American Conservatory Theater actors talk with Studs Terkel ; part 1
BROADCAST: 1967 | DURATION: 00:00:01
Terkel interviews actors from the American Conservatory Theater: Richard A. Dysart, Robin Gammell, Rene Auberjonois, Janis Young, and William Ball. This is an interview done in two parts.
Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.
Studs Terkel This morning is a live program, very alive indeed, if actors can be alive at ten o'clock in the morning. There are four of the remarkable performers of the American Conservatory Theater that you know have set this town on its ear, and it really has, in several ways. I think this is the first time in contemporary theatrical history in our city that there's been such unanimity, not only all four critics, seems if, if I were a second-rate Hemingway I'd say the Champ came into the ring and faced his oppon -- four opponents and KO'ed them in the first round four times. Hemingway would put that, as a third-rate Hemingway. That's what the [laughing] American Conservatory Theater has done. All four critics unanimous with all four, five productions. And, but more important than that, I think it's done something for the audiences of our city, it's given them, the people, and so far I imagine several thousands have come to the Murray Theatre at Ravinia to see the American Conservatory Theater under the creative direction of William Ball. And we have four of the, I hate to use the word "principal performers," since you have no starring system, four remarkable performers. Richard A. Dysart, whom you've seen as Uncle Vanya, as the stepfather in that remarkable Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author, and as the underwear tycoon in Misalliance, and if we can go clockwise Robin Gammell, who is, I understand, Robin is the most, one of the most articulate guys in your company.
Robin Gammell That's great, with -- [laughing]
Rene Auberjonois Quantity as versus--
Studs Terkel Robin was, Robin was the harried--
Studs Terkel Director of Six Characters in Search of an Author and he was a, a kid who couldn't do anything in, in, in Misalliance, all, all brain and no brawn in Misalliance, and we'll talk about Charley's Aunt, too, we come to that now, he's been described as a protean performer, a remarkable clown, indeed he is if you've seen Charley's Aunt. Rene Auberjonois, who perhaps later on talk about the Fool in Lear, Robin's Fool to your Lear, and about also the possible two roles the, in Endgame that you do, and Janice Young, who has talent as well as quite obvious pulchritude, too.
Studs Terkel The stepdaughter, stepdaughter in Pirandello, and the indolent, bored young wife in Uncle Vanya. Perhaps we begin with the voice of Bill Ball, this is an interview that William Ball took part in a couple of months ago while passing through Chicago, sort of setting up the idea of a session, of the season, and he was talking about actors. Let's see what he says
Robin Gammell The master's voice?
Studs Terkel The master's voice.
William Ball Now these actors, you know, actors are usually troubadours. They like to change their placement. Here are 100 actors and, and craftsmen who have stuck with this organization for a year even though we have had the most harrowing experiences that you could imagine. And, but I mean, because they believe in it, and they--I encourage them to be assertive even if it happens to be a, a little hard to take. I mean, if it's aimed at me, it's hard to take. But sometimes they'll say, they'll say, "Now, don't you get soft! Now, don't you give up! Now, go," and they'll sort of cuss me out, and, and they'll say, "By golly, I've got to keep the thing going," and they're not going to take any nonsense from me, and you know they give me a rough time, but I, even though I might feel like putting them down now and then, that assertion is valuable, that's what, that's what I've been making an investment in, because when they start asserting themselves, then they start creating, they believe in things.
Studs Terkel So it's this fervor, this assertion, the discipline will come along with it.
William Ball Listen, discipline supports fervor just like food supports life. In other words, discipline isn't an end in itself. But if you want to accomplish things, if by fervor you want to accomplish things, discipline is highly desirable. [recording fades out]
Studs Terkel That comment that Ball made, let's leave this open, a free roundtable. That discipline is not an end in itself, it's the fervor and of course, this is what impressed people seeing your company, it's the fervor of it, the sense of presence. I suppose this is what he tries to, Robin, would you say this is one of the--
Robin Gammell The fervor instead of the presence. I --see, I don't know. I, I don't think that the two are dis--I think they're two distinct things. I don't think they're, I don't think they lead into another, into each other, I don't -- they're parallel. I can't see that discipline and fervor are two different things in the theater or in this company.
Robin Gammell Maybe I'm not understanding what
Studs Terkel No, there was an earlier part that perhaps should have been heard. He's saying--
Robin Gammell I just knew, I just
Studs Terkel He was talking about discipline as such, a disciplined company. But he was talking about freedom, too.
Richard Dysart Discipline not being an end in itself.
Studs Terkel Right. Dick, were you
Robin Gammell Yeah, I don't see--
Rene Auberjonois I think a lot of it has to do, you know I don't know whether I'm misinterpreting what Bill is saying, but the reason this company, people enjoy watching this company, is the, the, the closeness with which they work with each other and the familiarity they obviously have with each other as actors and as people, and one of the things that has kept us together and, and made us push so hard, the thing that Bill was talking about and that tremendous belief in the company and, and refusing to let it go and everything is, and being troubadours, all ties into the idea that we really have, since the very beginning, been in a kind of perpetual state of crisis and never really knowing where we're going to be and where we're going to end up and where it's going to go. Now, that doesn't mean that we want it to be that way forever, we don't. Most definitely, we want someday to have a city that is ours and that we belong to as human beings and as artists. But it has managed, this crisis this continual crisis feeling and, and never really knowing, has kind of stimulated, it has made necessarily a tremendous closeness in the company which I think probably shows in the work, I hope it does.
Robin Gammell Yes, I think it does.
Richard Dysart Yes, back to the--
Studs Terkel Richard
Richard Dysart The, the idea of fervor in place of discipline or fervor coming out of discipline, in a company not, not working under what might be called in, in theater "discipline for the sake of discipline." Nobody in this company on the stage in rehearsals ever feels shut off, ever feels being, as if they're being forced into a mold, and if they do, they can very easily break out of it by asserting themselves. It is a discipline. It is a company discipline which comes about primarily because of the individuals involved, I think. They all are that independent enough as artists to say, "Let's go, let's do, let's see what's moving
Studs Terkel I think you have two things involved here. It's accidental, yet turns up rather interesting. I think this is the way Bill Ball would like to work, too, improvisation. Your one thought suddenly happens, and then Rene was talking about the fact that you're in a sense of ferment, instead of, let's use the word "ferment" instead of fervor for the moment, because there is a tension involved. You're not quite sure where your home is, you're not a New York actor. You know you're going to knock at doors when your play is over. Or a Hollywood actor with your pool right next to you, and you melt in like custard in the Hollywood sun. No, you're something else. You are tru -- you see he used the word "troubadours" too. Not that you want this, obviously you don't, there's [unintelligible] you're human beings. You'd like to settle down in one place. But the very nature--
Robin Gammell For
Studs Terkel Huh?
