By Alan Arkin
Alan Arkin knew he was once going to be an actor from the age of 5: "Every movie I observed, each play, each piece of track fed an unquenchable have to flip myself into whatever except what I was." An Improvised Life is the Oscar winner's clever and unpretentious recollection of the process--artistic and personal--of turning into an actor, and a revealing look at the artistic brain of 1 of the simplest practitioners on degree or monitor. In a fashion that's direct, down-to-earth, obtainable, and articulate, Arkin unearths insights not just approximately himself (and his viewers and students), but additionally truths for the remainder of us approximately paintings, relationships, and feel of self.
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Extra resources for An Improvised Life: A Memoir
We fled over the bluff into a small sandy cove where an old man was sitting at a table in front of his hut at the top of the beach. He sensed something was up, and as we approached, out of breath and panting, he stood up and shouted, waving his stick in the air. The kids stopped in their tracks, crouched in the rocks and shouted abuse. We stayed with the old man for over a week, sleeping on the roof of his hut. We bought him new crockery and ouzo, and helped water his small orchard of pomegranates and olive trees from a brackish well.
Rules, thoughtfully preparing us for the outside world. I feel threatened, isolated, and friendless - I'm hopeless at all the communal activities, particularly ball games. And so I take refuge in the art house, where there is an old coke stove, broken and comfortable furniture, books and drawers full of postcards. Every free moment is spent there. Here there is blossom by Van Gogh, empty wine bottles for cubist still lives and mirrors to stare at yourself. These are my weapons against the other order.
Caravaggio - well, if it's a matter of murder where's the Gesualdo? I found a tape of Moro Lasso and he complained of the women's voices on the recording. I undressed him and climbed into the freezing bed with my clothes. It's freezing, said Tom. A blackthorn winter. He was a master of accents; earlier he had asked around for a light in perfect Somerset. He had a firm, well-muscled body with broad shoulders. Trace of a love-bite on his neck. He asked me if I ever got anything together in bed - sometimes.