I just got this email today from world-renown film critic Ray Carney (cassavetes.com) who is known within the Independent Film World as one of the toughest cookies to please. I had sent him an email a few weeks ago about a play I was in called "King of Hearts", but he never responded and I thought there was no way in hell that he would actually come and see it. But apparently he did!
I post his email here for two reasons: first, I like to toot my own horn, but second, the email says a couple of interesting things about the responsibility an actor has to portraying a character truthfully.
Here is the email:
From: "Ray Carney"
Sent: Thursday, June 3, 2010 7:15:13 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: at the intersection of Norfolk and 1A.....
I waved but you didn't see me. I was pulling out of Norfolk St. at around 5:40 today from 1A and you were turning onto it in a small black car. But it did remind me that I have been remiss in telling you what a great job I thought you did in King of Hearts. You wonderfully stayed "inside" your character (the deaf mute), functioning from HIS perspective and HIS understanding. That is the essence of drama. So many actors play themselves, from THEIR OWN points of view, but you played your character, from his pov. Great work!
Forgive me for being out of touch for so long. No excuse. Just busy. (Currently editing a book chapter in FRENCH and my French is primitive. Welcome to my world!)
Stay well. And keep doing the drama/acting thing. You have talent!
Ray Carney, Prof. of Film and American Studies
Author: Cassavetes on Cassavetes (Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Faber and Faber); Shadows (British Film Institute/University of California Press); John Cassavetes: The Adventure of Insecurity; The Films of Mike Leigh (Cambridge University Press); The Films of Frank Capra (Wesleyan University Press); Speaking the Language of Desire: The Films of Carl Dreyer (Cambridge University Press); The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism, and the Movies (Cambridge University Press), and other works
Ray Carney's web site--"The Independent Film Pages"
Ray Carney's blog--"Necessary Experiences: Why Art Matters"
Prof. Ray Carney
College of Communication
640 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215