An Artist Reflecting Culture

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gregburdine.com

Our artistry is the great mirror that we as a culture hold up to understand who we are, where we are, and if we are headed in the right direction.  In order for art to do its job, the reflection must be clear.  As an artist reflecting culture, if you are using yourself as the medium of expression, you too must be clear.  There can be no part of unexamined ego distorting the image.  If you are to reflect a clear picture, there cannot be any of your depiction that includes your own needs, fear of loss or considered action, unless it completely aligns with the persona you portray. ~ Excerpt from the upcoming book, The Alexander Method: Transformational Acting for The Total Actor

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imagesIt is imperative for the modern actor to know how to transcend the self and truly ‘become’  in front of the camera and on stage.

The Handmaid’s Tale

UnknownBased on the best-selling novel by Margaret Atwood, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a futuristic environment of existential disasters including a plummeting birth rate.  Gilead, a totalitarian society is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state.  The show has received 20 nominations and 14 awards from the 2018 Writers Guild of America: Best New Series, and Best New Drama Series, 2018 Directors Guild of America: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Dramatic Series, 2018 Producer’s Guild of America: Norman Felton Award for outstanding Producer of Episodic Television Drama, 2018 Critics’ Choice: Best Actress in a Drama Series, Best Drama Series, and Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, 2018 Golden Globes: Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series Drama, Best Television Series Drama, and AFI Television Programs of the Year, and 2018 Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Clearly this show merits your attention.  It is superbly written, directed, acted and produced.  Elisabeth Moss, Yvonne Strahovksi, Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, Joseph Fiennes, Max Minghella, Ann Dowd, Madeline Brewer and O.T. Fagbenie deliver exceptional, extraordinary, and unprecedented authenticity.  The Handmaid’s Tale, while very disturbing, is the epic tale of the decade.  It is transformational artistry at it finest.  A brutal cautionary tale, it is extremely relevant to our present time.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale is an example of a culture ethos that is individually predatory.  The cultural ethos is predicated on the belief that it ensures survival, despite extreme misalignment with individual survival.  Using mental and physical cruelty, fertile women are compelled to reproduce to ensure survival of the species.  If caught showing interest in their own survival, women are beaten, mutilated, and/or killed.  In a predatory cultural environment, personae must align externally with the cultural code or die.  In a world dominated by cultural survival, individual survival is uncertain.’ ~ Excerpt from the upcoming The Alexander Method: Transformational Acting for the Total Actor

Do not miss this opportunity to grow your artistry and yourself.  Watch The Handmaid’s Tale.

 

Russell Tovey: Banished

banished_bbcCreated by Jimmy McGovern, this BBC short series has only one season and seven episodes.  Written by Jimmy McGovern and Shaun Duggan, and directed by Daniel Percival and Jeffrey Walker, Banished is short, and intensely sweet.  Set in the first penal colony of New South Wales in 1788, the hardships born by the one hundred men of the Royal Navy Marine and the one thousand prisoners they must guard is heightened by the involuntary sharing of the women.  This extremely poignant, honest, upsetting and revealing portrait of the birth of Australia’s first state is riveting.  Portrayed by some of the finest actors I have seen, Orla Brady, Ewen Bremmer, Ryan Corr, Brooke Harman, David Dawson, Ned Dennehey, Cal MacAninch, Rory McCann, Joseph Millson, Adam Nagaitis, Genevieve O’Reilly, Julian Rhind-Tutt and David Wenham are brilliant.  MyAnna Buring, and Julian Rhind-Tutt are truly inspiring in their fearless portrayals.  And Russel Tovey is beyond brilliant.  His depth of commitment fully embraces true human behavior.  His unapologetic realism transforms.  His honesty touches the very soul of humanity.   Tremendous respect to Daniel Percival and Jeffrey Walker for creating the sacred working environment that would produce such compelling artistry.  Please watch this one!

Hold Space For Yourself

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photo credit: 05.14.08 via photopin (license)

It is important to hold space for yourself, truly hold space for yourself. To look at your hands and say, “I really love these hands.”  To look at yourself in the mirror and without flinching, see yourself and tell yourself, “I love this face, I love this body, I love this me.”  You must let this resonate throughout every cell of you.  It is imperative that you know you are worthy and admirable.  Carry it with you into every aspect of your life.  Because when you see yourself as the most valuable asset on this planet you have seen the truth.  This is not egotism, it is selflessness.  Holding space for yourself, granting yourself being-ness, you affect deep change.  Practicing unconditional positive regard, for the self and others, grows more of that.  It is the kind of love, so powerful, so righteous, it will change the world.

Honor and Protection

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Outdoor Illusions

True artists, when involved in true artistry, are always at risk.  We risk ourselves, physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychically.  Wherever we are, we create, delve, and care deeply with every aspect of our being.  That kind of commitment, that kind of great artistry merits honor and protection.

Dropping In

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thrillist.com

‘The actor of this new age must be versed in the art of true transformation.  Never before has it been so important for an actor to study and maintain training that addresses the spiritual aspects of dropping intensely into a world created, as well as responding practically to the demands of today’s standards.’ ~ The Alexander Method: Transformational Acting for the Total Actor