Rene Auberjonois For a bit. We like to settle down for a bit.
Studs Terkel For
Robin Gammell We've been going consistently for now a year and a half.
Studs Terkel Now, this consistently for a year and a half. Could you describe this for a moment, this, this year and a half.
Robin Gammell Well, it's been, it's just, it's been turmoil, it's been creative turmoil. I mean we were in Pittsburgh until -- I guess I'm still in, until January. Most of us, most of the company left in [match striking] October, I think it was. Rene and I and two other members of the company who are not now with us except for Charlie Siebert, he is in Beyond the Fringe. We stayed until, until January. Then on, most of the company then went to Ann Arbor and from Ann Arbor we went to New York to do Milkwood, and then we went to Westport, then the company split again. It's like an amoeba, [laughing] it splits and joins together and bits come back to it, and then we split and went to East Haddam, Connecticut while the rest, while the Misalliance company came to Stanford, but it's been one continual move for a year and
Janice Young Well, it's also the addition that we never, we never knew at any one stop if we were going to go on. It would be different if we'd had a year's schedule in front of us and we could plan accordingly, but with each city we were afraid that that would be it, because we've had such a, a time--
Janice Young Finding a home, as it is now, and so each one could very well have been the last, and so then you think, "Well, should I go back to New York, should I call my agent or look for more work?" We just never knew, which is a psychological chaos.
Studs Terkel I think it's an open secret at the moment that, you know, there are plans underway. I'm not going to ask the views of the actors about this, and of course they each have their private views, and that perhaps, too, even premature to talk about it, that of the possible split season, 22 weeks in Chicago, 22 weeks in San Francisco, that you were the repertory company of both cities. Eventually, it probably would turn out to be, you probably will be in one. I would guess.
Robin Gammell I think, yeah, there's no, there can't be
Studs Terkel We're talking now about, what we're talking Robin about now at this moment, you know, at this very moment, not just survival, but the idea that both cities, indeed are terribly excited. We know Chicago is, quite obviously. Suppose you talk about plays, different ones that have hit us very hard. All have. Could we be -- could we begin at the beginning? You know, with your bombshell opening of, [laughing] it was, you know, the Six Characters show, Six Characters in Search of an Author. How--think of Richard Dysart as the stepfather and Janice Young as the stepdaughter and Robin as the harried director, how, in rehearsing this, how, how do you use Charley's Aunt as the base, this Charley's Aunt is part of your repertoire.
Robin Gammell Yeah.
Richard Dysart Well, the, the original Pirandello play, or the play as, as
Richard Dysart The play as originally written, used a scene, it opens with a, the play opens with a, a company onstage in rehearsal of a play, and into their midst come the six characters in search of an author to complete their lives, to put their play down on paper. In the Pirandello script, he used a scene of his own from one of his plays--
Rene Auberjonois [unintelligible] is that it? No, that's in--
Richard Dysart No, oh, it'll come to me, but it was a Pirandello play that was in rehearsal. Because Charley's Aunt is in our repertory, that scene was replaced, and a scene from Charley's Aunt was in rehearsal onstage as the six characters arrived. Rules of the Game, that Pirandello play, Rules of the Game. And it, it makes it, I don't know, because of the humor of Charley's Aunt, because of the rather absurd situation of a, of a man in a woman's dress with a cigar or what have you, tromping around the stage. It does have a bit of illusion reality situation involved within itself, which is one of the main major themes of the play. So it seems to, seems to help it.
Rene Auberjonois This all goes along with Bill's whole idea of, he uses a phrase called "bonus props," that when you're working as an actor, what he uses it as a director and encourages us to use it as actors, that you try and get something that's a real bonus. I mean, it can, it may, it may not be in the playwriting, but you, you're trying to find something that really gives the audience and you a kick, and kind of spurs you on to other things and that's why I think he chose Chariey's Aunt is a marvelous choice, because it's a, it's a very novel kind of thing, a guy in a dress, is already, he's, he's already grabbed the audience in a way, that--
Studs Terkel And it's theater, it's illusion. Here is almost primitive illusion, illusion in a primitive way, out and out, you know, Bang! Burlesque. And then suddenly--
Janice Young I think even the translation itself is [unintelligible] prop, this translation so modern and I think Pirandello really would be very excited because it's the acting company and the phrases used are completely modern, sense memory is mentioned, which is a technique that actors are
Robin Gammell In place of a tarantella, wasn't it
Robin Gammell In the original, in the original play.
Janice Young Which was fine in, in his time, but he'd be the first--
Studs Terkel I even thought I detected, I wasn't sure if I detected slang here or not. I wasn't quite certain. I remember now in, in, in the translation. It was modern. We're quite aware of that. That it wasn't a play of the 19th century.
Janice Young Modern acting. It's not an acting
Studs Terkel Isn't this one of the aspects of, coming ba -- coming to Chekhov too, and even Charley's Aunt, that it's now, it's always now, isn't it? In its direct application to the audience.
Richard Dysart But I think every play
Janice Young Every play should be, categorically.
Rene Auberjonois The thing about Pirandello--
Robin Gammell Every classic play is, because that's the reason it's lasted.
Rene Auberjonois The thing about Pirandello that fascinates me is that--is that a note for me? [laughing]
Studs Terkel To project. To lean
Rene Auberjonois Where, oh, Rene's leaning too far back from the microphone. All right. Gammell's getting thrown out [unintelligible] [laughing] In a lot of Pirandello's plays, and a thing that Bill has been, I think the reason I like this production so much is that a lot of Pirandello's plays have a very modern idea and they're very exciting to modern audiences, but they have kind of become dated in, in the terms of not only the speech, but the way the act--well, yeah, I guess the speech and the idea that the actors are working on, since actors have changed since that time and the things we use and everything, and it's very exciting that he has, I think, without hurting the play at all, and I think I agree with Janice that Pirandello would have been very excited by it, by it, he might have rather done it himself, but he's not here to do that. But, that Bill has managed to, to bring the play up to date without, I think, destroying the original intent of
Robin Gammell I think he's deepened it.
