THESE PICTURES SPEAK MORE ELOQUENTLY THAN ANY WORDS POSSIBLY COULD.
Monthly Archives: November 2012
I used to be an actor. Then I became a fiction writer. This transition had very little to do with a spine-injuring production of The Tempest. Neither swords nor backstage ghosts were involved, whatever rumors you might have heard.
In any case, several theatrical skills and lessons turned out to be useful in my new profession. I hereby present three of my favorites:
1) You can’t be the actor and the director at the same time.
Let me clarify: You can direct and perform in the same show. But you cannot do so at the same time. You must switch hats. Sometimes it helps to use actual hats. Do not attempt to wear both hats at once.
I think of writing in theatrical terms, and generating raw prose on a blank page is roughly equivalent to performing on a bare stage in rehearsal. Do something. Take up space. Then, afterwards, consider what you’ve done with a critical eye and a directorial (or editorial) hat on your head. Do not attempt to edit prose which does not yet exist. This is paralyzing.
2) Learn what your characters want and fear.
Creative writing courses have appropriated this method from method acting already. The phrase “character objectives” is as common to those classrooms as it is to acting studios. Kurt Vonnegut insisted that “every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.”
Take this a step further. Pick up a copy of Ute Hagen’s A Challenge for the Actor (or at least glance at her Six Steps, listed here). Consider what each of your character wants, and what each one is afraid of–and remember that we aren’t always honest with ourselves about either.
3) Tongue twisters make excellent vocal warmups.
Excessive extroversion is a professional hazard for performers. Excessive introversion is a professional hazard for writers–which can make it difficult to conduct interviews or read your work in public. Tongue twisters will help. Any sort of vocal warmup will help. Actors often recite tongue twisters in unison before a show. This has the benefit of 1) stretching vocal muscles, and 2) forcing the performers to do something ridiculous offstage, which will help them feel less ridiculous onstage.
Here’s a vocal warmup guaranteed to relax the muscles that your voice depends on. Try it now. You will feel ridiculous, and that’s part of the point.
1) Stick out your tongue.
2) Count to ten with your tongue sticking out. Enunciate as much as possible, and start the count over with each added numeral. “One, one two, one two three, one two three four…”
3) Once you get to ten, put your tongue back in. Count to ten once more, straight through. Enunciate.
Now say something aloud. Anything. Feel the difference? You will.
Taken from Writer’s Digest 27th Nov 2012 by William Alexander
I love Elephants, and this is such a nice story. I am sure you will enjoy this lovely story of Bella and Tara on this video. It’s so nice to see they have a rich life in this Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.
Funny video – I wonder how she trained the dog to do that? The cat is pretty placid too. Amazing what animals will do for their owners.
The extraordinary scene was captured by photography student Casey Gutteridge at the Santago Rare Leopard Project in Hertfordshire. The 19-year-old, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, who was photographing the leopard for a course project, was astounded By the mouse‘s behaviour.
He said: ‘I have no idea where the mouse came from – he just appeared in the enclosure after the keeper had dropped in the meat for the leopard. He didn’t take any notice of the leopard, just went straight over to the meat and started feeding himself.’
‘But the leopard was pretty surprised – she bent down and sniffed the mouse and flinched a bit like she was scared. In the meantime the mouse just carried on eating like nothing had happened,
Even a gentle shove does not deter the little creature from getting his fill… ‘It was amazing, even the keeper who had thrown the meat into the enclosure was shocked – he said he’d never seen anything like it before.’
Project owner Jackie James added: ‘It was so funny to see – Sheena batted the mouse a couple of times to try to get it away from her food.’ But the determined little thing took no notice and just carried on.’
Sheena was brought in to the Santago Rare Leopard Project from a UK zoo when she was just four months
old. She is one of 14 big cats in the private collection started by Jackie ‘s late husband Peter in 1989. The African Leopard can be found in the continent’s
forests, grasslands, savannas, and rainforests.
Dear God: Here is a list of some of the things I must remember to be a good Dog:
2. I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like the way they smell.
3. The Litter Box is not a cookie jar.
4. The sofa is not a ‘face towel’.
5. The garbage collector is not stealing our stuff.
6. I will not play tug-of-war with Dad’s underwear when he’s on the toilet.
7. Sticking my nose into someone’s crotch is an unacceptable way of saying ‘hello’.
8. I don’t need to suddenly stand straight up when I’m under the coffee table.
9. I must shake the rainwater out of my fur before entering the house – not after.
10. I will not come in from outside, and immediately drag my butt across the carpet.
11. I will not sit in the middle of the living room, and lick my crotch.
12. The cat is not a ‘squeaky toy’, so when I play with him and he makes that noise, it’s usually not a good thing.
Dear God it’s me the dog -
Dear God: Is it on purpose that Our Names are spelled the same, only in reverse?
Dear God: Why do humans smell the flowers, but seldom, smell each other?
Dear God: When we get to Heaven, can we sit on your couch? Or will it be the same old story?
Dear God: Why are there cars named after the jaguar, the cougar, the mustang, the colt, the stingray, and the rabbit, but not ONE
named for a Dog? How often do you see a cougar riding around? We love a nice car ride! Would it be so hard to rename
the ‘Chrysler Eagle’ the ‘Chrysler Beagle’?
Dear God: If a Dog barks his head off in the forest and no human hears him, is he still a bad Dog?
Dear God: We Dogs can understand human verbal instructions, hand signals, whistles, horns, clickers, beepers, scent IDs, electromagnetic energy fields, and Frisbee flight paths. What do humans understand?