Method Acting In The LA Times

I have gotten a lot of nice messages today from folks who read the Charles McNulty story on the cover f the Arts Section in the Sunday LA Times. They ran it with a huge half-page picture of my dad on the cover over the headline “SO METHODICAL,” and on the interior another full page with a picture of me and my mom in front of the school with the headline “TECHNIQUE STANDS THE TEST OF TIME.”  Thanks to those of you who sent me notes – double thanks to those of you who actually read past the headlines before sending me the note!

Lee Strasberg, photographed in L.A. in 1978, perfected the best-known American adaptation of the Stanislavsky "system" commonly grouped together as the Method. (Los Angeles Times)

It is an interesting experience to talk about our work. Of course as a journalist McNulty is interested in finding drama. News needs either “New” or “Conflict” so they have to search for one or the other to make the article interesting. That said, your best bet to understand our work is to study it, use it, live with it. We work better than we talk.

People like to talk about theories of acting. But we are not theoretical. My father said our work is not a theory because a theory is something which has not yet been proven. So far, no interview has ever been able to capture that element in our training. How do you explain or describe the change in your life when you gain knowledge of yourself? When you learn discipline? When you learn a new skill? These moments are not accomplished by sitting around talking. The sky does not open up, and the angels don’t sing (usually, at least).

The power of training as an actor – or as anything else for that matter – is the momentum of countless hours spent getting better. How do you capture the grandeur of THAT in a tape recorder?

You need human material to paint that picture…. Hmmmm… Maybe we need a Method movie. 😉

Published in: on November 23, 2009 at 5:43 pm  Comments (2)  
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Those who CAN DO, Teach!

Here is a nice little reel of clips from some of my dad’s films. This series includes material from The Godfather: Part II, of course, where he plays Jewish mobster Hyman Roth (inspired by real life mobster Meyer Lansky). It also has a scene from one of my favorite films Going In Style – a funny and warm movie with George Burns and Art Carney. he does some wonderful comic work in this one. It also has a scene from And Justice For All with Al Pacino. All in all, it is a great taste of my dad’s film work. Godfather II was his first film role, and he had been teaching, not acting, for decades. Pretty amazing.

Coming up, I want to share a few projects that we shothere in LA recently with our students. For those of you who can’t help yourself, you can jump to our Youtube channel and see them in advance of me posting them here.

Published in: on November 20, 2009 at 11:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Michael Imperioli Talks at Strasberg

As promised, here is some of the footage of Michael Imperioli’s talk at Strasberg. Video hosting the entire talk proved less than practical, but here is his opening that I think is very enlightening. You get a strong sense of him and his personality as well as a feel for how much his time at Strasberg means to him. Those of you who have done our exercises may get particular enjoyment from him and his first reaction to the Relaxation exercise. More to come as we get the students’ questions and his answers uploaded. Enjoy!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 12:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Long Road to Success in LA for Strasberg Student, Christoph Waltz

The Hollywood Reporter is taking notice of Strasberg Alum Christoph Waltz. Waltz has already won the prize for Best Actor at Cannes, and he is a clear front-runner for an Oscar and a bunch of other hardware this aware season.

Christoph Waltz

Former Strasberg Student Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds

He has been acting for a long while and shares a pretty healthy perspective that’s routed in his own sense of owning a craft. It is a trait we hope all our students carry with them – a sense of something unique that they have to offer the Industry and the World.

Waltz has been acting for a long while. A German student, he studied with us back in the day and has suddenly found his career booming after his stunning performance in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. My favorite line is, “In Europe, everybody would say, ‘Well, they just want to squeeze you like a lemon.’ Well, yeah! But, you know, if I have the juice, why shouldn’t they?”

Ha! It’s all about having the juice!

Published in: on November 13, 2009 at 11:59 am  Comments (1)  
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40 Years of Making Legends | NBC Los Angeles

Here is the KNBC piece that aired yesterday. I must say that I really enjoyed meeting and speaking with Cary Berglund. Not only was he friendly and engaging, but he made it very easy to work. You can tell when someone is a real professional, and Cary was very much in his element. All in all, I had a wonderful time shooting the piece.

Since embedding the video is harder than I thought, follow the link and let me know what you think.

Published in: on November 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm  Comments (1)  
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Michael Imperioli – WPIX

See if this video of Michael Imperioli works better.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Michael Imperioli – WPIX“, posted with vodpod

 

Published in: on November 11, 2009 at 9:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Michael Imperioli returns to Strasberg

Former Strasberg student Michael Imperioli returned to Strasberg for an informal talk with our students in NYC. He was great – genuine and articulate. WPIX in NY did a segment on it. Michael also agreed to let us put the entire discussion on-line. I will give you all a link as soon as we put it up. For now enjoy this shorter piece.

Published in: on November 10, 2009 at 12:55 pm  Comments (1)  
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KNBC interview coming online soon

For those in Los Angeles, keep your eye out for an interview my mother and I did with Cary Berglund for KNBC-TV that will be airing on Channel 4 tomorrow, Tuesday, November 10th in the 5.00pm news hour.

I was teaching a group of students while Cary watched – a delightful man who was very interested in how our students were working. As soon as I can get it online, I will post it here.

Published in: on November 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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