When Buck got to The Club, the aura of audition night was definitely in the air. It was the same mentality prevalent in auto racing, where the crowd not so secretly rooted for crack-ups more than for success. There was no stock-car racing in New York yet, but for a five-dollar cover and a two-drink minimum, citizens could come to The Club and enjoy the spinout of other people’s heartfelt dreams.
What a strange phenomenon—that this was something people wanted to see. Was it because we all can relate to dashed dreams, and here one could actually see one, written on the auditioner’s face, the horror that comes from finding out that what some poor sap obviously thought were the wittiest, wisest, cleverest things that had ever bubbled from his brain couldn’t even fill five minutes?
The reality in show business is that there’s no honor. The law is, everybody fucks everybody as much as they can get away with while they can get away with it. Harvey could get away with paying me shit and letting savagery loose while i was onstage, so he did. I can get away with making him scramble for an act tonight because I can. Anybody who’s shocked or even personally wounded when payback day comes is an idiot and shouldn’t even be in the business.
One man’s cynicism is another man’s realism.
When we perform a master-servant scene, the spectators are hoping that personal material will make cracks in the formality.
Servants who stand around waiting for orders are killed right away, but those who have a purpose (like opening the curtains or telling the master about an assassination plot) tend to survive.
Servants are paid to take the weight of trivial decisions away from the masters.
After practice, you should be able to change you attitudes to each person mid-scene: let the smelly one gradually become attractive, and the boring one saintly, and so on.
If you prefer to be interesting, choose contrasting endowment: the sofa is old but comfy, the wallpaper is tasteful, the coffee-table is like the one you have at home, the area is rather squalid but the view is magnificent. Then there’ll be a transition every time you switch attention, and you’ll seem more alive, more responsive.
If a guest is being contemptuous, I might say, ‘You’re endowing your host with being an idiot, but you accepted the invitation. CAN’T YOU DEAL WITH STUPID PEOPLE WITHOUT OFFENDING THEM?’
It’s a party because there’s an obligation to be polite. I don’t want you saying, ‘You smell like a fish!’ when you meet the smelly person. You’ll have to find some more civilized way to solve the problem.