(Photos by Joseph V. Labolito)
Bryan Cranston, one of the greatest actors of our generation, visited Temple on Friday, February 15, 2019 to talk to theater students about the craft of acting.
Before rushing back to Broadway to perform in the current production of Network, Cranston spoke in interview with TFMA Professor Marcus Giamatti about his journey to the acting profession.
In college, Cranston had been gearing up to become a police officer before when he took a shot an an elective class in theater. From there, acting was his life and after persuing his dream he was fortunate enough to begin making a living performing at the age of just 25. The fact that he has consistantly worked as an actor since that time is an achievement he touts as greater than all the awards and accolades he has garnered rolled into one.
And Cranston has seen quite a bit of this kind of deserved recognition including Emmys and Golden Globes for his televison work in shows like "Breaking Bad" and "Malcolm in The Middle," a Tony award for his portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson in "All The Way", and an Oscar nomination for the role of Dalton Trumbo in the biographical film "Trumbo." Cranston's career has certainly been an illustrious one defined by bristling portrayals of incredibly deeply researched and nuanced characters.
On Friday in Temple Theater's Practicum Class, which is attended by all theater students, Cranston spoke of his lessons for aspiring performers. He mentioned the need to acknowledge ones own level of talent and to act from a place of quiet confidence. Also, he advised actors to enter their auditions with this mindset and to control the power dynamic by thinking of the audition process as one in which they are choosing to give the gift of their talent to those evaluating from the other side of the table. He cautioned not to be too needy, but to take offers as they come and to make the most of them, always putting in the intense amount of work that it takes to make any character come to life.
Even though, he admitted, there is a great deal of luck involved in getting a "big break," the rest of the time can be spent putting oneself in the best possible position to take advantage of that break when it comes along. You can’t control much, said Cranston, but you control how much you work at it. Never let anyone outwork you.
Thank you to Marcus Giamatti and Temple Theaters for arranging this incredible opportunity for our students. Cranston stars in Network on Broadway and has a new book entitled "A Life in Parts."