Jane Drake Brody blog posts

The Similarities Between Acting on Stage and Acting on Camera

Film and stage are quite similar in that they both are looking for truthful behavior within imaginary circumstances, or to quote Stanislavski, "Actors must live privately in public" regardless of medium.

Unfortunately there is a lot of misunderstanding of both delivery mechanisms that leads to the belief that the two are very dissimilar.The difference lies in the technical demand of each and in the way in which audiences view the material. I am just adding here to many of the comments that have gone before.

On stage, the actor must draw focus; on camera the camera focuses on whatever the director wants to see.

On stage, the actor has the ability to repeat a performance night after night which usually deepens their per and therefore the emotional wallop of the play. On camera, the actor repeats a scene or a sequence over and over, which should, if the actor and the director are in sync, produce different and or better work.

On stage, the actor does a scene and goes off stage for only a …

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This November, I was lucky enough to spend a month in Italy and Greece. I am a history buff, and as a citizen of the theatre, I felt it my sacred duty to visit the ancient places that gave birth to most of Western Theatre. My trip was an opportunity for growth, for intellectual and artistic expansion. It was exciting and deeply moving, and it was a major pain in the butt because we kept getting lost.

Try though we might, we could never find anything without going astray. We tried printing out directions from Google, getting maps from hotel concierges, asking kindly people on the street, but never much luck. Added to this was the complete lack of street signs in Italy, and signs in Athens in the Greek alphabet. We wandered down old alleyways, up mountains, and over ancient bridges. Some of this was admittedly fun, some happy accidents, finding charming shops, little cafes with pastries for every whim. 

However, we did miss going to the major art museum in …

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Entrances and Beginnings

Beginning anything is complicated. Deciding the best way to start a new endeavor before the actual first step makes my heart beat a little faster, whether in fear or excitement, I couldn’t say. This is my first blog post and I want to get it right. It is an entrance onto a new stage, a new scene, and unless I put my foot forward in just the right way, I may fail.

When I was very young, I was privileged to begin my study as an actress with Miss Mary Virginia Rodigan, a teacher of an advanced age who had actually known George Bernard Shaw. She had studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, even though, she like me, was from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, of all places! (I am proud to say that Mark Rylance is also a Milwaukeean). Miss Rodigan taught what she had learned and while it may seem hopelessly out of date now, what she gave helped to form my ways of approaching the stage. 

Her instructions on the best way to enter were:

1. Never enter a scene without …

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