BodyMachine: SMART BODIES ACT! Stupid bodies behave... What do you have?
Once you know your own weaknesses, they cease to harm you. -KF-
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Lectures, Guest-Director, Master-Classes
Profession is a craft.
Craft is a practical knowledge.
Knowledge comes through learning.
Learning is a labor.
Do you have this talant to learn?
Talant asks for a commitment.
Do you have the time to be an actor?
Do you have the will?
Read Act Cycles first! [ handouts ]
SummaryWedding one-act by Chekhov
One Act Fest
2004 & After
Hour and Day Format: see forms
Exerc. + Etudes: use as warmups.
Practical applications of MasterClass
Your body is your medium.
Break it into a smaller, natural, parts.
Head. Hands. Legs.
Look at your scene/monologue -- there are many ways to express the meaning.... and only way is the right way. Your way.
What is "your way"?
Do you know your text, do you know your body? Are they yours?
How would we know that it's yours?
Let us say -- I never saw anything like THIS!
Only NEW is your discovery.
Now, what do you want to tell us?
Only after you have something to say, you can find the way to say it. Use it, the body, the parts, not all. Build, construct your PHYSICAL SENTENSE -- put the parts together in new order. THAT IS YOUR MESSAGE to the world. Now you can speak your lines...
Alfred Doolittle is an elderly but vigorous dustman, clad in the costume of his profession, including a hat with a back brim covering his neck and shoulders. He has well marked and rather interesting features, and seems equally free from fear and conscience. He has a remarkably expressive voice, the result of a habit of giving vent to his feelings without reserve. His present pose is that of wounded honor and stern resolution.[ Pygmalion, Act II ]
DOOLITTLE [at the door, uncertain which of the two gentlemen is his man] Professor Higgins?
HIGGINS. Here. Good morning. Sit down.
DOOLITTLE. Morning, Governor. [He sits down magisterially] I come about a very serious matter, Governor.
HIGGINS [to Pickering] Brought up in Hounslow. Mother Welsh, I should think. [Doolittle opens his mouth, amazed. Higgins continues] What do you want, Doolittle?
DOOLITTLE [menacingly] I want my daughter: that's what I want. See?
HIGGINS. Of course you do. You're her father, arn't you? You don't suppose anyone else wants her, do you? I'm glad to see you have some spark of family feeling left. Shes upstairs. Take her away at once.
DOOLITTLE [rising, fearfully taken aback.] What!
HIGGINS. Take her away. Do you suppose I'm going to keep your daughter for you?
DOOLITTLE [remonstrating]. Now, now, look here, Governor. Is this reasonable? Is it fairity to take advantage of a man like this? The girl belongs to me. You got her. Where do I come in? [He sits down again].
HIGGINS. Your daughter had the audacity to come to my house and ask me to teach her how to speak properly so that she could get a place in a flower-shop. This gentleman and my housekeeper have been here all the time. [Bullying him] How dare you come here and attempt to blackmail me? You sent her here on purpose.
DOOLITTLE [protesting] No, Governor.
HIGGINS. You must have. How else could you possibly know that she is here?
DOOLITTLE. Dont take a man up like that, Governor.
HIGGINS. The police shall take you up. This is a plant—a plot to extort money by threats. I shall telephone for the police [he goes resolutely to the telephone and opens the directory].
DOOLITTLE. Have I asked you for a brass farthing? I leave it to the gentleman here: have I said a word about money?
HIGGINS [throwing the book aside and marching down on Doolittle with a poser]. What else did you come for?
DOOLITTLE [sweetly] Well, what would a man come for? Be human, Governor.
HIGGINS [disarmed] Alfred: did you put her up to it?
DOOLITTLE. So help me, Governor, I never did. I take my Bible oath I aint seen the girl these two months past.
HIGGINS. Then how did you know she was here?
DOOLITTLE ["most musical, most melancholy"] I'll tell you, Governor, if youll only let me get a word in. I'm willing to tell you. I'm wanting to tell you. I'm waiting to tell you.
HIGGINS. Pickering: this chap has a certain natural gift of rhetoric. Observe the rhythm of his native woodnotes wild. "I'm willing to tell you: I'm wanting to tell you: I'm waiting to tell you." Sentimental rhetoric! thats the Welsh strain in him. It also accounts for his mendacity and dishonesty.
PICKERING. Oh, p l e a s e, Higgins: I'm west country myself. [To Doolittle] How did you know the girl was here if you didnt send her?
DOOLITTLE. It was like this, Governor. The girl took a boy in the taxi to give him a jaunt. Son of her landlady, he is. He hung about on the chance of her giving him another ride home. Well, she sent him back for her luggage when she heard you was willing for her to stop here. I met the boy at the corner of Long Acre and Endell Street.
