Hard travelin'; Woody's children, part one
And I think I'm not making excuses please don't think that but I think that we are losing something because of the concept of our productions in the smaller theater at home and the theater or Bristol is perfection. Acoustics say meat is made of wood. In fact the is quite a sweet story the acoustic experts when they were building some wonderful concert hall recently at home in England came to the festival of Bristol with all their paraphernalia with all their dials and their microphones and anything else and they went up into the gallery of the Theatre Royal and somebody dropped a pin on a plate on the stage and it was outed as if somebody dropped a steel bomb on one sleeve and you can literally act in whispers in that theater and be heard. Well I'm sick of them and I mean that of the mothers they are as good as and when I feel it's your right. Especially Romeo. I think this is the trouble that we are going through. I think if we were lucky enough
to. Play here for two months and the last will be we might achieve have achieved something. It's this lack of ability to fill these huge that we were overcome the problems of others are beautiful I thought microphones are being used in running and they are integrated we have to notice that we are using a live the very good use. By the way the best because it's so subtle I I just couldn't really determine whether my commute or not you know and I think the only way I was able to determine this was when they've been really on the chairs because I don't know who they are going to record are plenty we don't really have anything to say here is known I don't know but it does resound it from some here you know that yeah you know if I'm with you again I'm not going to mention it as we went to show you three here in New York and then out to me. And we saw on the news in the side Bill and
I had difficulty hearing and I said to Richard you know I think this is my fault. I think I am not yet a team. Listening to the American X and I mustn't blame the actors because I think it's my fault I'm not it. But then on came two different actors who suddenly were projecting and I had no difficulty hearing whatsoever and I think you know I think once when uses microphone in you you think I can rely on the mic and it is a minimal danger. So that little girls are doing so much work in films and theory to America. And yes I think if we can reach the point where we can lose our my career I will be very clever and I'm going to take some time to adjust to the movie. Well it's getting worse because I think I'm using microphones at the Metropolitan Opera which I think is disastrous for a singer so that we can retrogress
to you for the point where we no longer use a rag. Go back to a very long the problem of actors both sides you know Leon of ensnaring have every advantage that you know you know there's only some of the theaters here some of it is him. I don't really know Mark and like most buildings they have a good spot. Your Majesty wants it to take Hamlet as a single example Hamlet is a very intimate play Hamlet soliloquy in America's courts being protective you know this presents enormous problems to an actor who suddenly film with 3000 people there is years there's a vocal technique that can be employed. I think to overcome this but not all actors can develop those will take nucular I heard Albert Finney. I don't know whether he was using Michael but he has a tremendous I mean and look. Luther Luther and the tremendous
vocal energy as well as physical energy was overwhelming. This voice coming through and I have it I know it was a microphone but beautifully here. I think not every actor can muster up that tremendous energy but he can develop the technique you know who's who's lived nearly every act his duty to be heard. He has now what if he is an architectural problem who then becomes what I mean in the designing of theaters. Earlier I'm interested in this Bristol Old Vic the theater there you say is so acoustically perfect must be a joy to play and it has to be on here to something like this return to her career which has it has had its merits and and it has and it's a different kind of joy to us to consider. Africa has some pretty pricey homes and he's apparently has and it's because when you're sitting in certain parts of the cellar you must look in perforce offstage and for a look in and your lies are sort of shining into your eyes and he has that problem.
Yeah inherently butt out. What you've seen here is of our what predominant problem if you could if you could single something out would you say is lacking in American theater or generally American productions. It is implied that it's got to be a greater tolerance on the part of you and your critics. Actually I think the greatest problem I think that I think that is the problem of there's too much tolerance on the part of our audience and critics. You see because they really have read just about anything that we have a great you know it's always been there and it is we have a great tradition of going to be hearing this we have hundreds of years of him and this does make a difference to us as individuals and I think it does because we're going to train you know our actors have been trained in a different way. And this takes a life new next generation. And if your actors are only just going to start to be trained in this way then
you want to know why should we tolerate that and why should we go to the theater and play 715 not to hear an actor when they can go and pay $2 in England and here everyone. And also the point is years ago as you know in the tradition when the audience couldn't hear an accurate throw something out of him. But when learning the toleration we have to go with a new player. There's several amount of dollars and we can't hear we meekly and silently examine this. Well to a degree I mean we have the same problem with audiences I mean they will accept an awful lot of things which we regard as really below par. But there is you know there's there's a there's a problem here just got Perth. Absolutely. Technical problem with regard to what we were touching on earlier. Think about the difficulty with American Shakespeare. I remember talking to Barbara the other day and we were saying that it's a it's a Bocal
