Exclusive Interview with Playwright David Mamet


And we continue our conversation with novelist playwright screenwriter David Mamet and his new book Chicago we're talking about his life in the town he grew up in and David entering high school so I went to a public schools when my last couple years of high school I moved him with my dad my step mother Judy I went to a magnificent school called the Francis Parker school and started we became friendly with the family on second city started working as a as a busboy at second city let's see three shows a night of improvisational comedy which really gave me the book and then low there we are up to date talk about it if you can the influence of your dad that is psychologically you know it it sounded to me like he was one of those old school tough guys and nothing you could do would quite measure up you have a quote in an article New York or you said the virtues expounded by and we're not creative but remedial let's stop being Jewish and let's stop being poor talk about those kinds words well you know you are you asking what my dead many times every day with thanks and he grew up in a family of father is father deserted the family and so he was raised by a marvelous mother my grandmother me a dork but he was a liberal school father but the most more important thing is that he was a magnificent role model Chrissy work like a dog you work all day and come home and change in his pajamas and a bathrobe and he does dinner sitting at the dining room table while working on the briefest of the next day and will one day he was working really hard is very anxious I said you know better said you don't don't worry about the results you're doing your best and he said they don't pay me do my best to examine a whim so what times of thinking of giving up on the time so they don't get into giving up I remember you know like like him I got the best job in the world and I have a talent for it at a pace around so to work harder here's a quote in that other New York that New York article I told you about that was I think telling you say quote your time at the whole house theatre in Chicago it was the first time in my confused young life that I learned that work is love talk about that well whole host there there was a great run by a man named Bob signature and all the community theaters run across country doing Charlie's around in the impossible years once in awhile to really older they do the importance of being earnest yourself but second year was doing to break by brown and those three penny opera marshes golf place and he just kept everybody there will not rehearsing and we all knew on how we knew what we did that when we were doing those players there wasn't any better you are being done that might any place in the world but we trust me was just your love and help people hurried home twelve hours after street job spent twelve hours working with Paul who was marvelous one of your colleague said we invented this myth of the Chicago theatre scene what made the Chicago scene so great was that no one cared the audience didn't care they were profoundly indifferent to everything we did there is real freedom and that isn't there David well there is but you know I don't know if that will serve the clinical of that's that was Gregory Loescher said Greg yeah but not at this time I think it's all the poetic because what I remember is quite the opposite when I have you know me and Billy Macy and Steve Shepard because we're a theater over on on Halsted street and people come up to a mystery neighborhood people and they'd say hello good play last month Dave understand that they're entitled to have a good time and no one's asking them to be athletes but rather we're grateful to him to show up and if they say Jeez well spreading and tell my friends what could be better I don't think there were different I think that two things made missing one was the audience and the other one was a Richard Christian so much public Daily News and what were your thoughts about critics is your young writer coming up well I mean it's it's it's it's so holes you know I mean they were than they are now but there are exceptions and a couple of the great exceptions came out of the city Chicago more than the old one of them's Roger Ebert rest in peace along with gene Siskel who did a lot to shape American movie making and the other one was Richard question some of the Chicago Daily News along with one the size of the sun times culture critics of wall this is great thank you here's what I like they understood themselves as part of the article process rather than as as people given out of free ride up the car well you've done something that very few people done we've had some novelist make their way to screen writing and that's happened to quite a number of times for Mario Puzo I mean we can name a lot of folks who've written novels and written grain spring break screenplays yeah but you go ahead and you start this thing called screen writing which is so different David it's such a different town so many actors of a hard time going from the big screen to the big stage it's such a different craft how did you did you just do it did you just have a sense for it talk about that transition where what part of it you know when I was a kid I went to the neighborhood Playhouse school York for a year and before you came to give you a reading list of about fifty books of course I read my loan and a lot of them were by the Russians of Stanislavsky and of the talk on call from Meyer hold memo Richmond check when the old order books and some of them would buy the people who'd worked with the Moscow art theater and then went on to film and I was really fascinated by we all making what they said was the audience instance film as the juxtaposition of images the image doesn't need to be inflected the juxtaposition tells the story the famous examples the young woman shot one a young woman her head is down on her arms she raises her head shop to a judge sitting at a hi the US wraps his gavel okay sample to shop woman someone senshot young woman her head on her and she raises her head shop to have seen through a door baby standing up in a crib crying right so would be ideal we get from the first hearing the verdict and the ideal we get from the second is a mother's attention but the first shots exactly the same so if you look at what great film actors are doing they're doing down a little what they have is great courage and understanding not to help bring along you write a lot about this insurance falls by the way you have a you have a lot to say in that book about acting but one of the interesting thing was was what you had to say about the method acting in a in a lot of the things that were being taught in New York at the time and I don't think you were terribly big fan of the method to be charitable David well there's nothing there it's it's it's a it's a it's a fake mostly Strasbourg my teacher Strafford margin with ladies of the group theatre and you'll be warped both sort of actors in two wells we became directors and theoreticians and the forms to schools Meister school world Strasbourg school award attempt on their part would gentleman to tempt understand what acting was because they were drawn to it they love that they couldn't do it I tried to understand so what we Strasbourg then I don't think he did it on purpose just got toward very lucky is he have a a beginning reputation and so everybody in the country one of the content of the actors studio so we would see a thousand actors and pick through so who's going to pick you pick the people with the greatest talent right so they are going to reflect glory on the actors studio not from anything but he talked them from affected that he chose and so all that psychological warfare that thought I study with a couple of these characters and they were more Spring Valley than anything else I was repulsed I'd played basketball and play sports and sports is all about activity in action it's doing and in large measure these people were putting me on the couch and I I actually resented it was terrible and more good calls for a a co dependent so hopefully a deal between teacher and student and the teacher has to pretend he's teaching something in my thinking I'm a student has to pretend he's learning something he may think he is always really undergoing a shame and so the only way that he can overcome the shame is he that is quick to say you'll pick it up myself or see let me try harder so what you see is a lot of actors who quotes for the the quick method trying harder which although it does take you on the

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