Saturday, January 7, 2012

Smile.

Charlie Chaplin in "City Lights"
I was always aware of Charlie Chaplin. But it wasn't until I was in my twenties and watched the American Masters programme, "Unknown Chaplin," that I really became aware of the brilliance of the man.
Truly, here was a guy for which the word genius was created.  I literally immersed myself into his works, starting with the most readily available ones, "The Great Dictator," "Modern Times," and "City Lights." All of these films influenced me creatively as an actor and as a director and opened up doors for me in so many ways.
I think for my money though, Chaplin's true genius was the short films he did for Mutual. I was so awestruck at the simple, yet complex, manner of their style that I obsessed over who to emulate them in my own work. If  you have ever acted in a play for me, you know that it is not unusual that I repeat a scene over and over again until I think that it is right. This was Chaplin's technique and I adopted it for the stage. 
Anyway, I'm not going to get into a huge discussion over the man and his work. As the description of this blog implies, I just write about what is on my mind.  Charlie was on it tonight.

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