Rene Auberjonois Yeah.
Robin Gammell You know and Renee is talking about the original play seems to have been a, a slap at, the original play was written at the time when naturalism in the theater was beginning to become quite strong. You know, the tendency, the, the movement towards contemporary naturalism was happening, I think, at about the same time as Chekhov was hittin- hitting the--
Richard Dysart Later than Chekhov, but the movement in Europe was--
Robin Gammell It was sort of a rebirth of natur - a rebirth of naturalist, in my eyes you know, it was the beginning of a, beginning of a new
Studs Terkel Pirandello was taking a whack at this. He was, he was, in a way, afraid to buy into it.
Robin Gammell He was taking a whack at the, at the Baroque, the Baroque styles of, of actors, and--
Richard Dysart And playwrighting also.
Robin Gammell And playwriting, and in the midst of this comes six very natural characters. But what happens now is that you have a style of acting that is natural, that is, is very easy to, what can you say, street? Street talk? And then the problem is the six characters, what, how different are the six characters? I think it offers much more opportunity delving into the, the real problems of illusion and reality.
Studs Terkel You know what's overwhelming about that thinking the six, that moment they know, the striking moment is when the characters, the family appears in black, you know, and suddenly here you're watching the rehearsal, we're sitting in the rehearsal, aren't we, and the kids are having difficulty, you, Robin, are the director and you have your difficulties of a director. It could be an amateur company, it could be anything, could be a pro company. It could be troubadours, right? And all of a sudden something happens. The very thing they're pretending to be suddenly is, isn't it? And then, Wham! It becomes suspense, power, everything.
Rene Auberjonois It's more or less-- a lady stopped--my wife is in it, Judith is in Six Characters, and a lady stopped Judith in the grocery store and was talking to her about Six Characters in Search of an Author and was very excited by it, and Judith realized in the course of the conversation that the lady didn't--she realized it was a performance and production of a play, but she thought that Robin really was a director and that the, that my wife really was an assistant stage manager, which is the role she plays in the show. She, somehow she had gotten lost in the illusion/reality thing, she of course was intelligent enough to realize that it was a play, but she, she really believed that Robin was a director, not an actor playing a director, blubbity blubbity bluh, which is that, you know, they're all
Janice Young One of my favorite things in rehearsing Six Characters was for instance when Robin was rehearsing the director, and then we have our own director, who was Byron Ringland who was directing it, and it got so, it's, it com -- it was more Pirandello in rehearsal than---
Robin Gammell Yes, it is, it was
Janice Young Because Byron would direct Robin and pretty soon Robin would be directing Byron and the company, and one really didn't know where they were.
Robin Gammell I remember, yeah, I remember, I remember various times during the, during the rehearsal when Byron--I figured that Charley's Aunt was my
Robin Gammell Was my play. I mean why, you know, I'm supposed to be directing it on stage, and I figured it was my play.
Studs Terkel You became the director.
Robin Gammell Yeah. I directed it.
Richard Dysart He wouldn't let
Robin Gammell But except Byron, except Byron quite naturally, I mean, the whole, the whole thing was his production, and he had various comments to make, and I'd allow him to make them, [laughing] and I allowed him to
Studs Terkel get Pirandello would have loved this.
Robin Gammell Yes, the rehearsal was, the rehearsal was marvelous. I'd allow him to get on, onstage, but then, then he'd start to, I figured, interfere or start to supersede what I wanted to do. And the marvelous--
Studs Terkel I think we should explain just this one little parenthetical comment to the audience just to explain in case those who haven't seen the Pirandello Six Characters in Search of an Author. Robin Gammell is playing the role of a director on the stage. But the power of this particular production and the concept of Pirandello was such that Robin thought he was the director of the play.
Robin Gammell I was the director.
Rene Auberjonois Not of the play Six Characters.
Robin Gammell Not of the play Six Characters, the play Charley's Aunt. So the most marvelous bit of suspension of, of reality or everybody was left in the void when at various times I'd tell Byron to get off the stage. You know, leave, no, we don't want that, Byron. And suddenly you'd find six actors really not knowing
Janice Young Who to listen to.
Robin Gammell Who to listen to, or what to gravitate to, whether to laugh at me or laugh at Byron or to laugh with Byron at me.
Rene Auberjonois What about the, what about the night that Byron had to take over a role in the show? Austin Pendleton doing, in, in Charley's Aunt had to go to a wedding or something, and Byron, the director of the play Six Characters had to take over the role of an actor in the play Charley's Aunt being rehearsed.
Rene Auberjonois The real director in the middle of it, the middle
Robin Gammell Yeah, doing the thing. Well the best part of it was after it was all over. Byron came up, they're having, I've been, you know I've received notes ever since we started this thing, and after it was all over Byron came up to me and said, "Was I all right?" [laughing] It was fine. I said "Fine". It was a pure, pure actor/director relationship. You know, it's bizarre.
Studs Terkel Earlier Rene was speaking about bonus props, Bill Ball's belief in bonus props, something that is, you know, like a catapult, something over and beyond what is usually used. I'm thinking of the way everything should be choreographed. The stepfather, stepdaughter, nown here come the characters in search of the author, whom you the director have trouble with, and Richard Dysart as the stepfather, and Janice Young is his stepdaughter and their quasi-incestuous relationship, his lust. And we come to the use of props and it hit me, I wasn't conscious at the time, you never are. When he comes into the, behind the beaded door into the milliner's shop where she is being used, and you see--speak of sense of shame, you one--she's holding it against, 'cause of your one moment of shame, you know, but you find yourself there at the place of shame. I mean, everything seems to be--
Janice Young One of the interesting things in the thing, in the play, is as the six characters try to get their play done and tell the story, they constantly go back into, into their life, and so it's that they're, they're in and out constantly, it's between talking to the acting company there at that time and going into their past, and I don't suppose, I wonder your reaction to that, I don't suppose it's too noticeable that there's a click. It almost, one fades into the other without your hardly realizing it, that they're suddenly doing the past, their past history on the stage.
Richard Dysart Yes, it's in and out, it's, it's trying to get it done, to have it put down on paper, and, and all of a sudden the life of the six characters becomes the life that they had in the past. Each time it is a little different, because it is seen differently in the eyes of each of the characters, and that is the clash between the characters. Each wants the story recorded in the way that they saw it and remembered it.
