Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Actions Speak Louder

"Well-timed silence hath more eloquence than speech."
Martin Fraquhar Tupper

DAY 26:  I am ALWAYS grateful for brilliant writing, and there's very little in my book that comes close to the brilliant writing of the AMC series Mad Men.  Regular watchers of the series have known that the current year on the show is 1963, and have been waiting eagerly for how the assassination of JFK would affect the employees of Sterling-Cooper and their families.  This past weekend's episode dealt with it so powerfully that it was nothing short of stunning ... it didn't focus on the event as much as the event was used to underline the hopelessness and personal crises that the characters were already facing. 

The thing that impresses me SO much about the writing on Mad Men is its conciseness ... there are no rambling speeches, the lines are taut and constructed with as few words as possible.  In fact, the most significant moments of the show occur in COMPLETE SILENCE.  It clarifies and justifies for me, as a budding playwright (though I need to get to work ...), that actions - what the character DOES - are FAR more significant than what a character SAYS.  It also reinforces what I've always believed as an actor and have frequently shared with actors whom I've directed ... what you do when you're NOT speaking is much more important than what you do when you're speaking your lines.

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