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Acting Class Los Angeles: Andrew Wood Acting Studio

“the grit to keep standing”

This NPR story about the singer Jewel, and her new book, and all that she had to overcome to become who she is, is ruthlessly inspiring. Physically abusive father. Boss who withheld paycheck when she refuses to have sex with him. Consequent eviction. Living in her car. Kidney problems that made keeping a job very […]

the secret of their success

Japan has won three of the last five Little League World Series. What’s the secret of their success? The team practices eight to 10 hours every Saturday and Sunday. Each morning is devoted just to fielding practice. The kids field endless bunts, and turn one double play after another. Ten hours a day! “This is […]

it changes your life

Today, on NPR, from a review of the career of Ben Bradlee, the editor at the Washington Post during Watergate: Bradlee wasn’t introspective, but in an interview with his friend Jim Lehrer of PBS late in life, he sought to pin down what animated him. “It changes your life, the pursuit of truth,” Bradlee said. […]

the ostrich effect

Nice piece on NPR today about something called the “ostrich effect.” In a study, students were motivated by various incentives and penalties to take a test to determine whether they had genital herpes. In spite of having to pay a penalty (presumably from their compensation for participating in the study) if they refused the test, […]

what keen ears are hearing

NPR conducted a poll in which they played two sounds during a broadcast: one was hot water being poured into a glass, and the other was cold water being poured into the same glass. The results? Eighty percent of the 30,000 respondents guessed correctly on the cold water, and a whopping 91% guessed right on […]

Javier Bardem’s laboratory, or, render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s

In a recent interview on NPR’s Fresh Air, Javier Bardem discusses the way he collaborates with directors and with his acting coach of 22 years in crafting a performance: Mr. BARDEM:… in this case, I’ve prepared a role with my acting teacher, Juan Carlos Corazza, which he’s been my acting teacher since 22 years ago. […]

playing the bad guy

It’s not every day that I recommend the work of a competitor, but I have included parts of Howard Fine’s book into my class syllabus. The piece I like the most is the section that comprises the first of what Fine calls “The Common Mistakes”: it’s called “Judging the Character”. It’s a great discussion of […]

listening to liars

NPR did an interesting piece this morning about a Stanford University psychology study of thousands of corporate earnings calls, and found that there are patterns in the way the CEOs discussed their companies fortunes when they were later proven to be lying. For example: [One researcher] says lying executives tend to overuse words like “we” […]

the tallest tale of them all

I have sung the praises of Ira Glass, the creator of This American Life , before on this blog. I never get tired of his fastidious, fascinating mind.This particular story is an incredible yarn about a hedge fund that seemingly single-handedly inflamed the recent financial crisis. Actors can learn a lot from Ira’s determination to […]

something every beginning actor or artist should hear

This is the third clip in the series of interviews with Ira Glass of This American Life, the first of which I posted yesterday, with links to the other three. The man is a genius, in a very twenty-first century way. I like all four clips, but I particularly like the empathy and wisdom he […]