Rene Auberjonois Except that you do acknowledge, I mean, one of the big crises in the Six Characters is the scene in the, is the scene in the, in the brothel, and you, you know, Janice and you have the, have the argument about the way the scene should go, but you then acknowledge at the end of the scene that that's, you know, it is, it is Janice's scene, as far as she's concerned it explains her character and her problem. There seems to be the fight of how, you know, how it should be played, but then in the end of that scene you do acknowledge that that is the way the scene has to be played.
Richard Dysart Yes, and perhaps--
Rene Auberjonois To
Richard Dysart Perhaps with the reservation that later I'm going to, of course it doesn't come out there, it isn't said, but that we will do this and then I will tell my side
Janice Young Yes, which I very much don't want him to
Robin Gammell It's a marvelous, you know they're, they're, it's like all, I think like all great plays, they're wonderful, there are wonderful chinks in it. I mean, we, we go into this thing about the six characters being, being real, they are real people, and yet Janice talks about the little girl. Now, what you are seeing is a play, she says. What we are participating in is, is a play. Well, that's not rational.
Rene Auberjonois They never solve any of their--
Janice Young Nor are the children.
Robin Gammell Nor are the children.
Rene Auberjonois They never solve any of their problems, they have problems when they're recreating their past lives. There are problems that they have with each other and conflicts, and it, and when they are not recreating their past or just talking to each other in front of the actors outside of the scene while they're not playing a scene from their past, they can never solve any of those problems, which I find very interesting. They, the, the father and the daughter never agree or never come anywhere near an understanding of each other.
Robin Gammell No, it's, the only, I think the only, and I think the only solution as they see it, they acknowledge, as the stepfather says at the first, that each has his own opinion. The only way it can be resolved is if they, the six of them act as advocates, and trying to get the, the, the person who is going to set it down, they've chosen the director of this, this company to be their author, to notate what the play is going to be, and the, the only way their problems can be solved is if they can get the director, it seems to me, to guide the play in their direction.
Studs Terkel There's so many dimensions
Robin Gammell I think. It never happens.
Richard Dysart It doesn't, it doesn't stop.
Studs Terkel As somebody mentioned, just as Robin, Robin was saying, these characters, these creations, these creatures out of the mind of this empty chair of the playwright Pirandello, of all playwrights, saying suddenly art becomes greater than life. You know the phrase, "Art is long, life is short," in a way, don't you say it, the stepfather, Richard Dysart, don't you say so, why King Lear will outlive all the real monarchs who ever lived?
Richard Dysart These people, these people have been recorded. Shakespeare put Lear on paper. Cervantes put--
Studs Terkel I know Don Quixote down.
Richard Dysart Don Quixote down. But they're there.
Studs Terkel But they can outlive every Spanish knight who ever lived or every king--
Richard Dysart It doesn't necessarily mean that these characters have any particular majesty or, or, or value to themselves that supersedes any other individual, but simply that they have been recorded, they exist and will exist for all time because somebody has put their life down on paper.
Rene Auberjonois But what then, but what about then again, you're getting into a position. All right then
Robin Gammell King Lear and Don Quixote of last, but what E. Gooks in Mordant Fishermen? There was a marvelous play about the mordant fisherman that went on for four hours, but who's ever heard of that?
Janice Young You, among -- [laughing]
Studs Terkel And then we're se--and then we're coming to art. You see, art is long, not--
Robin Gammell So not the character.
Studs Terkel No, not the character, but if the character is written by a great playwright, he is forever. So King Lear is forever.
Studs Terkel But kings are not forever.
Richard Dysart No.
Studs Terkel So in a way he's saying this, too, isn't he? Assuming now the guy you talked about was a lousy play, right?
Robin Gammell It's non-existent.
Studs Terkel Oh, non-ex--oh, you made it up. [laughing] Oh, I see, he's non-existent, therefore he's not
Robin Gammell No, but I mean if--
Studs Terkel Yeah, but suppose he was put
Robin Gammell But what about the thou -- what about the thousands of plays that have been written about great people that had application to their time? They've disappeared. So it's not jus - it's not just--
Studs Terkel It wasn't a great work of
Rene Auberjonois No, it's not a great work of art, but maybe he was a great person.
Janice Young There's a third part--I, really don't prolong this except that we discuss this hour already, the third part is that Pirandello himself was, or as any, many writers are obsessed by their characters as they're writing, and I've heard writers say, "I want to have this boy in this play commit suicide but he won't do it. He just won't do it. You know, they begin to take over the playwright. And in that sense the characters in Pirandello were haunting Pirandello, the people that he's writing about, and in that sense they would, he would rest in peace if they could be put down, and
Robin Gammell Maybe the interesting, maybe the interesting thing about, about this, about this, this particular play is that the characters in this particular play had too much power over the author, and for exactly that reason he said, "Forget it. I'm not going to write them down. They've run out of, they're not under my control. Why should I bother? It's my play.
Studs Terkel Of course, this probably happened to Eugene O'Neill writing Long Day's Journey Through the Night.
Robin Gammell Well, there it worked.
Janice Young I would think very much it happens to Chekhov also. He's a kind of writer that I can't help but think his characters take over him, and that he, he's not able to, to have people do what he originally thought as it goes along.
Robin Gammell Yes,
Studs Terkel Let's come to Chekhov and, 'cause this can go on forever, I know, [laughing] Pirandello is a Chinese box. And, and the beauty of repertory company, later on come to perhaps Robin Gammell and Rene and King Lear and the Fool and Clov and Hamm and the Endgame and Chekhov, Richard Dysart and Janice Young, now here you are, an incredible relationship in Pirandello, the stepfather, stepdaughter. Suddenly, the same two people: Richard Dysart and Janice Young, are Uncle Vanya and his unrequited love for the beautiful indolent wife of the old professor. And here you are, the same two people, and we come to Chekhov, and I suppose this has tremendous impact upon you, doesn't it, I mean, the switching, the daily swi -- doesn't it? [laughing]
Richard Dysart Thanks.