discipline. First of all because American speech is much easier in inverted commas than. General English speaking guys we have our problems. Tremendous probably higher than your actions and some of the laziness too but I think this is certainly true. American has a lot to do Shakespeare. They missed and the classics Generally if it is necessary to have enormous clarity of diction really and I generally want to raise me hands actually that isn't that isn't going away here and there is hard hitting here you know. Well there's I think American actors do not have the benefit of tradition. Number one this is very important also we like teachers here. I'll shoot myself down so I went around everyone does this thing I react as I win against you sing about tradition this is all very well this is the begging your pardon overworked tradition if you
have hired man our American theater and actors and what you call movie actors is more than I can say and there isn't. All right it doesn't stretch back to fifteen hundred whatever hours does but you have your own tradition which I find admirable. You and me and you take English actors attempting to play the Tennessee Williams Arthur Miller. It's farcical. You know and I would as an Englishman like to leap to the defense of the American actors here because this thing of tradition of training and so on. All right it's fine but this doesn't particularly help us as young actors and actresses today. You know I'm not particularly interested in being told that I am being taught to move and speak because this is the traditional training. I hope to goodness we've progressed a little in our training methods and that we have learnt quite a bit from our
American friends and the method and so on means quite a lot to a lot of us. Well I think even in instances we have a great deal to learn from you as well. I want to say that it's all on our side this that we've got so much to teach you you've got to have a lot to teach us too. Indeed and I think that the answer to this possibly what I would like to see not only between America and England but there are those all over the world. I'm unfortunate enough to play the Moscow Art set a couple of times and I would love to see an interchange of actors all over the world. I'd love to to feel that we could come here as individuals and mix with your companies that you could come and two or three of your actors could come and take part in the Bristol Old Vic season irrationals concur with me in that you know what I mean I that would be ideal and I think this is our idea I think we get we've all got so much to learn from each other I think to say that your English you've got a tradition this is not the answer to
name alone anything that it means is that generally speaking are young actors get a great grounding in the classics and years but they're not having this greater grounding in the classics should or has been or usually does provide the actor with the capabilities to do contemporary plays that much better I mean the idea is if you can play Mozart you should be able to play some. You should be able to play Benjamin Britten but good ideas and if you can play a very good mag bad you should be able to do us a tremendous Jimmy Porter because you are using all of these facilities. You know I but Mr Pascoe I think you really what you did was. To excuse the idea of tradition being responsible for the level of British acting and rightly so. And to blame it really on the fact that it isn't so much a tradition as it is the concept in the basic premise that you must have training in order to be an actor which we
sometimes lose sight of here. Yes this is not tradition he has an actor an actor coming who wants to belong to the Bristol Old Vic. I imagine there are certain definite prerequisites before you even hear him. Musician and what are you spar as. Training and education is concerned I think to become when I say he becomes a member of the company I assume you mean remember playing fairly substantial parts in the plays not just walking on a line is no Americans more but I don't know. Let me know. I mean an applicant who wants to be counted who wants to join an acting company and he's had maybe a relative he's had some experience but with basic requirements. Do you consider before you even undertake to let him become a member of the company. Idea is to go around the table drama have good points to bring up he and Barbara herself was trained at the Bristol Old Vic theatre school so she would have something to say I think that when our director and his assistants sit
down and take auditions for acting members of a company as he does every year. He is looking for originality. Communication into mingle with a basic obvious presence on the stage. Basically you obviously train voice basically obviously you train movement. The rest I think is entirely depends on what he is doing in the play. What's more the players are already doing Susan how he is thinking of movies or dishes. King Lear and he's looking for an actor to play the part of Kent. He won't wait. He wants personality. He needs substance. All these things which can only come from experience and training. Obviously this I think is to me is one thing. Remember the drama going on with you.
Yes I think all those things balance out each other. If the actor has for example enormous presence on the stage it will of course affect the judgment regarding shall we say a voice which can be helped. If you haven't got quite a good enough voice then the fact that he has enormous presence may push him through it is a run doesn't make actual compartmented rules concerning this. Another point of course which he looks for I think is in our particular company and companies like us. The point the director will obviously look for is the actor who is willing to go on working who isn't one of that breed of actors who wishes to take advantage of one particular performance perhaps in order to help him up some other ladder. He would like the director would like to see a person who is perhaps willing to stay with the company and work not only with the company and for the company and with the place but to work for himself.
The individual who will who is concerned with his own progress. Because I don't mean the eternal student not helping but a person an actor is is never at rest. You can never be at rest is the most painful profession. As soon as he exits and he comes to rest as everybody knows and thinks he's got it. We've had it. You know he's got you here. And so this is one of the things of great enthusiasm here to work for himself and in a company and as Lee Hunt mentioned something with the Bristol Old Vic training school this is where I wanted to ask you Do you have a training school. We have a theater school years it's been in existence since if what is it regimen. I mean what were the hours how are you as a student fully committed to this training school all day long. Earlier and you have speech no doubt you will.
