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Arts & Entertainment


David Mamet

Lesson time 06:57 min

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

David Mamet
Teaches Dramatic Writing
The Pulitzer Prize winner teaches you everything he's learned across 26 video lessons on 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.


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

Inspiring! His lessons encourage me to fight for my writing future.

He's so sincere, and his words are perfectly thorough and useful. I've recommended this class to so many friends already, at many points throughout the course. Thank you.

Interesting. Like all his culture references as examples .....

succinct, filled with a word, Mametesque


Janna S.

I love that we have some of Mamet's idols: Woody Allen, Mark Twain, Winston Churchill. His comments about cause and effect, being analytical and practicing your theories yourself or testing them with others' experiences seems like a good thing to practice. This is not my first time through this class. I'm hell bent on doing all the assignments this time roughly or well. I get sidetracked by the reading list ( I just finished two Shakespeare classes because Mamet recommended <i>Othello</i>, and I couldn't seem to attempt it on my own. Loved both plays that I studied and the classes that I took/learned a ton, and wouldn't have without Mamet pointing me in that direction...) and sometimes take things too seriously and that stops me from moving forward (Barthes book... I wish there was a class for it. Anyway, I found some helpful stuff on YouTube and in a New Yorker article.). Takes time to become an author and a good reader. Anyway, going to give it another shot. Peace (to you and me:)

Emma M.

Hi 👋 Recently moved country, on a personal sabbatical of sorts, hustled to find a flat before lock down and have been happily tucked away since my arrival in a historic English market town which claims to be the first place on earth to have had public electricity and street lighting. I brought my projector with me, and rig it up to watch MC, good company. So today I met David and just listened to him chat all day as I puttered about...very curious, interesting and particularly liked the napping part. I'm a pro-napper. Also curious if what he thought was in that big old vault was what he remembered it to be? Emma.

Jacinta L.

I'm an amateur astrologer. In this first lesson, I'm very pleased to learn that David Mamet is into Astrology! Just checked out his natal chart, not only is he a Sagittarius, he is a Sun-Jupiter conjunct Sagittarius, that's doubling the dose of Sagittarius!


A unified field in which humans perceive things in way of 'cause and effect' and that is the basis of Drama. Awesomeness!

I love David Mamet. He writes with a voice that sounds like the kind of nonsense I grew up with. I teach in a film school, and I always tell students--if you want to write narrative fiction? Shoot a documentary, because--if you're interviewing people? They will, to a person, disclaim "Aw, shucks, I don't have anything to say.."and then when you start rolling camera, they will say things as eloquent as Shakespeare--only you can't make it up. It's happened over and over again.


I've been watching a few classes. And this being just an introductory one, tells me I'm going to get more than my monies worth.

Judy M.

This is truly a master class. Funny, philosophical, erudite, insightful and marvelous.

Janet M.

David Mamet's point about tragedy requiring recognition and reversal, provides insight and focus. Being reminded of the King of Thebes I just went to read it and the writing, the words, are so rich and expressive, and what a lens to have that this tragedy is headed for recognition and reversal. The course travels solidly along basic theories and history and builds on that inviting me to be a part of it. I love that.

Maia T.

Utterly splendid. David Mamet is quintessentially human and very approachable, while, at the same time, scathingly brilliant and just shy of godlike to serious (and also comedic) writers. After taking this class whilst filling up a notebook with "Aha!" scribblings, he is most definitely someone with whom I would be happy to be stranded with in a blizzard (providing we didn't actually die, although, what a way to go.) Despite his apparent sincere hatred of cilantro and kale (were you force-fed Socal cuisine as a child, David?) I just love this guy and learned a ton. Thank you for sharing your immense experiencial talent with us!

Drew T.

This is my second time through the whole program and I only had to listen to a couple of minutes before my "teeth" started itching. Brilliant. Love it.