Rene Auberjonois Glad to hear that. That's
Robin Gammell That's done. Now we go on to trying
Richard Dysart That's, that's a problem of art. In this particular instance there's no problem at all because working together over a period of time, you, you come to sense that, oh, I, I, I wouldn't say that, that here, here I'm working, I can't say that here I am working with an actress who becomes somebody else the moment a rehearsal starts. That isn't so, but she does become very much herself in a, in a different way and to work with her, and at the same time in early rehearsals perhaps to, to use that thing of just standing on the sidelines and observing at the same time as, as, as working, I think, oh my goodness, this, this is an incredible life being built and it's coming out of, if I may say so, this incredible actress. It's--
Janice Young Well, I certainly agree completely in reverse about Mr. Dysart. [laughing]. No, but it is interesting because it's, it's quite the same acting with Richard, and--
Richard Dysart You, you come to, to realize that here is an individual, as with all fine talents, that has within herself a, all these varied emotions, all this, this well of, of life that can be drawn upon, can be repressed, can be brought out at, when, when it's required, and that's a marvel to work with people like that.
Janice Young Also in terms of the company we've done, I don't know how many productions now. I really can't remember, we're doing what, how many are we doing, nine here? But we have about 15 in our rep or something like that. So among all the actors there's a continual new facet of themselves being used in all the plays and maybe that is what makes our company close is that we, we, they're all the same actors, and we get to know different relationships in each play.
Robin Gammell That at times can be dangerous, but I don't think we've ever, we don't, we haven't--of course it can be dangerous. It can, you know, it can become incest - incentuous.
Rene Auberjonois Why
Robin Gammell Well, I, I, I think it, with the same group of actors working day in and day out, you know, it can become very complacent and I think you can, you begin to accept the, the, the fa-- you know it, it doesn't change. But that we haven't fathomed this at all, we haven't got this far yet at all.
Studs Terkel I think it will take, my own, my own hunch is, just watching the company, and I've seen but five, and of course overwhelmed--
Janice Young I think that's wonderful.
Studs Terkel But I think what's incredible is that I doubt whether there's a danger with the way you people are, as performers, as artists, and with Bill Ball and his associate directors. The state of ferment in which you are, too, is part of it, but also the fact that we know, I mean, some of our very, very original thinkers today. Buckminster Fuller, I'm saying, the human mind, the human being is just being, is surface being scratched open right now, has possibilities. And Bill, I couldn't find the part in the interview I was looking for--he wants it over and beyond reality. But he what, what he was saying to me, really, is that life itself can be bigger than it really is. We're just living one fraction of a life--you actors are showing us, as she is. She's both the stepdaughter and this wife and she could be whoever she--Polly Garter in Under Milkwood or [wherever you are?], you see, you are poor Uncle Vanya, but also this lustful stepfather and you are the funny underwear tycoon, but all, and you are a million things, Robin, certainly Rene Auberjonois is a million and a half things, from Lear to Tartuffe--
Robin Gammell I'm a million, and he's a million and a half. [laughing]
Richard Dysart Enough of that!
Rene Auberjonois Who is that man that writes those, those rules that people live by?
Janice Young What?
Rene Auberjonois No, no, I don't know, they were little parables.
Robin Gammell Aesop's?
Rene Auberjonois No.
Robin Gammell Okay, start again.
Rene Auberjonois And he says something like, "The minute a thing is, the minute you have succeeded at a thing, it is then doomed to fail." And I guess some of us think well, maybe, you know, we have been talking about the idea of ferment, and that's maybe what makes us good or exciting or stimulated or keep on creating. And I think sometimes you think, well, if we get a city, let's say we get a city like Chicago or San Francisco and we settle down, and then will it then be the end? Will it just begin to
Robin Gammell No, I don't think
Rene Auberjonois Well, that's exactly what I'm saying. I don't think it can with, with a company like this, and perhaps more important, with a man like Bill Ball, I just never, never allow it to happen. We may have a theater where we're happy and settled and there's the chance for that to happen. But then he'll say, "Okay, now we're going to do Peer Gynt in two weeks or something, which will drive us crazy, and everyone will scream and go running around.
Robin Gammell Well, also I think, you know, unless his, unless his mainspring breaks, he, he will go on. I mean, it's his company. I always felt the interesting thing about him, whatever the makeup of the company, he's managed to bring together, I think, some int - some very interesting people, and no matter what happens to, to us, I mean the four of us around the table or the people in the company, if his mainspring doesn't break, he is always, I think, going to have interesting people around him.
Studs Terkel Well,
Robin Gammell And I think it's a, and I think it's, I think it's good that the, that the population of the company is changing, that it always changes. I mean there will be that constant. There will be him in the center of it, but I think it good that, that some of us go away and come back. I mean, that's--
Richard Dysart It has been the case, yes.
Robin Gammell Really not in a major, in a major sense yet. I mean,
Janice Young If we had a, I, I think Robin has, has mentioned this before and I agree with him, if we ever had a home, it might be, it's interesting to think that we could do that, just for the sake of a, a rejuvenating quality, that you leave and you do come back, with, with having been freshened in some
Rene Auberjonois There is already a feeling in this company of a thing that, there are a lot of people that we still consider members of the American Conservatory Theater who are not with us right now, who are doing a movie somewhere--
Rene Auberjonois Yeah, like Scooter Teague or Cicely Tyson, who's in A Man Called Adam, and they're, you still kind of think of them as being members of our company.
Richard Dysart Mark
Robin Gammell And that Ball considers, Ball considers members.
Rene Auberjonois And it's nice to know that if, if, I like to think that if I left to do something that, you know, that I wanted to do, that I would still be a member of this company.
Robin Gammell Now that, that in the sense is what you were saying about the two, the two-city thing. I don't know if we've talked about it while we've been around here, around this table, but that, in a sense, is what you're, you're, you were are talking about, is that we have a, have a changing from one city to another. I mean, you don't
Studs Terkel This very, now, obviously this, it isn't the purpose here to take consensus. I hate that word anyway.
Robin Gammell This is a liberal station, isn't it? [laughing]
Studs Terkel A consensus of actors or, or their thoughts, course they probably, each actor does prefer perhaps living in one city or the other, but at the moment it occurs to me, and I'm, I'm selling you right now, the idea that the very state of flux you're talking about, without being nomads, I mean without you having one-night stands, two rather interesting and wholly different cities, half a year each, gives you it seems a sense of refreshment, you know, and almost also audiences, two different audiences.
Robin Gammell Yeah.
Studs Terkel With two different challenges doing similar or the same repertoire, and it's a terribly ex--would seem to me terribly exciting, though would have a certain inconvenience. A domestic.