Now we are affiliated to the Bristol University chair of drama and we exchange trees and things. What is it. What I'm trying to find out is what are absolutely essential oils for the training program as concern to you. You include makeup dancing body movement do you involve yourself with Century present and really was kind of thing or. Well curriculum or the Reserve school has changed since I was that because their director has changed. I was there in the queue 54 and in those days the school was a very humble little building. It was one enormous room over a fruit warehouse opposite the stage door the theater on the fruit market and that's remarkable. Now Randall I haven't got close to her and it was a very much smaller than it is now. We did a production at the theatre world which transferred to London it was a music
production by Julian Slade and Arthur and was called Salad. This made a great deal of money for itself and a lot of this money was ploughed back into the school and new premises were bought by the trance was bought up on the downs in Bristol which was somewhere away from the actual. I think this is the only disadvantage in the fact that it is now so far removed from the theatre. And the director has at the school has changed twice since I was there and now a marvelous man and wonderful director he was the administrator of the Theatre Royal. But when I was a student a great stress was laid on the physical training dancing movement sensing and battling. Speech speech therapy make up and just giving up and acting and the course
then I think as it is now two years duration very intensive that method in the first year was really to pull the student to pieces and to do this to destroy any confidence he had in himself which might be misplaced because you know the actor is really not the best judge of himself and he might have thought that his best qualities were A B and C while the director felt that they were BNF so the student was broken down very much in the first year and then built up during the second year during the second year. This happens now students from the school come into the company to work in productions and observe productions and maybe understudy if necessary. And it was a very concise tight hard working two years and in which one when the time was but fully employed and there's now this breaking down I guesses who are
there to build up humility and compassion on a part of NATO. I think there's a problem here that are a student actors if they ever develop any humility or compassion it comes very late and sometimes too late and they miss out on developing other factors in their own abilities and talents because of this lack of it I think this is something has been stressed here. Very important thing I think we've acted to do that is especially to have compassion and humility there's a third something which I think are dangerous you know the personality of the student involved has to be very carefully considered because you can break somebody down during their first year. You can say whatever you think you know forget the you don't know you're going to stop when you can really destroy somebodies confidence completely. I saw it happen in years and I've been here all the time too in terms of going to be a girl
or that you have to find a happy medium Some ask you another question generally or the this may be an unfair question. The American acting seems to an actors and student actors and living actors and working actors seem to be neurotically attached to the acting craft. Where in England or in France or in Germany. There seems to be a separate craft from the individual not that he's not connected with the profession but he seems to be himself first and then develops a craft outside of those of which he can incorporate into a very beautiful way. But do you feel the observer or has this ever think of it in this way that this may be one of the stumbling blocks to developing acting to a very high level here because of this new logic attachment to career. Yes I think I think I think there is. I would say that not only happens to American actors it happens to English actors German has a are there are
certain individuals who become neurotically obsessed with their and their work and I think one of the important things which Barbara I'm sure met during her training and I certainly met during the course of my training is encouragement amongst young people young students who you know 17 18 years of age do not entirely think of theatre training but to get out and see pictures music the art galleries live get into a country and breathe the fresh air and have interest outside of the theatre because I think an actor or an actress who spends his or her whole time in that artificial atmosphere or can he or she bring in that is truthful and lifelike and humanly responsible into the theatre can get it done if it doesn't appreciate the person ultimately I would like to see you know a part of dramatic training myself.
I would like to feel much more concentration was placed upon the humanities. Everything I read entirely the. I think of acting as an art as a novel argument to be going into there. But some people don't think of it as an art. But if a man if a man is an artist I think he's an artist. Always and looks at things like an artist and thinks of things I can do. And there's something very bad about the. So you're looking at one aspect of it and you. If a man is an artist you can appreciate all forms of art and he will be no less would have been within a ballet company even they couldn't couldn't dance couldn't live in about a company and appreciate and understand he could live with me as a painter. You could or as a musician these things affect him I think on a common level somewhere in him.
It's similar to yours to the concept of love. If you if you love children you love everybody's children you love everything. Yes exactly where I want I want and I love the moment an opportunity to be able to think have the two of you and Claudius and I. Mr. Richard Pascoe is moderately Hunt with John Franklin Robins for actually taking time out of a meaningful chore to come down to the studio and talk about acting and it's a very valuable has been very valuable to me and will be very valuable to our listeners so it's a chore that that is will appreciate it. Thank you very much for joining us on seminars and theatre. This is Dick pie in about an hour. This was seminars in theater. A recorded series of discussions with leading members of the theatrical profession join us again for our next program when host Richard Pyatt will lead another conversation about life in the theater. Simon Argent theater is produced by radio station WNYC in New York City
- Hard travelin'
- Woody's children, part one
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- University of Texas
- KUT (Radio station : Austin, Tex.)
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- This program, the first of two parts, explores Woody Guthrie's influence on the current crop of topical songwriters is shown, as demonstrated in this sampling of their music.
- A series about Woody Guthrie and his Depression-era folk music.
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Host: Adams, Judith
Performer: Guthrie, Woody, 1912-1967
Performer: Elliott, Jack, 1931-
Performer: Dylan, Bob, 1941-
Performer: Sainte-Marie, Buffy
Performer: Andersen, Eric
Producing Organization: University of Texas
Producing Organization: KUT (Radio station : Austin, Tex.)
Writer: Tangley, Ralph
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University of Maryland
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- Chicago: “Hard travelin'; Woody's children, part one,” 1967-11-28, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 20, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bg2hbz7s.
- MLA: “Hard travelin'; Woody's children, part one.” 1967-11-28. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 20, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bg2hbz7s>.
- APA: Hard travelin'; Woody's children, part one. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bg2hbz7s