James Lipton

James Lipton discusses how the Actors Studio Master's Degree program came to be

on Apr 5, 20100

Those of you who have taken the time and trouble to visit my blog in the past (for which my sincerest thanks) know that spring is my favorite time of the year – for many reasons, one of which I’ve never shared with you before. It’s simply this: Spring marks the time of year when our Actors Studio Drama School students, who comprise the eager audience you see on Inside the Actors Studio, complete three years of intense and exhilarating study at Pace University and embark with their Master’s Degrees in Acting or Directing or Playwriting – and before they do, they present their theses on our Drama School stage in the only Repertory Season of its kind in the American university system – and for that matter on any stage in the city of New York. A large claim, but I can substantiate it.

In 1994, when I came up with the idea of creating for the first time in the then 47-year history of the famed Actors Studio a degree-granting Master of Fine Arts program, the Studio asked me to lead a committee of legendary Studio members in the structuring of the first school to bear the Studio’s name – and carry its banner to a new generation. I’ve described this chapter in the school’s history in a previous blog, so I’ll confine myself here to the point with which I began this reflection.

During the year in which we forged the school’s curriculum, the central pillar that emerged with an inexorable logic that surprised and encouraged us was the concept of a full-blown, full-blooded, fully-produced Repertory Season in which the students would unite to present their Master’s Degree theses not on paper or in the classroom, but where theatrical works belong: on the stage, in a season of original plays written by the graduating class’s playwrights, directed by its directors and acted by its actors, all of it offered free to the university, to our professional colleagues in search of new and exciting talent, and to the residents of the Lower Manhattan community in which Pace makes its home.

36 comments
tinahappy
tinahappy

Dear Mr Lipton, I have been a fan of you for years. I would like to say is Why don't you use favoritewords.com for your list? It's a free tool, lacks some features but it's still in beta, so... I am pretty sure you'll love using it. Thanks for posting your words.

mayfly
mayfly

Dearest Mr Lipton,

I am a huge fan of Inside the Actors Studio and would love to see Tim Curry on your show. He is such a wonderful actor on stage and screen. He is also a wonderful singer and voice-over actor. His resume is one of the longest on IMDB. Please, please bring him on.

Karen.

DOROTHY CAMERON
DOROTHY CAMERON

I love your program and sincerely want to see it back on a regular basis.All that space is wasted on the reailty shows and I loved it when you were on every Sunday night I even remember when you were on The Guiding Light, that's how old I am. Will there ever be a repeat of the Betty White appearance? PLEASE PLEASE COME BACK.

cindy smithmyer
cindy smithmyer

Dear Mr. Lipton With the holiday season upon us, I want to take a moment and wish you a blessed New Year, that it brings you happiness as much as you have given my husband and I through the years, both laughter and tears. I am afraid I can not offer any pointers for upcoming shows, because perfection is your show ... but may I add an answer to one of your top ten questions: If Heaven exists, What would you like to have God say to you, at the Pearly Gates? Yes, Cindy we do get The Actors Studio on cable.

Happy New Year

GGFan
GGFan

Mr. Lipton,

Thank you. I just started watching your program on Bravo. I have always been intrigued how actors and directors elicit their performances. Their craft is so foreign to me, and yet I am in awe of their ability to create.

I would love to see Lauren Graham on your program. Her ability to perform both comedy and drama is a unique talent. Her interviews on other more nationally syndicated programs are always funny, yet hide an intelligence that shows in many of her magazine interviews. Her life story of being raised by her father as a single parent is intriguing enough for it's uniqueness in the 1970's. It would be interesting to hear how education (she has an MFA from SMU and has taught seminars there) has been a big factor in her life.

Lisa Wadsworth
Lisa Wadsworth

Dear Jim, I just want to say your interview with Betty White was priceless. I so enjoyed it as I enjoy all of your interviews. I love the way you bring class, dignity and truth to television. I know you can be a wild man in your personal life which makes you even more enjoyable to watch because you're classy and sincere without being stuckup! Good job and keep bringing us the interviews. Some other great interviews would be Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Ryan Oneal, Demi AND Ashton, Bret Michaels, Peter Frampton, any of the Who, Mel Brooks, The Monkeys (in fact I would love to see a Monkeys reunion VH1) and I can think of many, many others that I would find interesting! Keep up the good work.

Mary Ann ONeill
Mary Ann ONeill

My husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed Inside The Actors Studio. We really miss the program on Time Warner Cable. PLEASE bring it back to us.

Viewermarie young
Viewermarie young

where has inside the actors studio gone? such a wonderful show,bring it back,please.please,,!!!!!!!!!!thanks

Gina G.
Gina G.

Dear James, While I generally enjoy all of your guests on the show, I would like to say that I've never laughed out as much as when you interviewed Will Smith :) What a truly delightful human being! Thank you for a wonderful show and much appreciated entertainment in a world of horrid junk claiming air time nowadays.

Bernice M. Campbell
Bernice M. Campbell

When will your show be back on TV. Time & Channel? I have enjoyed it so much. Thanks, BMC

Graham C Lindsay
Graham C Lindsay

Dear James Lipton Thank you very much for your Bravo program. My prayer is that one day you could have a sabbatical from Pace and come over to RADA. I am sure that the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts would love to have you as a visiting expert. It would be a wonderful cross pollination between two such distinguished and thriving acting schools. With your abundant passion for the process of performance something extraordinary could be and should be established between the two institutions.