Robin Gammell Yeah,
Studs Terkel Lack of domes--domestic
Robin Gammell One thing, one with -- one thing we're arguing is that you remember I mentioned something about getting used to a situation. I mean, I, I talked about it being a, a danger. Well, the point is, that we are now getting used to the situation of being on the road. Now, now we want, we want the change. That's why, if there is any resistance to the two-city idea, it's that, it's, it's similar to what we've been going through, and we'd like a complete change.
Robin Gammell No, I, I still think there's an enormous advantage in having two, two cities. I don't really like the idea of settling down in one city forever and ever, but then, of course I'm not going to be with the company forever and ever. I'm going to be going away, to other--
Studs Terkel And perhaps returning.
Robin Gammell Oh, of course. I want to. Definitely. Well,
Richard Dysart Well, it seems just from what little I know of it that neither one of the cities, Chicago or San Francisco, is able at this time to offer what would be perhaps considered a full season, which might be, say, 44 weeks. Neither city is either prepared with theatrical plants that are available or with the necessary funds to do that. Many actors require, for their own peace of mind or peace of soul or what have you, some kind of solidity, so that when they move into a community, so to speak, into Chicago, a feeling that--well, I'm not only, I'm here to work, yes, but I want to become part of a community. I want to settle down. I want to know who my alderman is. I want to, you know, I want, I want to be part of it, feel part of it, to live in it, and to work in it. And when you're living out of a trunk, when you're living in a furnished apartment or a, a hotel, it's very difficult to achieve that. It's all temporary. That's all, well, where next.
Rene Auberjonois Also we don't, you know, to say which do we prefer, I don't think any of us could honestly answer. I mean we, we might be able to make a snap judgment about which city we would rather live in, but that's the whole point is, we don't really know either city very well. We've--
Richard Dysart That's very true, that's very true.
Rene Auberjonois We've gone to the, each city, and then lived out of a trunk, and you know, I know the good restaurants and I--
Robin Gammell It's getting to the point now where I'm afraid to commit myself to any--personally, quite personally. I've been on the road long enough, a year and a half, I mean, we haven't been, it's not as if we've been playing one night stands. You mustn't get that impression. But I've been living on the road long enough I think that I don't know if I ever want to settle down in any city, and that's when it becomes dangerous.
Studs Terkel It is a year and a half, isn't it? About a year and a half, it's incredible that in a year and a half, about 19 plays, I remember. And yet it's more than 19 plays, these characters. What you've done to the plays, Bill Ball and his associate directors and you the performers, have made the roles yours, as you vary, we return to this theme. What were you going to say, Robin?
Robin Gammell I, I wanted to get back to one thing, I'm--ever since it was brought up between Janice and, and Dick, talking about repertory and seeing different facets of, you know, starting a new play and seeing different facets of a, of another performer. I think another important thing about repertory is that with each new play, as new things are revealed, it also can, try and ex-- explain this clearly, what is revealed in a new rehearsal also begins to apply to the pl -- to the, to the play you're already performing, something that is, is revealed in or in a rehearsal situation with another four actors, I think, enriches the, the, the production that has already opened, that is already in performance, and I think one of the advantages of repertory is that you get this, this transfusion of, of new life from one play to another each night.
Studs Terkel Perhaps we could, if we could dwell on this for a moment, this is a very interesting theme. Just as I'm, I'm sure there was this transfusion of new life and new blood, just as you went from the stepdaughter to the indolent wife in the Chekhov play. And you went from the stepfather to poor Uncle Vanya in a, something or the other thing entered this, that gave it a new richness, perhaps thinking of Robin and Rene--
Richard Dysart In relation to Endgame.
Studs Terkel Endgame and King Lear. Because last time, we, we talked about this briefly for a moment when, when Ed Hastings was here, when you were, we had an emergency program. You mentioned the fact--emergency-- and you mentioned the fact that you and Robin will be in, in Beckett's Endgame--
Rene Auberjonois Right.
Studs Terkel Which Robin described last as a "terrible comedy," and some of the audience sure thought he was making an editorial comment as he was describing it as a terrible comedy.
Richard Dysart He said it was a terrible comedy, he meant it in the true sense of the word, terrible.
Studs Terkel Comedy of Terror.
Robin Gammell But I didn't want to, I didn't want to frighten the people who are afraid of terrible comedies.
Studs Terkel So
Robin Gammell So I said terrible
Rene Auberjonois Maybe they felt they'd just seen one.
Studs Terkel So we talk for a moment about Rene's Lear, and Robin's Fool, and Rene's Clov and Hamm, Hamm and Clov. What happens here?
Rene Auberjonois Well, I don't know. We, we started, as I said, as I mentioned, when we were on the last program, the emergency program, when we started working on the show, we were working with a director, Ed Call, who is from the Guthrie Theater--
Studs Terkel He did a fantastic Brecht, I hear.
Rene Auberjonois Yes. He's a marvelous, marvelous director. And he, he was new to the company, and he had seen a lot of our shows but he hadn't really worked with us. And he did, what I think both of us agree was a marvelous thing, he had seen us do Lear and the Fool together, and he decided that in a, in a play like Endgame, which is an absurd drama, and kind of an intangible thing for an actor to get a hold of, to get something really concrete that he can act, which is the hard thing about doing absurd drama, he decided to, to, since he didn't really know us as people at the beginning of the rehearsal, to, to grab on to the Lear-Fool relationship and try and apply it to Hamm and Clov in Endgame. It was, it was a marvelous idea, it gave him something very concrete because he had, he had seen us do it and had some ideas about that, and God knows gave us something very concrete to work on, and we--the, the basis of the whole idea, and this is a very superficial basis, not superficial, but it's--
Rene Auberjonois A relatively unimportant part of the entire production, but to us it's very important. I mean, I'm sure that the audience doesn't realize that I am playing an old actor who has played Lear many too many times and is sitting and rotting and waiting for the world to come to an end, and that Robin is a coarse, mechanical, comic, burlesque king and that he played my fool and that our relationship is, you know, from years and years of playing this role together and being actors, and again you have all these different levels of reality. That is what we took as a hook to grab onto. Then from that it goes into--
Robin Gammell Then it goes into something--
Robin Gammell -- Yeah, it's, it's, it can be so far away from Lear and the Fool that--
Studs Terkel Well, this is the riches, the audience doesn't have to know this, but the fact is this is that spring inside you. You know
Richard Dysart That's not what the playwright says, but this is what they have chosen to find the life within themselves, as two performers and that life put together is a, is a remarkable thing to see onstage.
