The Genteel Great-Aunt of All Rants

  • Hugh Osborne

    Actor

    Hi there all;

    Have just been reading some of the threads, including the one started by Timo, and it struck me - as it so often does on this forum - that CCP members construct and inhabit a curious parallel universe:

    i) on the hand, there is the view - both implicit and explicit - that those people who have attended drama school are convulsed by snobbery and a sense of superiority whenever they encounter an actor who hasn't;

    ii) on the other, there is the demonstrable defensiveness and sense of inferiority exhibited on this site by those who DID attend drama school, because they are continually forced onto the defensive by precisely those attitudes outlined above.

    Those of us who did attend drama school are told so often on this site to "get over" the fact, that I'm starting to feel that it's not actually our problem.

    Or is that just my imagination?

    All of the above is also symptomatic of another tendency I have noticed on this forum, which is the tendency constantly to try and find mechanisms and criteria by which we can all JUDGE each other's success or otherwise. The only possible valid criterion in such an exercise is one predicated on how often a given individual works professionally. BUT, having said that, it's simply not anyone else's place to judge in the first place, surely?

    Love and best wishes to all

    Hx

    • 9th Jun 2006
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  • Mark Hammersley

    Actor

    I think of myself in that lovely inbetween place having being thrown off my course. Therefore, i can be all aloof about having training, but am still "down" due to my rebellious artistry being too much for the constraints of a formal educational institution... :)

    • 6th Jun 2006
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  • Rebecca Probyn

    Actor

    Thank you ........ totally agree with your points

    x

    • 6th Jun 2006
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    I'm on a role here, two replys to rants in one day. I would just like to say that I didnot go to drama school, but that was through no want of trying and I'm surprised that anybody who went through that route would want to hide tha fact. I did my training on a drama course at University, I didn't need to, I could have done just as well or just as badly without doing the course. I could of had an additional 3 years of part time work and attending auditions and castings and getting some and failing on others. I don't feel less superior or more superior, I just love to act and when not acting I read the comments on the green room. I agree with some and disagree with others and as now, when I want to say something I will. and to all those actors who attended drama schools I wish you well and to all those who came to acting by a different route, I wish you well also.

    Regards

    Andrew

    • 6th Jun 2006
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    This is an interesting and very recent 'challenge' thats come up. I trained formally at East 15 and in the years since have noticed an alarming trend toward 'real' untutored people as a requirement by casting directors as though training somehow removes quality and instincts.

    It enhances them.

    Technique is the ability to bring your skills and instincts under control. Without that, an actor has no discipline. Even Brando, (King of raw method) trained formally and in great detail with Stella Adler.

    Let's face it, in what other profession would you take pride in employing someone who hadnt studied? Would you accept house repairs, electrics or plumbing being performed by someone who thought it would be fun but hadnt trained to do the job properly? Of course, if you wanted to be surrounded by water, rubble and the possibility of electric shocks. Why should the arts fall victim to a philosophy based on mistrust of study and apprenticeship?

    Admittedly you only find this trend in screen work. You'd never find theatre directors settling for someone with an 'off the street' quality (the stage would soon expose them). I was fascinatingly once accused of being old-fashioned by a fellow auditionee for having gone to a drama school. In today's climate, he's probably correct, but thats because there are so many POP IDOL influenced wannabees who think they can take the easy path. Think it can work in the long run? Does anyone remember Hear'Say ?

    I dont believe its necessary to go to a formal drama school, but for God's sake, study your art form. Show it some respect, or you will gain and deserve none in return.

    "My name's Ben Elton, goodnight..."

    • 6th Jun 2006
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    Dont get me wrong. I sympathise greatly with people who cant afford the cost or time of a drama school or classes, but 'training' and 'study' is a mental attitude too. Do profit-share theatre or unpaid films if you must, and seek to treat them as training and experience that you learn from. Its the same thing.

    Also, there are wonderful books. I've started reviewing some for my website. I highly recommend ACTING IN FILM by Sir Michael Caine and TRUE AND FALSE by David Mamet.

    Rant over. Forgive me...:o)))))

    • 6th Jun 2006
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    Yes Mark, there's definitely streed cred to be had from being kicked out of drama school. (It didnt do Rupert Everitt any harm being booted out of Central). Its cool, as long as one doesnt get ejected for what Angus Deayton calls in KYTV "Falling into the old trap of being crap"

    • 6th Jun 2006
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  • Mark Hammersley

    Actor

    just too cool for school, me... :)

    • 6th Jun 2006
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    let just say that wether you been trained at

    one of the big drama schools which turn out

    a factory type performance

    or

    trained in varoius places , learning from

    different people getting a broad specturum

    of skill

    it all boils down to the fact of

    right looks right time right place

    a lot of luck

    we all try every single day

    and fail and learn every single day

    so thats my view

    • 6th Jun 2006
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  • Rebecca Probyn

    Actor

    Ah Ray we love you too..

