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The Exercise

Jack Nicholson, in Five Easy Pieces, single-handedly ushered in a new style of acting, a brand-new spontaneity that seemed to indicate he was performing without a script.

Shirley MacLaine

My aim is to get you to relate to another actor as a real human being—woman to man, boy to girl, mother to daughter, man to man—and not as a person saying words from a script according to some logical idea as to how they should be said. I’m going to show you how I conduct my film-acting “Relating Exercise” to teach actors how to relate and how to concentrate. I teach more than the Exercise, but in it you learn the essential skill that sets you on your way to learning all the other skills that are fundamental to your becoming a great actor.

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