The point of acting, of playing a character that’s not you, is to reveal yourself.
Dustin Hoffman’s MasterClass invites all of us, who are interested in the craft of acting, to dig in hard and shamelessly reveal the inner prick, douche bag, and evil bastard inside of you that will bring to the silver screen an authentic and true character. If needed for the scene, of course.
I don’t want to see someone playing a prick on screen unless I’m seeing the prick in them. I don’t want to see , ‘This isn’t me, this is the character.’ Come on, we’re all everything.
I’m still half way through the 24 video course. Each is about 10 minutes. There’s a comment section, a private Facebook page, a downloadable workbook, and a bit homework that you can submit via video for review and critique from other students. The videos are not downloadable and there’s no app for any phones or TV consoles. You log in and watch from your computer or phone browser.
The teaching is very relaxed. You witness how passionate Hoffman is for the craft and how fortunate he is in still being in the business aside from his looks, stature, and constant fear. The nerves have never left him. He still trembles before a scene. And it’s in this masterclass where he teaches us how to use this human emotion to our advantage.
Don’t ignore your fear. Use it to put yourself in to character.
Do I recommend this? Yes, I do. If you’re a formally trained actor, maybe you won’t see anything new. But if you struggle with fear, identity, and are hungry to learn more, this will inspire you.
It Doesn’t Stop Here
Here’s some used books I recently picked up. I’m telling you. I’m very serious. I’ll talk about these later.
- A Practical Handbook For The Actor (so far my favorite)
- Michael Caine’s Acting In Film (search for the 50 minute video online)
- Sanford Meisner’s On Acting (haven’t started)
- Uta Hagen’s A Challenge For The Actor (tough read)
- Stella Adler’s The Art of Acting (A mix of sweet and aggressiveness, wonderful read)