express it all. -John CasavetesJohn Casavetes was a superb actor, director and writer. He had tremendous passion for his art and took many risks to ensure that his vision was realized. As an actor he invested all of himself in every role he played. He displayed the same passion in the writing and directing of his films, all of them possessing a unique vitality. When his bio, "Accidental Genius", hit the bookstores I rushed out to buy a copy. One of the stories concerned his relentless desire to get his "shot" no matter how long it tookCasavetes was known for his gene...

Thumbs Up for a High Flying Good Time at Honeymoon in Vegas on Broadway

Performing Arts
A creative adaptation from the 1992 movie, Honeymoon in Vegas The Broadway Musical was lively, fast-paced, funny and literally "electric." I'm always a little skeptical when going to see a screen to stage production, but, this time, I was pleasantly surprised.I will be totally honest and tell you that my real motivation in purchasing tickets to this show, currently in previews as of November 18th, was the star power and my own personal affinity for Tony Danza. Yes, I was swayed by my youthful crush on Mr. Danza from his "Who's the Boss" and "Taxi" days. And, let me assure you, I enjoyed every moment of his performance as Tommy Korman, the powerful Vegas gambler.The storyline, of course remains the same, as Jack Singer, played by Rob McClure, the commitment phobic boyfriend, finally agrees ...

Dear Students – Past, Present And Future

Performing Arts
I am always doing everything in my capacity to help my students to be the very best they can be. I emphasize on a regular basis those things they need to do to reach the highest ground attainable. In keeping with that I'd like to offer some advice that I have touched on before that bares repeating.The artist sees and experiences the world differently than others. The things that touch and move them are necessary for their art. It is imperative therefore that they see and experience the world on the deepest levels imaginable. Staying in touch and connecting with the world around you is not a luxury. It is a necessity that requires your attention. It is important that you see and absorb the world like a sponge. Taking notes on a daily basis of those things that effect you, move you emotional...

You Don’t Have To Do Anything

Performing Arts
I was chatting with an old friend over coffee recently and we began to reminisce about our college days. "What's the worst subject you ever took?, he asked. "Economics. " I replied, without hesitation.When I began college it was a required course. It had to be. No one I knew in their right mind got up at the crack of dawn to take a course in Economics. Apparently more than a few of the 50 some-odd students in attendance shared my sentiments, and made use of their class time catching up on some much needed shut-eye. To avoid detection I buried myself in the back row of the classroom, as close to the corner as I could get. My ultimate goal was to become as inconspicuous as the furniture. On one or two occasions my professor discovered me in repost and tried in vain to get me to utter a sylla...

Some Notes On Directing

Performing Arts
In this article I will offer my opinions on what makes for effective directing. Like the actor the director needs to employ certain necessary skills to be able to get the most out of his/her actors. The knowledgeable director can and will find a way to communicate clearly what he wants in a scene.Directing, like acting, requires specific skills. Many early directors like John Ford learned their craft during the silent screen era. Others like Sidney Lumet and Mike Nichols gained experience working in theatre and then transitioned to film.Some directors have a remarkable visual sense and great knowledge when it comes to lighting and lenses. But when it comes to communicating with actors they are at a loss. Getting down to the crux of what they want poses a problem and can result in fractious...

The Impact Of Reading On Our Lives

Performing Arts
When I was in my early teens we had a telephone and a TV. That was the extent of technology as we knew it. The advent of advanced technology was a number of years away and had not impact on my world as of yet. My universe was made up of baseball gloves, bats, footballs, basketballs, stickball bats, Spaldings and all things sporting goods I could get my hands on (legally of course). My friends and I made our way to "The Field" (Midwood Field) on a regular basis, squeezing in as many games of stickball, baseball, basketball and football possible before nightfall robbed us of that one last at bat. Darkness or inclement weather was not a consideration. Playing touch football in the snow or rain only added to the joy of being outdoors with my buddies and the elements.One of my closest chums was...

Hugh Jackman in The River on Broadway

Performing Arts
The River is intense and well written with a superb trio of actors, including Hugh Jackman in his fourth Broadway production. Jackman, who last graced the New York theatre stage three years ago in Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway, returned to Circle in the Square this past November to portray a passionate trout fisherman in this psychological, dark, drama by Jez Butterworth, in a performance that is magnetic.Originally debuting on the London stage in 2012, The River features Jackman along with two proficient and skilled actors from the London cast in this 90-minute production. Laura Donnelly and Cush Jumbo, give stunning performances exhibiting prowess for comedic and dramatic execution.Butterworth, nominated for a Tony in 2011 for Jerusalem is successful in creating a three-character, sombe...

What Is The Criteria For Choosing A Great Acting Teacher

Performing Arts
Before I began my formal training as an actor I was interested in gathering information on the craft. Books on Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Uta Hagen, Robert Lewis, Stanislavsky, and Bolislavsky came highly recommended and I read them all. These amazing teachers impacted the world of acting as we know it and I wanted to find someone who was capable of providing me with the tools I would need to succeed.Unfortunately finding the right acting teacher was not an easy proposition. For at least 2 years I studied with teachers that talked-the-talk but failed to walk-the-walk. When it came down to it they were ill equipped to provide feedback that was helpful or in some cases, comprehensible. They had committed to memory a few catch phrases but lacked the knowledge and imagination to make an im...

5 Cool Facts About Horsemanship You Probably Didn’t Know

Performing Arts
The concept of modern horsemanship is based in the military training and athletic competitions utilized by the ancient Roman cavalry. It is officially defined as the art or practice of riding on horseback, and refers to the art, skill, ability and manner of a horseman, or horsewoman. Horses may not play a functional role for most people's daily modern life, but they are still a special animal in our culture and offer a great deal of fascination for many.Horse ShowsThe history of showing horses is based in ancient Roman military tradition. However, it continues into modern day. Horse shows demonstrate riding technique, and also show the beauty of the horse, its power, its athletic ability and agility. During these shows, there are variety of skills that are displayed from riding (and there ...