HIGGINS. Public house. Yes?
DOOLITTLE. The poor man's club, Governor: why shouldnt I?
PICKERING. Do let him tell his story, Higgins.
DOOLITTLE. He told me what was up. And I ask you, what was my feelings and my duty as a father? I says to the boy, "You bring me the luggage," I says—
PICKERING. Why didnt you go for it yourself?
DOOLITTLE. Landlady wouldnt have trusted me with it, Governor. Shes that kind of woman: you know. I had to give the boy a penny afore he trusted me with it, the little swine. I brought it to her just to oblige you like, and make myself agreeable. Thats all.
HIGGINS. How much luggage?
DOOLITTLE. Musical instrument, Governor. A few pictures, a trifle of jewelry, and a bird-cage. She said she didnt want no clothes. What was I to think from that, Governor? I ask you as a parent what was I to think?
HIGGINS. So you came to rescue her from worse than death, eh?
DOOLITTLE [appreciatively: relieved at being so well understood] Just so, Governor. That's right.
PICKERING. But why did you bring her luggage if you intended to take her away?
DOOLITTLE. Have I said a word about taking her away? Have I now?
HIGGINS [determinedly] Youre going to take her away, double quick. [He crosses to the hearth and rings the bell].
DOOLITTLE [rising] No, Governor. Dont say that. I'm not the man to stand in my girl's light. Heres a career opening for her, as you might say; and—
Mrs. Pearce opens the door and awaits orders.
HIGGINS. Mrs. Pearce: this is Eliza's father. He has come to take her away. Give her to him. [He goes back to the piano, with an air of washing his hands of the whole affair].
DOOLITTLE. No. This is a misunderstanding. Listen here—
MRS. PEARCE. He cant take her away, Mr. Higgins: how can he? You told me to burn her clothes.
DOOLITTLE. Thats right. I cant carry the girl through the streets like a blooming monkey, can I? I put it to you.
HIGGINS. You have put it to me that you want your daughter. Take your daughter. If she has no clothes go out and buy her some.
DOOLITTLE [desperate] Wheres the clothes she come in? Did I burn them or did your missus here?
MRS. PEARCE. I am the housekeeper, if you please. I have sent for some clothes for your girl. When they come you can take her away. You can wait in the kitchen. This way, please.
Doolittle, much troubled, accompanies her to the door; then hesitates; finally turns confidentially to Higgins.
DOOLITTLE. Listen here, Governor. You and me is men of the world, aint we?
HIGGINS. Oh! Men of the world, are we? Youd better go, Mrs. Pearce.
MRS. PEARCE. I think so, indeed, sir. [She goes, with dignity].
PICKERING. The floor is yours, Mr. Doolittle.
DOOLITTLE [to Pickering]. I thank you, Governor. [To Higgins, who takes refuge on the piano bench, a little overwhelmed by the proximity of his visitor; for Doolittle has a professional flavor of dust about him]. Well, the truth is, Ive taken a sort of fancy to you, Governor; and if you want the girl, I'm not so set on having her back home again but what I might be open to an arrangement. Regarded in the light of a young woman, shes a fine handsome girl. As a daughter shes not worth her keep; and so I tell you straight. All I ask is my rights as a father; and youre the last man alive to expect me to let her go for nothing; for I can see youre one of the straight sort, Governor. Well, whats a five pound note to you? And whats Eliza to me? [He returns to his chair and sits down judicially].
PICKERING. I think you ought to know, Doolittle, that Mr. Higgins's intentions are entirely honorable.
DOOLITTLE. Course they are, Governor. If I thought they wasnt, Id ask fifty.
HIGGINS [revolted] Do you mean to say, you callous rascal, that you would sell your daughter for £50?
DOOLITTLE. Not in a general way I wouldnt; but to oblige a gentleman like you I'd do do a good deal, I do assure you.
PICKERING. Have you no morals, man?
DOOLITTLE [unabashed]. Cant afford them, Governor. Neither could you if you was as poor as me. Not that I mean any harm, you know. But if Liza is going to have a bit out of this, why not me too?
HIGGINS [troubled] I dont know what to do, Pickering. There can be no question that as a matter of morals it's a positive crime to give this chap a farthing. And yet I feel a sort of rough justice in his claim.
DOOLITTLE, Thats it, Governor. Thats all I say. A father's heart, as it were.
