The house lights dim and the curtain rises. . .

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The house lights dim and the curtain rises. . .

Postby donnarose on June 1st, 2010, 12:03 pm

Dear Mr. Baker,

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my question (as well as the others) last month.

While reading through your answers, especially about acting/directing, I began to wonder:

If money were no object ( :lol: ), as a director, whom would cast in which production (theatre or film)? You may also choose to cast anyone who has passed on (but that is not because of any budgetary restrictions). ;)

Looking very much forward to reading your response!

Thanks!
Marian (donnarose)
Love begins when the needs of someone else become more important than your own.
~Lao Wei
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Re: The house lights dim and the curtain rises. . .

Postby Tom Baker on June 7th, 2010, 5:15 pm

Cara Donarosa ,

Me direct? As an actor I have had a miserable time being DIRECTED.

The first thing an actor must learn (if he wants to stay in work) is to do what he is told. And because actors desperately want to act they become victims of people called directors who say they know what plays are about, and especially they say they know what the characters feel and want. Directors often say things like: "This is a play about eyes." Or sometimes they will say: "The thing about Death that often surprises me." Or, "When you consider the influence of Schopenhauer - Arthur I mean, not the OTHER Schopenhauer - on Wagner one realises what power one person can have over another. But that's another story."

This is hard to take for some actors. Others, of course dutifully write down all that nonsense and go home and think about it! Of course, big powerful leading actors do not have to put up with it. I once worked for Jonathan Miller when he directed The Merchant of Venice at the National Theatre. Laurence Olivier was Shylock, I was The Prince of Morocco. Oh, Jonathan Miller was just wonderful, wonderful. So witty and inspiring, he would throw ideas into the air like rice at a wedding! It was one of the only successes I had at the National. I won't go on. But when I got Doctor Who I stopped acting and just dished up old Tom Baker! And guess what? No, I won't say!

So after all that I have no desire to impose my little thoughts on any poor sap who wants to be an actor. It would not be kind. And finally, I must confess, I have no sense of direction, even a Sat Nav is wasted on me. Sorry if all this disappoints you, Cara Donarosa.

from Tom
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