Kathleen Turner's Master Acting Class
My first day in Kathleen Turner’s acting class was great. I happened to be a few minutes late to class because of the subway and ended up taking the last seat next to her, two minutes late only! I have to admit, it was a bit surreal sitting next to Kathleen (as she likes to be called) and thinking to myself, "man when I was 12 watching Romancing in the Stone, what a boy crush I had on her." The scene with her and Michael Douglas as the mudslide propelled them through the jungle and ended with him landing between was pretty hot. What a beautiful pair of legs!
Working with her as an actor was incredible. She's smart, an excellent director, and is an incredible listener. What I find most refreshing is her passion for theatre and the craft of acting. I believe all great actors have it. Alec Baldwin has it and she definitely has it. They both share the same desire, as do I, and that is a desire for truth within each scene. It is my mission as an actor.
Her biggest direction she gave, and repeats continuously in class, is to make sure that our movement always supports the text. To show a physical change for every transition and to look for movement to separate and identify those transitions. There are always at least three transitions in every speech or scene. Simply stated, but you can define them as your beginning, middle, and end. When you add movement to your transitions, it helps finding and communicating them a lot easier.
- For example: This is one subject, I'll move or sit here and when the subject changes, I'll move again.
It adds variety and surprise to the scene. And as my good friend, director Stephen Jobes, has told me probably million times, "surprise is the spice of life and acting Douglas. Actors must vary their fight".
It also shows thought process in the character and forces you to make choices as an actor. And she says "that is why we play the game."
How I marked my speech. Val from "Orpheus Descending" by Tennessee William.
- My Wish/Want: To find life in this dead country. To find freedom for the first time in my life. To find something of value in my life. - Could that be why his name is Val? : -)
- Why? If I don't find it, I’ll have to go back to the life that is worthless and meaning less to me. Back to doing the things that are killing me. I'll probably end up dead if I go back.