Writing

Introduction

David Mamet

Lesson time 6:53 min

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

Play
David Mamet
Teaches Dramatic Writing
The Pulitzer Prize winner teaches you everything he's learned across 26 video lessons on dramatic writing.
Get All-Access

Preview

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.

David's whole masterclass is quotable and highly inspirational.

An avid fan of Mamet as well as a Chicagoan, this class knocked me off my feet. The wealth of knowledge here, primarily through logic, is staggering. Masterclass is truly doing a great service here, at the very least to allow us to spend several hours in an intimate setting with fascinating people. Thanks a ton!

Immeasurably helpful! David Mamet is a master of his craft. His writing wisdom is truly incredible. Loved this course!

Great help for understanding writing as a perspective of actor.


Comments

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.

Rosemary D.

It gave me some great advice, which I need in order to work on my writing again.

Nicholas P.

Listening to these writers is extremely helpful, because it seems that we all have the same problems getting the job started and done from beginning to end. Writing is much like fitness and the martial arts. Only you can do it. No one can do it for you. Granted, an editor will be a huge benefit, but fighters have to do enormous amounts of training and conditioning before being developed and taken to the next step by a great coach. You may have a great coach and corner team, but we are those who have to fight in the ring. Shout out to Mr. Mamet from Ivica Simic, we had worked together in Seattle Children's theater in 1994, and while I was driving around down town Seattle, Ivica rolled down the window to say hey, but you had already gone into your destination. Sorry about the delay, I hope you and Ivica have spoken since then.

Peter K.

Many of Mr. Mamet's propositions and summations are intriguing. I'm not yet sure what I think of this as a lesson. It depends on where it goes from here. I know I was entertained by the way Mr. Mamet speaks and I'm eager to go on.

Maureen E.

I love David Mamet's plays. I signed up because of him and now I know why. I am ready.

Mitchell F.

I can tell this is going to be worth it. Ready to throw away my preconceptions.

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