Thursday, October 29, 2009

They Don't Know They're Lines?

Dennis Baker of posted this article via Twitter. You can read it here! The article features a write up on how some TOP Tier broadway actors are using line prompters and ear pieces for line cues during actual paid performances. Matthew Broderick is the most cited offender. He is currently using a 'helper' who sits in the front row with the script. How sad is that? Angela Landsbury (a theater icon) used an ear piece with a prompter during her Tony run with "Blythe Spirit last year."

The article is blazing through the theater blogosphere, with most folks giving Landsbury a pass for her age (84), but Broderick who has seen his star fade since his "Producer" glory days is getting run on the rails.

It's difficult for me as a teaching artist, because I tell my students that line memorization is basically the bread and butter of their job. It should be like breathing. When I studied with Alfred Molina he often criticized not having your lines as a simple excuse. In his world, Lines should just "Fall out of your Mouth, You shouldn't have to think about them."

So, imagine my surprise when a paid AEA actor can't pull this simple of simplest tasks off. I don't care if you are getting re-writes during the preliminary runs. You have an obligation to that paid audience sitting out there to deliver a professional show.