100 THINGS THAT MADE MY YEAR
In no particular order...
MIKE BARTLETT: "How I Wrote King Charles III"
"There are few stage directions in Shakespeare because the verse serves that purpose. The dramatic action of the lines is related to the physical action required. And the audience is co-opted, part of the drama: it can become a crowd, a mob, the entire English population, or, during a soliloquy, the brain of the character. So I understood that Shakespeare's verse was never concerned with any pure authorial voice, but was instead a vast multiplicity of viewpoints, a rough and tumble performance text."
RUTH GOODMAN: "How to Be a Victorian"
[Goodman] is, she says, interested not in the kings and princes and politicians, “who honestly bore me a little,” but in the ordinary Victorian — “you and me.” This book is over 400 pages of you and me. If you want to understand how Victorians thought, you read Walter E. Houghton’s classic “The Victorian Frame of Mind, 1830-1870.” But if you want to know how they looked, sounded, felt and smelled, there is no better guide than this one. Goodman likes to get down in the muck — and there’s plenty of it in 19th-century Britain.
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH in FAST COMPANY:
Q: I IMAGINE THE HARDEST PART IS DECIDING WHICH THINGS YOU DON'T NEED TO KNOW.
A: You just have to go for what's really necessary first, and then, God willing, there's time to get lost in stuff that's just a diversion but as illuminating as the stuff you need to know. I'm not a math PhD, I'm not a programmer or cryptographer of any sort. The science that I try to understand is often about sense memory. Even if it's something as simple as copying what the art department has done. I'm an okay drawer and craftsman, and their work is always so ridiculously involved. With Turing, I just asked how they copied his schematics and they showed me, and then I copied their copy, so it was two removes from him. But even doing that, before takes, in between takes, and then obviously during takes, made me have some entitlement to pretending to be this intellect, because I was at least creating something that he'd done. That's really satisfying.
ANNE BOGART'S BLOG "THE BUSINESS OF BUSYNESS"
(lots of great quotes from this one, read it all in the link above)
DIAN PAULUS on MIKE NICHOLS in American Theatre
"Mike also quoted poets, philosophers, novelists, film directors. Bergman was a favorite; also the French author Andre Gide. I will never forget when he quoted Gide saying, “Please do not understand me too quickly,” and encouraged us to consider this in the context of not making assumptions about a character you are playing."
MICHAH STOCK in Backstage:
"You have to be as kind as you are bold and as bold as you are kind. I think a lot of young actors get caught up in how far away they are from what they want, as opposed to looking at what’s right in front of them. If I connect the dots between a tiny play I did Off-Off-Broadway and this, there are these really palpable connections. I did a play a year and a half ago, and an actor who I worked with gave me a good recommendation when they were going to give me the job in Terrence’s first play. And then I did that play Off-Broadway with Terrence and it went really well. And Jack O’Brien and Nathan Lane saw that play when not many people saw that play. So you have to look at the thing that’s in front of you and do it well and hope that people are going to see you. If you get too caught up with where you’re not, you’re never going to go anywhere. And make friends with writers. Find great writers and make them think you’re great even if you’re not, and they’ll take you along with them.”
Poet DEAN YOUNG in an open letter to his nephew:
"...you can't sustain inspiration, you can only court it, and here's the thing: it happens WHILE you work. It's not something to wait around for. You have to sweep the temple steps a lot in hopes that the god appears."
My Favorite Albums in 2014
The following are my favorite albums I discovered in 2014. (They may not be new to 2014, but they were to me.)
In no particular order:
Temples - Sun Structures
St. Paul and the Broken Bones - Half the City
Lake Street Dive - Bad Self Portraits
Takuya Kuroda - Rising Son
Nick Waterhouse - Holly
Phantogram - Voices
Hozier - Hozier
Glass Animals - ZABA
Spoon - They Want my Soul
Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy
(click on the album art to visit their respective websites)
Books Read 2022
Books Read 2021
Books Read 2020
Books Read 2019
Books Read 2018
Books Read 2017
Books Read 2016
Books Read 2015
Films Watched 2022
Films Watched 2021
Films Watched 2020
Films Watched 2019
Films Watched 2018
Films Watched 2017
Films Watched 2016
Films Watched 2015