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Sun 7 Dec 2008 - 8:35 pm UTC
I read somewhere that one of the things they teach aspiring actors is how to fart silently on stage.
Actress Daniela Nardini complained about her "co-star farting on stage. It's not audible, but its odorous and he's been warned not to or he'll be in trouble!"
So, is it true that fart technique is an important part of acting school? And what's the technique? A generation of schoolboys will be able to make good use of this weapon of mass distraction.
Mon 8 Dec 2008 - 3:32 pm UTC
Interesting question, but as it turns out, fact seems to collide with myth in this case. It appears that, rather than training to supress a fart, actors take exceptional pride in their ability to deliver one on cue.
The topic is addressed in several different sections in the definitive treatise on flatulence, Who Cut the Cheese: A Cultural History of the Fart by Jim Dawson:
Here are some relevant excerpts:
John Barrymore: "Some people, you know, can fart at will...I've never been able to learn to do that. I'm very disappointed in myself."
Timothy Carey (actor): "I'd take a big fart in front of the actors. That's always a big help. I always thought if you really want to be a good actor, you've got to be able to fart in public."
"Kelsey Grammer...confided to Jay Leno on the Tonight Show that he'd been developing a flatulent character named Mr. Methane...for a one-man play."
"Johnny Depp admitted that he pined to portray the legendary fart man [Le Petomane]. 'You have to admire anyone with such great control of his...instrument,' Depp told Playboy."
Dawson's other opus on the topic is "Blame It on the Dog":
which adds one bit of additional insight:
"Actor/comic Jack Black says he uses farting as a way of shedding his inhibitions before shooting a scene..."
Tellingly, there are no mentions in either book of the reverse...of trying to prevent an ill-timed release through rigorous training in the actor's arts.
Scholarly studies of the subject appear to begin and end with this one author, so I hope this information passes gas...er...muster with you.
That is, I hope this answer doesn't stink!
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