    Can't we all just get along !!

    :P

    • 6th Jun 2006
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    To train or not to train, that is the question (apparently)!

    WHO CARES?!?!?!

    Granted, I have missed out on auditions because I have no formal training, but I have been selected for others purely due to my lack of it! Work with what you have, know your strengths and be as proactive as possible.

    Training or not, I respect anyone who puts in the work for this job because it is not easy. This is the only business where you could be the best person for the job, have all the skills and be the best actor in the world, if it weren't for that small mole on your chin...!

    Let's not judge each other for our background/training/looks/ability - we are judged enough as it is by everyone else! In the space of one day at 2 auditions I was dismissed as too pretty for one part and not pretty enough for the other!! You can't win sometimes! Take it on the chin, pop into the pub and move on.

    Remain true to yourself and treat everyone with respect and courtesy (granted not everyone deseves it) and always strive to be the 'better person'. You will get where you deserve to be.

    That's it...this is all getting a bit too traumatic for me!

    H

    • 6th Jun 2006
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    Couldn't agree with you more Hugh... there is no set way of making a career for yourself but there are good ways and bad ways.

    Drama school tutors are almost exclusively industry proffesionals and you will learn much more from them in a classroom then you will being on set with them.

    If your not a member of the actors centre join now... get the best of both worlds!!

    ps. True or False by David Mamet is a great read... very controversial.

    • 6th Jun 2006
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    Hi all ! How gratifying it is to hear an intelligent dialogue going in one of these forums. I've normally resisted taking part in such things, thinking them just a storehouse of geeky irrelevant opinions. Now I know thats just when I'm present haha! More power to you all !

    • 7th Jun 2006
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    Great debate and as always, there's a really good cross section of people offering their thoughts. I would be interested to know though what a 'factory performance' is, with regards to what you offer if you have been to drama school?

    • 7th Jun 2006
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  • Rebecca Probyn

    Actor

    Yes, oscar darling I was wondering what they meant by that!

    To say a factory performance give the impression of mass produced and therfore all our performances are the same... That is just ridiculous!

    • 7th Jun 2006
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    Yes Rebecca, the label of 'factory-produced' smacks of sour grapes. Simple as that.

    • 7th Jun 2006
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    Exactamundo,Ray! Its not possible for a human being to filter training through himself and be a copy of someone else.

    (Sour grapes) + (being ill-informed) = ?

    • 7th Jun 2006
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  • Rebecca Probyn

    Actor

    precisely Ray.

    At drama school there were times when the roles were split so I would play, for example titania in act 1 and someone else would play Titania in act 2.

    We were at the same drama school received the same training but the performances were different

    Each actor takes different things from their training and therefore their performances will be different.

    • 7th Jun 2006
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Well,

    It has to be said that coming from South Africa, I have had the same attitude here in London about not being an accredditted drama school trained person, from agents, the Actors Centre, Spotlight etc...never mind that I HAVE trained etc and that I am competent and capable, but I see the drama schools as a status symbol more than anything to many people.

    THOSE who did train there have nothing to be ashamed about at all...its a wonderful opoortunity indeed, and a large amount of them them can be secure in a good firm technique.

    For those who did not trian there, but at a uinverstity etc, its just as good if oyu have the technique and the drive etc..the MOJO .

    The real obstacle is not tzhe industry or the parts..the real issue is teh arrogance and pretentiousness of people not taking non drama school people seriously.

    I am NOT having a go at drama school trained people at all....I am attacking the arrogance that I have encountered.

    • 7th Jun 2006
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Mark,

    I will say that as you said in your words.."having been thrown out of drama school"..while I dont know the reasions why, you should know that many many people were kicked out of drama school for many reaosns and still worked...

    Kristen Scott Thomas

    Michael Ball (!)

    Rupert Everett etc

    Soem of these were because of the supposed "lack of talent" and others becasue they did naughty things.

    Tne point is that you can still train in classes, you have an agent, youre going up for good parts, you are getting seen etc..so I ahve no reason to believe that you WONT get the parts, or be able to move up the ranks. And ultimately, you seem to have a lot going for oyu, considering you have an agent and also the look and voice clips.

    So dont let iot get you down and just keep moving.

    • 7th Jun 2006
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