So Many Experts are Total Idiots
For a decade, I made a very nice living doing soaps, off-Broadway, and print ads - It was great money but for me, it was Hell. (Note - I don't look down on anyone who does the same. I'd rather clean toilets where no one sees it than use my artistry to undermine my body of work. Pretentious? Not at all - it's great for some people, that's great by me.)
I studied with two of the main casting directors for major theatre companies in NY. 1.) Gave us a monologue from some (usually) awful play of the last season, and after the performance of said piece, told us that we needed to perform the beginning and the end of the play in that one scene. ??? First off, many of these plays were not yet in print, but how could I portray the first scene, an innocent first date that 3 hrs later turns out to be a killer in one 3 min scene. First of all, it's WRONG! In his first scene, the character would never show his Act 3 development of a psycho on his first date. It's kills the storytelling and the arch. I understand the need to see both sides of the character - so give me an Act I scene and an Act III scene. I can play, but should not play, Act III at the start.
The MAIN, lifechanging example came from a huge off-Bway moneyhouse casting director who told me in class that I reminded her of Marlon Brando or Paul Newman. I was speechless. What better compliment could an actor be paid? She proceeded with, "No one wants that anymore." Uh, uhh................ She asked me to redo the monologues as casual conversation. I could, of course, but it was wrong. Joe Bonaparte said, "If music shot bullets I'd like it better." as if he were saying, "Is there any more Mayo?" She raved over the adjustment, but it was WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! After she spoke with my manager, I was called in to her office and told "I know you think Brando and Newman are good actors, but people don't want that anymore. They have been SOPHISTICATED by reality TV." (Once sentence that is burnt into my memory.) I left and threw up on the street.
Yet, in a way, they're all right. People want what's familiar and doesn't push them to think. Shouldn't the arts lift people up instead of dumbing them down? That was a horrible, yet very important day in my life, and in the life of my theatre world.