Rene Auberjonois I use, we use the, the, and this is a bonus prop. It's not called for by Beckett, Hamm is always, for the entire play, sitting in a throne, an old throne. And Ed decided to make the setting an obvious stage setting, rotting scenery, on an island in the middle of this vast stage, and all the props which Beckett calls for are turned into obvious stage props as if we grabbed them out of old trunks, and I have on my throne the crown that I used as Lear, when I played Lear, and it's--it's without, when I'm performing it I don't think about it, but I know it's there. Then when I turn to take that crown, that crown means a lot more to me than just any old prop. It's the crown that I wore.
Studs Terkel That means a lot more to you, Rene, doing the role of this old guy in Beckett, and therefore enriches your particular performance, always have to be aware
Robin Gammell So it has no relation to--
Rene Auberjonois When I take that crown, it means something to me and therefore has to mean something more to the audience than just a regular
Robin Gammell It's an undercurrent, it's an undercurrent and it enriches something that's, that's, you know, that's, that's strong, that's strong already. I mean, it's a strong play. It's a strong production. But it's, an actor needs the, all the undercurrents.
Studs Terkel Of course, this is the intangible to the audience, that makes them--what?
Robin Gammell This is rep. This is what rep
Studs Terkel This is repertory theater. This is rep. Come--Dick Dysart, Janice here coming back to Chekhov, we'll keep this free, let this be improvisational. As I'm sure
Robin Gammell Wait a minute, wait a minute, I got a, I got a script here. [laughing]
Rene Auberjonois We've been working on this interview for the past four hours now, [unintelligible] work out some things
Richard Dysart I'm on page 17.
Janice Young No, no, no, no, you skipped
Studs Terkel This very point, this, this gag of Robin's is exactly the antithesis, isn't it, of Bill Ball's approach, that is the cut and dried, the cut and dried, you know, pattern. We have it worked out, follow this page, whereas, if I follow it correctly.
Janice Young Oh, certainly.
Studs Terkel Is that the idea, this what he meant in the beginning, about freedom and discipline, I think now we come back to it, if we can return to the original theme.
Janice Young That's not to say though in the, we do have class work, constantly, and that's not to say that Bill is not concerned with trying to define; always, he's concerned with trying to define style and that-I suppose that's the disciplined part of his, his approach.
Studs Terkel When we say discipline, this isn't for a moment implying, the audience gathers this, there's a well-disciplined company, indeed. But it's not a, a, it's not a stick kind of by-the-book discipline.
Robin Gammell But that's not discipline.
Robin Gammell Anything that's stiff.
Richard Dysart Well, such as is related to the military. It's not left-right-left-right-left-right.
Rene Auberjonois Yeah.
Richard Dysart It is discipline within each individual's own formation of a character.
Rene Auberjonois I think what you mean by di--discipline in the sense of, it, it's's not a new idea, funnily enough. It seems new, perhaps because American actors have tended to kind of pull away from it, but actually it's a very classic idea of training and using the term discipline in terms of getting a very strong basis for your work, just the way a, a, a painter will copy the old masters, I'm not saying we copy the old masters or anything like that, don't get me wrong. You work from a very, you begin with a very rigid kind of thing, and then you, you, if you have the discipline, then you, then you can afford to do whatever you want, because then no matter how far you go, you've always got, you're hooked on
Robin Gammell You don't need to worry. You no longer, you've got, you've got certain ba--you've got certain basic things.
Rene Auberjonois You go into orbit, but you know you've got that cord back to something--
Studs Terkel Basically, you
Robin Gammell I think he confu -- I, I think, I think he tends to, to confuse discipline with stodginess.
Studs Terkel Stodginess, perhaps, but inner--come back to this word "freedom," you are free. Quite obviously you're free. You are craftsmen. You know your craft. I'm sure that you have, you knew certain styles, too. Each play finds its own style, doesn't it?
Janice Young Yes.
Studs Terkel But you're free primarily, so when opening night, on the preview night, when you were the director and a train went by, you were still free in your roles, you could comment about an event that was happening at that moment. Without being self-conscious about it. Free. And I'm sure something happened, I'm sure some, something happens all the time, doesn't it? Some little occurrence that becomes part of your character without distracting from the
Robin Gammell But then you've also--then there are also plays where this is not allowed, you can't comment in Lear, you can't comment on the train.
Rene Auberjonois But that doesn't mean that you can't take, that, that, that if Glouster does something different, you know, that it's all tied in--that you, you take from the moment, even if you're doing Lear and exactly the same words and exactly the same moods every night, there is still the, the thing of actors with actors, people with people, reacting to each other in a different way.
Richard Dysart Each play has its own requirements.
Rene Auberjonois Right, right.
Robin Gammell Each play has its own
Richard Dysart Checkhov, Chekhov for example, requires a different, back to this word "discipline." I don't like that word. Has a different, has a different, [laughing], has a different approach, has a different life than say Beckett's Endgame. It necessarily has to be--and correct me on this if I'm wrong, but I think it necessarily Chekhov has to be more, you have to know exactly where you're going. How you get there is up to you and your fellow actors. But you know that this certain point has to be made at this time, because it's going to influence something in Act III. That has to be very clear, what you use for your interior life in creating that or in building that, which comes to the point of is an actor an artist or a crafter? That is your freedom. I suppose--I don't know, but I would suppose with Endgame that Rene and Robin were much more free in, within the confines of the play, of Beckett's play.
Rene Auberjonois Well, you are because of the nature of the play, because it doesn't impose any, you know, there are almost no restrictions, because so little, the, the, it is such a vast, has such a vast scope, that but in a funny way we weren't free, we, we probably spent twice the time delving and beating ourselves and asking questions and we would sit with the director for hours on end just trying to figure out one point and getting that straight--
Robin Gammell And disciplining it.
Rene Auberjonois Yeah,
Robin Gammell Because the --you remember the ama -- remember those amazing first run-throughs where everything was free? Everything was free because a) we didn't know the words, and we didn't [laughing], yeah buddy, all right, little, I got a little--
Rene Auberjonois We'll discuss
Robin Gammell We got, we can discuss that. But, you know, because the relationships weren't worked out, at times it just became unbearable, unbearably heavy, because we hadn't worked out the disciplines. Once you worked out the disciplines of your craft, then you're free to do, to get into, into the artistry.