I love your interviews they are so illuminating. I am going to be cheeky and give my answers to the ten questions of Bernard Pivot 1. What is your favourite word? shalom

2. What is your least favourite word? uber

3. What turns you on? Laughter

4. What turns you off? Procrastination

5. What sound or noise do you love? Water

6. What sound or noise do you hate? Screaming

7. What is your favorite curse word? Cunt or Feck

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Acting (I am a struggling musician)

9. What profession would you not like to do? Taxidermist

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Have you met the wife and kids?

Kind regards Graham C Lindsay

Melanie K
Melanie K

Please consider having Timothy Olyphant on your program. I had not heard of him until recently, when I started watching him on his new TV show, "Justified", and I have learned that he has a rather impressive body of work for someone I had never heard of before! Quite a talented actor.

Also, I have tried in vain to find your upcoming broadcast schedule. When will the program's new season start?

Thank you!

eam
eam

WILL YOU PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GET SIDNEY POITIER TO COME ON THE SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elana
Elana

Hi James I'm a big fan of the show, when are You going to do a Bio. on Actor jeffrey Donovan he is a wonderful actor on the hit show BURN NOTICE! hope soon I'm a a big Fan of his, take care.

A big fan
A big fan

I absolutely love your show and was hoping you might look into interviewing Michael C. Hall someday? I would give anything to see him up on your stage :)

ElaineS
ElaineS

Just thought I would let you know I am reading your book, Inside, Inside. Currently at page 386 and am finding it very interesting. Found it a coincidence that while reading your stories, I come across your blog too....

JohnnyDepp
JohnnyDepp

Dear Mr. Lipton

Love the show! It's fantastic to watch actors just be themselfs and talk about their movies/roles. But you have to bring JOHNNY DEPP back!!! He's done so many increadible movies since he was there the last time! Pirates of the Caribbean! He has to come back! Captain Jack Sparrow, man!

Perplexed
Perplexed

How sad you must be. You have a sophisticated show surrounded by the likes of "Real Housewives..." and the other "reality" shows. Must be tough.

Lindsay Fleming
Lindsay Fleming

James...

Love your show! Three words.....MAD MEN CAST!

Will S.
Will S.

Mr. James Lipton, if you read this I am great full. I have been a fan of your show for years, however, recently realized one of my favorite actors of all time has yet to make an appearance on your show. The man I speak of has done extensive work on film, TV and on stage. I speak of Patrick Stewert. I hope that some day he will be on your show because that would be amazing. Thank you for the show and I hope it continues to be awesome!

charlie
charlie

Hello, Sir- I really enjoy your show. It'd be great to see some screen legends (such as Tony Curtis, Omar Sharif) on your show along with the more contemporary artists you present. Is there any chance any of the above may show up on your program?

Tom I
Tom I

Where has Inside the Actor's Studio moved to? I saw Jim on Jeopadry yesterday, so it appears the show is still shuffling along, but WHERE?

A grateful fan
A grateful fan

Dear Mr. Lipton,

Are you still filming the "Inside the Actors Studio"? If yes, why aren't they being aired? I am a big fan of the show, have been from the very beginning, and hope to see the episodes air again. If Bravo is unwilling to show the program, maybe you can come to an agreement with another network to continue the broadcast. Thank you.

Bill Crawford
Bill Crawford

4/22/10

Inside the Actors Studio is by far my favorite show. Please help me get a schedule for your future programs. I have tried but have been unsuccessful. I need the dates and times. I would be forever greatful. Bill Crawford

Norma Tempel
Norma Tempel

Would like to contact James Lipton re Zylberscaz family tree. My mother was Ethel Silver who was a cousin to David Lipton. If you are willing to help connect some of the branches, please let me know how to contact you. Thanks

Tim Fitzgerald
Tim Fitzgerald

I hope Mr. Lipton reads this. When will the best improvisational actor be on Inside the Actors Studio? I am talking about the man that inspired ton's of stand-up comedians, a man that has more talent in his pinkie than most have in there whole body. The man I am talking about is Mr. Johnathan Winters.

fxmccarthy
fxmccarthy

how does one order dvd of past shows ?? thanks frank mccarthy

Ellen
Ellen

I would love to see Gerard Butler on Inside Actor's Studio. Unless of course, he has been on already. My in-laws have Satellite and Bravo is not included, so I would welcome someone advising me when he's on or when he was on in the past. Thanks

Ardent Fan
Ardent Fan

Love the show-wish it were on more often. How about having Debbie Reynolds on the program. She's been performing since she was 17 in everything from movies to tv, recently on Will and Grace. She was in many of the best musicals ever made, including Singing in the Rain. A very entertaining personality and a most interesting life.

G.Y
G.Y

Love your show!! Could you consider having multi-talented Neil Patrick Harris?? I would love to see him on the show!!

Tonja
Tonja

Hello Sir., I love watching ur show, I have Just recently gone back to school for my high school diploma..... Thank u so for ur class i have enjoyed it....

Neil G
Neil G

Thanks again for your insight into the Actors Studio, James. It's always great to read how the Studio came to be. Big fan of your program and hopefully I will be able to get my hands on Inside Inside soon.

A fan
A fan

Please consider having David Strathairn on Inside the Actor's Studio - he is one of the great talents - gifted, humble, deep, articulate, and always gives a thoughtful, nuanced portrayal.