the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area

mostly the day to day of a professional actor in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also the home of the Counting Actors Project

Monday, May 2, 2011

Judi Dench says

From And Furthermore by Judi Dench:

"Sometime I do have a lot of difficulty learning the lines, but the real difficulty is working out why the character says the line, and what is going on between the lines, which is often more important than the line itself.

Before you start to rehearse you are looking at the wood, which is composed of many trees.  You start rehearsing and you are inside the wood; you know that you are in a wood, but you don't know what the trees round you are until you start to recognize them.  Then the moment the audience comes in, it is as if you have been transported away from the wood, and that is when I think the most important part comes in - when you decide which is the straightest way through the wood."

I also learned from this book that:
1) Judi Dench would've been the one singing Memory in CATS, but she sprained her ankle a few weeks out.
2) Judi and just about everyone else from the big British theaters like the National and the RSC seem to love to play practical jokes on each other onstage - changing lines from Shakespeare, saying Russian names when you sneeze (in a Chekhov play), and other assorted hijinks take up a significant amount of this book! 


  1. Great quote and excerpt!

    When we ran into each other the other night, I was going to say that I had found your blog - but here is a virtual greeting instead.

  2. thanks so much JP!! the virtual greeting is much appreciated! I wish we'd had more time in person to catch up...