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Ronan's report

Sunday December 11th 2011

Paul started an interesting debate on the board about style in casting. I really like the idea that substance is theory and that style is how we do it.

I'm also intrigued about the different ways in which we pick up style. Whether it's casting, clothing, or coiffure, it is really very rare that a style just pops into existence spontaneously. Consciously or subconsciously we are constantly absorbing the style of things around us, and deciding on their utility, relevance, and aesthetic qualities.

The way we cast, the trousers we wear, the length of our hair, are all the result of this constant sifting of stimulus. You might have a Mohican haircut because you think it accentuates your cheekbones, or because David Beckham had one, or even because no-one you know has ever had one.

So style can both do something for you (make you cast better) and say something about you (hey, he looks cool). Both of these style-effects help us navigate our way around the world; style can be a short-hand way of understanding something or someone.

Jean Cocteau apparently said "Style is a simple way of saying complicated things", and I think that's how we should view it from an instructor's point of view.

But ultimately we should aim to be more like Walt Whitman:

"He most honors my style who learns under it to destroy the teacher."


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