Thursday, December 4, 2008

Unified Understanding 12/04/08

I think you have to refill the well at some point.

Skeet Ulrich

Those who are looking for my stories you will find them at:

I know actors who go off and see the latest film or play (if they're in a theatre town) just because they enjoy it. Maybe I'm odd (I guess there's no question about that) but I've never been like that. I tend to chose what I see carefully, because I'm more interested in the performance than the piece.

When I was a youngster, long before I ever knew I would become an actor, I became very much enamored of Barbara Stanwyck and saw as many of her films as I could. It wasn't her or the characters she played, it was the acting that she did.

Later on I became equally fascinated by James Mason. And as time went by I began to notice more and more people whose work inspired me.

I can see a film or a play and not be able to tell you all the intricacies of the plot. But I can talk about the acting, because that's what I watch.

In college I discovered the films of Ingmar Bergman and saw as many of them as I could, some of them many times. "Wild Strawberries" is still my favorite film. It didn't matter to me that they were in Swedish, it was the language of the splendid acting that I enjoyed. I grew up listening to opera without understanding the language because opera is about the music, not the words.

My favorite all time actor is the late Paul Scofield. The first time I knew of him was when I went to see "A Man For All Season" on Broadway. I said "Wow! This guy is good!" I went back to see it again with a different actor in the part, who was equally excellent, but who didn't astonish me as Scofield had done. After that I saw as many Scofield films as I could, just to watch him work.

There's a certain kind of training experience that comes from watching someone do what we do and do more with it. It shows us what is possible and so we can set out to achieve more.

There are a lot of very poor actors out there, and some of them are stars. They
can teach me what not to do. But there are many excellent actors in the world. Those are the ones that can teach me to know what I am capable of. They refill my well.

DB - The Vagabond


Beth said...

I would guess that as in anything, it's a matter of learning by example. A craft, a profession, an admirable behavior...I think we all learn by watching others, and by raising our own bar.

Love, Beth

Dannelle said...

My well is pretty dry! glad yours is not! Love, Dannelle

Big Mark 243 said...

Can I say that I identify? May be a stretch, but I think that I do. Good entry.

Lori said...

There are some authors who make me feel the same way. I read them and am in awe. They refill my well. Whenever I'm stuck, I re-read someone who does that for me, and it usually works to get me going again.

Kathy said...

I enjoy reading about your perspective. You are so blessed to have a career that allows you to grow and experiment and constantly learn.


Trees said...

I very much like your analogy of good actors and how they refill your well. In life my listening and learning from others I agree our well can always be replenished. Thank you for an interesting entry.

Joyce said...

Hard for me to identify with this entry but I do enjoy your love of the art.
Hugs, Joyce

Breezy said...

I look at many people and am in awe of their character, and how they handle things. They inspire me to be the best I can be in my field. We learn so much from watching others.