Judi Dench: “I think it is terribly important to know that whole history of theatre we have”

Actress Judi Dench

“What is so shocking now is that young actors don’t want to find out about the legacy that we left.” – Judi Dench

When award-winning acclaimed actress Judi Dench starts talking about acting, anyone who has ever been or wants to be on a stage should listen — even when she’s telling you what you don’t want to hear, like what you’re doing wrong. When she appeared at a ceremony celebrating the a plaque being installed on a house where British acting great Sir John Gielgud, she took the opportunity to instruct younger actors to learn more about him.

Dench laments that young actors don’t take opportunities to learn about the great actors of yesteryear. She says, “What is so shocking now is that young actors don’t want to find out about the legacy that we left.” However, she doesn’t attribute that to laziness of youth — just a lack of interest. She adds, “It is not laziness, it is just non-curiosity. I think it is terribly important to know that whole history of theatre we have, why you’re in it, what people did before, the lives of actors.”

One example Dench cites is that earlier generations of actors knew more about enunciating on stage because of they lacked the sophisticated amplification equipment of today. Dench feels that younger actors haven’t learned to perform without this crutch, pointing out, “Often I want to shout out, ‘Will you say that again because I can’t hear!’ It is an apathy, laziness. If you’re not going to be heard, then stay at home and do it in your living room. It doesn’t require shouting, it requires learning about it and learning where your voice comes from, where your diaphragm is and how to use it.”

So what are you waiting for, actors? Learn a bit more about Gielgud and projecting your voice before your next appearance on stage!

via The Guardian

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