Nancy Balbirer is an actress-playwright who has a memoir coming out. I don’t know who that is and I doubt many others do unless they’re really into Seinfeld, but I do know who David Mamet is so it’s helpful that she writes about him because now I can feign interest in her boring life before asking her to get to the part about David Mamet. Which is I guess what Page Six did. Luckily, they posted the excerpts so we can avoid the buying her book thing.
David on his students speaking too softly
” ‘Get the [bleep] off my stage! Now,’ he’d bellow . . . ‘And,’ he’d continue, his short, burly body bouncing around like a school-yard bully in need of his daily Ritalin, ‘Don’t [bleep]ing come back until we can hear you. How dare you? You’re whispering. On the stage. It’s [bleep]ing passive-aggressive. You know, only people who are full of [bleep] whisper,’ ” Balbirer writes.
David on his favorite actress
When one student asked Mamet who his favorite actresses were, he exploded: “Women who act are not actresses. They’re actors. Why do they need to [bleep]ing qualify what their genitalia are? Folks, seriously, I need to disabuse you of the notion that ‘actress’ is anything other than a euphemism for ‘floozy’ . . . Do women [bleep]ing writers call themselves ‘writressess?’ No!”
Balbirer – who appeared on “Seinfeld” and wrote and performed the solo show, “I Slept With Jack Kerouac” – says Mamet advised her, “There’s nothing worse than being a woman in show business . . . you’ll be asked to do only two things in every [bleep]ing role you ever play: take your shirt off and cry.”
David on Bill Cosby
He also told his class he considered critics “the syphilis and gonorrhea of the theater,” and delivered a lecture, “the premise of which was that Bill Cosby was a whore . . . television was evil and for whores, Hollywood was a hotbed of whoredom, and we were to avoid all of these things like the plague, unless, of course, we, too, were whores and not the artists we said we were.”
What a great teacher. If you aren’t publicly humiliated, you’ll know you’re doing a decent job. Much better than those passive-aggressive teachers pulling you to the side and giving you pointers on how you can improve. And he’s right about that whole Hollywood being a hotbed of whoredom. That’s why whenever I visit, I make sure to bring a lot of cash.