Rene Auberjonois We would start talking to each other. We would, we would have some lines, a section of lines that we had worked out and we'd figured out what we thought it meant, which was what we needed to know. We would start talking with each other and going to those lines, and then we'd reach a point that we hadn't really gotten to yet, and this is in the early rehearsals, it was a little vague still, and in about three minutes' time, we were kind of just wandering all over-- [laughing]
Robin Gammell Oh, it was just mush, it was like farina.
Rene Auberjonois And we came and we'd turn and look at each other and know that neither one of us knew where we were, we had no idea.
Studs Terkel What's, what's amazing about this, I'm thinking with Rene Auberjonois and, and Robin Gammell, and Richard Dysart and Janice Young is here are four performers who have been involved, there's inter-relationship actors and persons, too, in these roles, that if for example Rene and Robin had done this in traditional commercial theater, Endgame, and they had this problem, would have been lost. I think. There would have been tension, but knowing some of the depths, not fully, no one really knows one another fully, I mean, as much you--therefore the calling upon other experiences together, calling again Lear and the Fool, they had a good feeling something was going to happen, right? Something was going to evolve from it, I'm sure this applies to Richard Dysart and Janice Young, too, being in a wholly different play.
Robin Gammell Well, it can work, you know, it can work, I, it can work in both ways. I think, to me, this is a, this is a valuable way. But you, you can't lose sight of the fact that, say four-- people in a cast, how many in a cast, say five people in the cast -- coming together for the first time, at times may work magic. I mean, that, that freshness, but at other times, it can work--it can, because you're coming fresh and you're unsure, it can make five people remote from each other. It works,
Rene Auberjonois But in a repertory system, it does, in a repertory system you, you have to have that kind of familiarity. That kind of thing where you, you have to know, or I have to know what I think the other actor is doing. I mean, it gets, I now have my own ideas about what Robin is doing as an actor. Why he does a thing. It may be, and we know that we work in almost totally opposite ways on a role, Robin and I--
Robin Gammell Yes,
Rene Auberjonois We talked about this a great deal, and that is a marvelous thing to know, because, for instance, Robin in rehearsal likes to take a long time with the book and will work with the book for a long time. I have a tenancy to get off the book, Rob -- not, not in the sense of just memorizing my lines or putting it down, but and to get away from that and to, so that I'm not anchored by that. But Robin likes to have it, because he keeps finding things in it. Well, if I didn't know that about Robin, if I just came in and started working with Robin, I'd be furious at him, I'd think,
Robin Gammell God knows, there's enough, there's enough tension as there is. [laughing] Knowing that at least
Janice Young There's certainly the third element of the director, too. Any, any director that's familiar with the actor's work in that sense and that so often is a problem when actors get together and the director himself is insecure and he, he -- if Robin came in with the book, he's be worried if he didn't know that, you know, and this, this is--
Richard Dysart Well in the, in the commercial theater, say in New York City, and Broadway. If an actor after a certain amount of time--
Rene Auberjonois Five-day clause.
Studs Terkel Five-day clause, that just meant that there's, there's danger of an actor being replaced, he doesn't quite meet standards, this is for people listening, and this horrible danger of losing a job.
Richard Dysart Yes.
Richard Dysart Yes. Produce, produce, produce. Come on, let's see you work. Let's see. What are you going to do? How are you going to do it? Don't wait, don't fool around, show me now says the producer, says the producer and the director. Under a very high-pressure situation. Tremendous amount of money involved.
Studs Terkel And it's got to score opening
Richard Dysart And it's got to score opening night. 'Cause it doesn't, it's dead, we're all dead, and so show me. Give it to me now. Don't fool around, don't, don't practice your craft. Come out, be a
Rene Auberjonois Well at times, at times this is very exciting, and at times it works. But can you imagine, can you imagine if, if someone had less resolve during the production of Death, the original production of Death of a Salesman, what would have happened to one of the more interesting performances in the past, I don't know, 20 years? I mean--
Rene Auberjonois First, Cobb would have
The first, Lee J. Cobb would have been out, because if we can believe the stories, and I've heard them from enough people that it, it sounds right, that, that Cobb didn't do anything, and he had produ -- they had the producers and everybody very concerned that they weren't going to get a performance out
Studs Terkel Lets pause for a moment, this is the end of installment one, my show, this is today. We go off now for a moment, we'll continue, this will continue tomorrow, we'll pick it up from here, talking about the horror of commercial, what is does to a person who has a certain slower way of doing something, can't meet the boffo demands of a commercial producer. We are with four remarkable performers, Richard Dysart, Rene Auberjonois, Janice Young and Robin Gammell, four of the, how can I put it, stalwarts of William Ball's American Conservatory Theater.
Robin Gammell Now we're coming up from principles, aren't we? [laughing]
Studs Terkel From
Janice Young Or down! Stalwart, no.
Studs Terkel And, as the audience knows by now, I mean, they're, they're here at Ravinia, this is called a calling, let's call this a calling card season, there are a couple of more weeks to go, they've added you know, as you know, because of the response of the audience. And two more plays have been added, Under Milkwood, perhaps you can talk about that for the next part of the program as well as we'll talk about Endgame. And Chekhov still to be talked about and approaches, and --statistics are what, now? Let see, this is, this is Wedn -- this is what, Wednesday morning?
Robin Gammell Mmm hmm, this is Wednesday morning.
Studs Terkel This is Wednesday morning. Tonight?
Robin Gammell Misalliance.
Studs Terkel Tonight is Misalliance, the second night of Shaw's Misalliance, and then there will still be some more Pirandello, won't there?
Richard Dysart There is one more Six Characters left.
Studs Terkel One more Six Characters, more
Rene Auberjonois Endgame Friday night that people have to come and see.
Studs Terkel That's 11:30 at night?
Rene Auberjonois That's the opening night.
Studs Terkel Opening night 11:30.
Robin Gammell Of
Rene Auberjonois Everybody's scared of coming that late. We're going
Studs Terkel Of Endgame. And of course Beyond the Fringe that Rene Auberjonois directed. And of course, Under Milkwood, too.
Rene Auberjonois They've still got a couple more.
Studs Terkel And
Studs Terkel And we trust, I know that thousands of Chicagoans hope that Chicago itself will figure in the permanent way. Thank you very much for now, we'll continue this, audience, you listen tomorrow, we'll pick it up where we left off, sort of like a cliffhanger. Thank you very much indeed.