The art of a true actor

Last year I saw John Lithgow perform a one man play ‘Stories by Heart’ at the Mark Taper Forum.  The solo performance explored Lithgow’s relationship with his father, an itinerant thespian and theater director, and the stories he read Lithgow and his siblings.  It was a tour de force, revealing Lithgow’s emotional range and his considered understanding of his craft.  His lithe frame, expressively plastic face and manic energy made his embodiment of different characters appear effortless.

Lithgow’s memoir, “Drama: An Actor’s Education” was released yesterday.  His solo show, compiled in the wake of his father’s death, appears to have been preliminary research for this reflection on a career which began long before his fame for “3rd Rock from the Sun” and Dexter.  In an interview with Charles McGrath for the NYTimes book review, Lithgow reflected on the psyche of an actor by quoting Hamlet: “ ‘I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse myself of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me.’ We all have our secrets and we all have our deceptions. Acting at its best is all about deceiving people, and this makes it all the more interesting to us.”   With the rise of reality television and sub-par acting, Lithgow stands as a throw back to Broadway stage actors, careful practitioners of this age-old profession.











About projectpatrimonio

Helena Boyden Lamb, born 1985 in New York, has studied and worked in Politics, Heritage Ethics and Politics, and Opera Singing. Most recently, she is working in Brussels where she started in a European Think Tank and is now the Executive Office of a NGO which facilitates Youth Politics across the EU. She has a Bachelor with Honors from Stanford University, California in Classics: Politics and Heritage and a Masters with Honors from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK in European Identity. She has conducted academic or independent grant-funded research in the UK, France, Italy, Greece, Russia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, and Albania. She was, previously, an archaeologist and an opera singer. Cynthia Querio is a Museum Educator currently living and working in Los Angeles. She is interested in heritage and identity politics and the role of museum education departments in the trajectory of this debate. She moved to Los Angeles to pursue a 9 month graduate internship at the Getty Villa's education department and has continued to work in many museums in Los Angeles including LACMA and the Autry National Center. Her academic background is in the Classics, which was her major at Stanford University and which she continued to pursue with a Masters in the History of Classical Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art.
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