PICKERING. Well, I know the feeling; but really it seems hardly right—
DOOLITTLE. Dont say that, Governor. Dont look at it that way. What am I, Governors both? I ask you, what am I? I'm one of the undeserving poor: thats what I am. Think of what that means to a man. It means that hes up agen middle class morality all the time. If theres anything going, and I put in for a bit of it, it's always the same story: "Youre undeserving; so you cant have it." But my needs is as great as the most deserving widow's that ever got money out of six different charities in one week for the death of the same husband. I dont need less than a deserving man: I need more. I dont eat less hearty than him; and I drink a lot more. I want a bit of amusement, cause I'm a thinking man. I want cheerfulness and a song and a band when I feel low. Well, they charge me just the same for everything as they charge the deserving. What is middle class morality? Just an excuse for never giving me anything. Therefore, I ask you, as two gentlemen, not to play that game on me. I'm playing straight with you. I aint pretending to be deserving. I'm undeserving; and I mean to go on being undeserving. I like it; and thats the truth. Will you take advantage of a man's nature to do him out of the price of his own daughter what hes brought up and fed and clothed by the sweat of his brow until shes growed big enough to be interesting to you two gentlemen? Is five pounds unreasonable? I put it to you; and I leave it to you.
HIGGINS [rising, and going over to Pickering] Pickering: if we were to take this man in hand for three months, he could choose between a seat in the Cabinet and a popular pulpit in Wales.
PICKERING. What do you say to that, Doolittle?
DOOLITTLE. Not me, Governor, thank you kindly. Ive heard all the preachers and all the prime ministers—for I'm a thinking man and game for politics or religion or social reform same as all the other amusements—and I tell you it's a dog's life anyway you look at it. Undeserving poverty is my line. Taking one station in society with another, it's—it's—well, it's the only one that has any ginger in it, to my taste.
HIGGINS. I suppose we must give him a fiver.
PICKERING. He'll make a bad use of it, I'm afraid.
DOOLITTLE. Not me, Governor, so help me I wont. Dont you be afraid that I'll save it and spare it and live idle on it. There wont be a penny of it left by Monday: I'll have to go to work same as if I'd never had it. It wont pauperize me, you bet. Just one good spree for myself and the missus, giving pleasure to ourselves and employment to others, and satisfaction to you to think it's not been throwed away. You couldnt spend it better.
HIGGINS [taking out his pocket book and coming between Doolittle and the piano] This is irresistible. Lets give him ten. [He offers two notes to the dustman].
DOOLITTLE. No, Governor. She wouldnt have the heart to spend ten; and perhaps I shouldnt neither. Ten pounds is a lot of money: it makes a man feel prudent like; and then goodbye to happiness. You give me what I ask you, Governor: not a penny more, and not a penny less.
PICKERING. Why dont you marry that missus of yours? I rather draw the line at encouraging that sort of immorality.
DOOLITTLE. Tell her so, Governor: tell her so. I'm willing. It's me that suffers by it. Ive no hold on her. I got to be agreeable to her. I got to give her presents. I got to buy her clothes something sinful. I'm a slave to that woman, Governor, just because I'm not her lawful husband. And she knows it too. Catch her marrying me! Take my advice, Governor: marry Eliza while shes young and dont know no better. If you dont youll be sorry for it after. If you do, she'll be sorry for it after; but better you than her, because youre a man, and shes only a woman and dont know how to be happy anyhow.
HIGGINS. Pickering: if we listen to this man another minute, we shall have no convictions left. [To Doolittle] Five pounds I think you said.
DOOLITTLE. Thank you kindly, Governor.
HIGGINS. Youre sure you wont take ten?
DOOLITTLE. Not now. Another time, Governor.
HIGGINS [handing him a five-pound note] Here you are.
DOOLITTLE. Thank you, Governor. Good morning. [He hurries to the door, anxious to get away with his booty. When he opens it he is confronted with a dainty and exquisitely clean young Japanese lady in a simple blue cotton kimono printed cunningly with small white jasmine blossoms. Mrs. Pearce is with her. He gets out of her way deferentially and apologizes]. Beg pardon, miss.
THE JAPANESE LADY. Garn! Dont you know your own daughter?
Bly me! it's Eliza!
Whats that! This!
LIZA. Dont I look silly?
MRS. PEARCE [at the door] Now, Mr. Higgins, please dont say anything to make the girl conceited about herself.
HIGGINS [conscientiously] Oh! Quite right, Mrs. Pearce. [To Eliza] Yes: damned silly.
MRS. PEARCE. Please, sir.
HIGGINS [correcting himself]. I mean extremely silly.
LIZA. I should look all right with my hat on. [She takes up her hat; puts it on; and walks across the room to the fireplace with a fashionable air].
HIGGINS. A new fashion, by George! And it ought to look horrible!
