Kevin O’Brien…

…on learning your lines.

That’s half of acting. The other half, according to the awesome Spencer Tracy was “don’t bump into the furniture”.

Tracy also had thought on actors involving themselves in politics: “Remember who shot Lincoln”. Alec Baldwin: Pay Attention.

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  • Kirt Higdon

    Pat Brown, Sr. actually used the “remember who shot Lincoln” line in a TV ad when he was running for CA governor against Ronald Reagan in 1966. We know how that turned out.

  • Mark R

    He’ s wrong about the false dichotomy of “inside” versus “outside” acting. Very good stage actors, especially older British actors learn to build their characters from “the inside”. It appears seamless and effortless. (Watch old episodes of “The Good Life” i.e. “Good Neighbors”.) Building from “the outside” is more of what Meryl Streep does, which amounts to voice mimicry and creating a physical resemblance…all of which is fine for comedy. But in most other instances it is mannered, which is the bane of most modern acting, and which I see most of the time in live theater performances. Since we are more than how we look and sound, I will go with acting from “the inside”. Another thing is to understand the lines you learn…the lines will do more than half of the work for you in presenting your character. This is especially so with Shakespeare, as John Barton would attest. I have seen so-so actors just parrot their lines without really understanding them whose performances would have gone to a much higher level had they really comprehended in entirety what they were saying.

    Knock Alec Baldwin’s politics if you will, he does have a right to his opinion. He does an excellent job on “30 Rock”, which can be a very good show on occasion, and he is one of the few SNL hosts who really delves into its sketches.

  • Ted Seeber

    I will have to remember that. I “play the role” of 2nd Degree Warden for my State Knights of Columbus Team. Not to betray my oath, but degrees are more than just a play, since the real “audience” has a role as well (though they don’t know it). It’s more of a liturgy. I always wondered how priests learned their lines in the Mass- and this gave me the clue- they PRAY them. I have a couple other parts I will soon need to learn for degree work, I’m going to start practicing them “at speed”.