From David Mamet's MasterClass

Introduction

David outlines what he'll cover in this class, and the best mindset you can have to learn how to write great drama.

Topics include: Covered Topics • The Writing Mindset

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David outlines what he'll cover in this class, and the best mindset you can have to learn how to write great drama.

Topics include: Covered Topics • The Writing Mindset

David Mamet

Teaches Dramatic Writing

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A, B, C. A always B. B be C closing. Always be closing. I don't understand what anything means. You want to learn the first rule? You'd know if you ever spent a day in your life. What do you want me to do? Teach me. I want you to teach me. What do you mean? I talk to him about this? Yeah. Are you just talking about this, or are we just talking about it? We were just speaking about it. Speaking about it as an idea. What I hope I'm doing, and here's where your English paper has got a point is, I'm responding to the will of the people. You laughing now? No, there are people out there. People who came here to know something they didn't know. Who came here to be helped. I've been in this business 15 years. What's your name? Fuck you. That's my name. I think you're angry. Oh. Have I got your attention now? Good. They say when the student is prepared, that the teacher appears. So the same is true of most of the lessons you're going to learn in any-- I don't know if any art, but certainly in any craft. When you're ready to learn it, you will. If you want to and if you need to, and if you don't want to and you don't need to, you ain't ready yet. Or maybe you don't want to. I always say the arts, in my experience, is like running away to the circus. If you've got something to fall back on, the circus doesn't need you. The circus doesn't want you. You've got to run away, say OK. I'll leave, but you're going to have to kill me. And that's one of the great things I found in this wonderful show business. And also in the movies is the kid who shows up and says, what can I do? And you say, nothing. Get out of here. The kid keeps coming back. A week later you say, for Christ's sake, give me a cup of coffee and get out of here. By the end of the third week, you're saying where's that kid? Right? And at the end of the movie you're saying, kid, what do you want to do next? It's magnificent. But I always thought that being a writer is a lot like being a beaver. That beavers-- their teeth itch. And so that's why they cut down trees. Because that's the only thing that stops their teeth from driving them crazy. And so I think that I'm kind of leaning with it's not the teeth, it's my consciousness. It's is the same thing. How can I get it to shut up for a while? Give it a different-- give it a problem that it likes. And so once in a while the problem that likes-- is unpleasant. But what else am I going to do. I'm not going to play golf. I think I'm going to talk about a unified field theory of aesthetics. And if anyone is still listening after that, you're probably even more caffeinated than I am. So I've always been fascinated by the idea that exists a unified field theory where we can regularize the way we perceive with the way that ...

Write great drama

David Mamet sat in on a poker game full of thieves and left with the inspiration for American Buffalo. Now, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Glengarry Glen Ross takes you through his process for turning life’s strangest moments into dramatic art. In his writing class, he’ll teach you the rules of drama, the nuances of dialogue, and the skills to develop your own voice and create your masterpiece.

Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Mamet's overwhelming passion , knowledge of the craft, and sincere exuberance made this my favourite masterclass course yet. Glad it stayed away from workshops or similar and stuck to solo lectures.

Mamet is truly one a kind. It's the best class I've taken.

I'm a huge admirer of David Mamet. I've read his plays over and over; Deconstructing them; Attempting to learn something about their construction. Now--having taken his masterclass--I understand his approach better than ever. I feel fully-equipped to approach dramatic writing with the same directness and clarity I have long admired in David Mamet's work.

It"s good, engaging and I am looking forward to the rest of the classes.

Comments

Kristina H.

He gave me HOPE, possibly the most dangerous, most clawing, the most horrible feeling I can think of. So David Mamet must be that person who just might give me HOPE. How is That for a problem? I have lived with it for 76 years...and counting, By day I was a fine psychoanalyst in whom many patients found hope for the first time in their lives, and then we began with the problem of feeling hope. It worked so well for so many people; why not me?

Helen

Great class! Directed Oleanna ages ago at Northwestern. Would have to agree with the analytical approach especially when approaching Mamet. I had a blast looking for the equations in that script now look forward to going deeper and listening to the master directly!

Lee

This class is another for sure in the Master Class curriculum for me as a actor/writer

Rebecca B.

How exciting .. love the intro. I am a problem solver by nature and very analytical. I have been told I think too much more than once. :) I am ready to learn from David Mamet

Jordan W.

I love the idea of cause and effect as an aesthetic filter. I have always struggled with plot, probably because I haven't understood this well enough. Looking forward to the rest of the class.

Evan S.

I love his idea of being a 'physicist', and how we should kinda soak up all the information like a sponge and then throw away things that don't work for us in an active, analytical way.

Terry F.

"We write because we understand the way human beings perceive". Just in that one line I have learned enough to improve my writing dramatically.

Sheila M.

Sorry, I hope my previous comment about cause and effect and thinking outside the box did not come across as pretentious. That was not my intent. And I really liked the comment that -when the student is ready, the teacher appears-...I am ready! And the beaver analogy was really funny.

Sheila M.

Interesting, makes me want to hear more. We dont all perceive things the same and yes, there is cause and effect but that that seems a bit simplistic.. I am hoping we think and look outside the box because that makes a more interesting story and typically a truer one to me.

Vickie R.

I could listen to Mr. Mamet over and over and over again. Very articulate, great teacher, not arrogant or intimidating (except the part about MIT, since I always had problems with math as a kid), and I've seen ALL of his wunderbar movies. PS Just a brief aside, I never found that place in Santa Monica, CA called "The Joint" where all the cops hang out and tell stories? So Now I just pull over random LAPD officers and ask them to tell me some thrilling stories I can write about. The last cop I met looked just like Eric Estrada!!