DOOLITTLE [with fatherly pride] Well, I never thought she'd clean up as good looking as that, Governor. Shes a credit to me, aint she?
LIZA. I tell you, it's easy to clean up here. Hot and cold water on tap, just as much as you like, there is. Woolly towels, there is; and a towel horse so hot, it burns your fingers. Soft brushes to scrub yourself, and a wooden bowl of soap smelling like primroses. Now I know why ladies is so clean. Washing's a treat for them. Wish they saw what it is for the like of me!
HIGGINS. I'm glad the bath-room met with your approval.
LIZA. It didnt: not all of it; and I dont care who hears me say it. Mrs. Pearce knows.
HIGGINS. What was wrong, Mrs. Pearce?
MRS. PEARCE [blandly] Oh, nothing, sir. It doesnt matter.
LIZA. I had a good mind to break it. I didnt know which way to look. But I hung a towel over it, I did.
HIGGINS. Over what?
MRS. PEARCE. Over the looking-glass, sir.
HIGGINS. Doolittle: you have brought your daughter up too strictly.
DOOLITTLE. Me! I never brought her up at all, except to give her a lick of a strap now and again. Dont put it on me, Governor. She aint accustomed to it, you see: thats all. But she'll soon pick up your free-and-easy ways.
LIZA. I'm a good girl, I am; and I wont pick up no free and easy ways.
HIGGINS. Eliza: if you say again that youre a good girl, your father shall take you home.
LIZA. Not him. You dont know my father. All he come here for was to touch you for some money to get drunk on.
DOOLITTLE. Well, what else would I want money for? To put into the plate in church, I suppose. [She puts out her tongue at him. He is so incensed by this that Pickering presently finds it necessary to step between them]. Dont you give me none of your lip; and dont let me hear you giving this gentleman any of it neither, or youll hear from me about it. See?
HIGGINS. Have you any further advice to give her before you go, Doolittle? Your blessing, for instance.
DOOLITTLE. No, Governor: I aint such a mug as to put up my children to all I know myself. Hard enough to hold them in without that. If you want Eliza's mind improved, Governor, you do it yourself with a strap. So long, gentlemen. [He turns to go].
HIGGINS [impressively] Stop. Youll come regularly to see your daughter. It's your duty, you know. My brother is a clergyman; and he could help you in your talks with her.
DOOLITTLE [evasively] Certainly. I'll come, Governor. Not just this week, because I have a job at a distance. But later on you may depend on me. Afternoon, gentlemen. Afternoon, maam. [He takes off his hat to Mrs. Pearce, who disdains the salutation and goes out. He winks at Higgins, thinking him probably a fellow-sufferer from Mrs. Pearce's difficult disposition, and follows her].
LIZA. Dont you believe the old liar. He'd as soon you set a bull-dog on him as a clergyman. You wont see him again in a hurry.
HIGGINS. I dont want to, Eliza. Do you?
LIZA. Not me. I dont want never to see him again, I dont. Hes a disgrace to me, he is, collecting dust, instead of working at his trade.
PICKERING. What is his trade, Eliza?
LIZA. Talking money out of other people's pockets into his own. His proper trade's a navvy; and he works at it sometimes too—for exercise—and earns good money at it. Aint you going to call me Miss Doolittle any more?
PICKERING. I beg your pardon, Miss Doolittle. It was a slip of the tongue.
LIZA. Oh, I dont mind; only it sounded so genteel. I should just like to take a taxi to the corner of Tottenham Court Road and get out there and tell it to wait for me, just to put the girls in their place a bit. I wouldnt speak to them, you know.
PICKERING. Better wait til we get you something really fashionable.
HIGGINS. Besides, you shouldnt cut your old friends now that you have risen in the world. Thats what we call snobbery.
LIZA. You dont call the like of them my friends now, I should hope. Theyve took it out of me often enough with their ridicule when they had the chance; and now I mean to get a bit of my own back. But if I'm to have fashionable clothes, I'll wait. I should like to have some. Mrs. Pearce says youre going to give me some to wear in bed at night different to what I wear in the daytime; but it do seem a waste of money when you could get something to shew. Besides, I never could fancy changing into cold things on a winter night.
MRS. PEARCE [coming back] Now, Eliza. The new things have come for you to try on.
LIZA. Ah-ow-oo-ooh! [She rushes out].
MRS. PEARCE [following her] Oh, dont rush about like that, girl [She shuts the door behind her].
HIGGINS. Pickering: we have taken on a stiff job.
PICKERING [with conviction]. Higgins: we have.
Analysis and BM work.
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2005-2006 Theatre UAF Season: Four Farces + One Funeral & Godot'06
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