Tag Archives: David Mamet’s Masterclass

David Mamet’s 2nd Video Purpose Of Drama Masterclass

David Mamet’s Second Video ‘Purpose Of Drama’ Masterclass

David Mamet is sitting in front of the camera in a rustic room; its walls are paneled in wood, a lamp is on the table set behind and off to his right it’s casting a relaxing orange glow. Over his left shoulder are papers and sticky notes connected to the far wall, while directly next to his left arm, sits an old typewriter and a stack of closed books or journals. A vintage 1900’s metal desk lamp reaches up on a double-jointed arm, which is locked in a straight up positioned, and tilted ever so slightly back so its parabolic unfinished aluminum shade can illuminate the desktop when he chooses to turn it on.

David Mamet starts talking:

“The Purpose of drama that is a really, really good question. That’s a really good question. There is an old, – I am Jewish, my people have only been Jewish five-six thousand years, so we’re kinda getting used to it.

So, There’s an old joke about this international flight and this terrorist breaks in with a submachine gun. And he says, “Okay, who’s a Jew?”

And a little old guy in the back says, “That a really interesting question.”

So, that’s how I kind of feel about drama; I think the purpose of drama is to define the clan.” ~ Video #2 David Mamet

He goes on to describe drama what it is, and what it is not.

It is not: meant to teach you.

It is: meant to entertain you.

And everyone uses drama to over embellish his or her daily lives.

When my husband asks the time. I round the hour up so he thinks it later than it is. Subtle drama? Or…

“What time is it?


“No, it seems earlier.”

“You wish.”

If it was earlier I would have taken out the garbage.”

“What’s stopping you now?’

“I promised my friend I would be on Xbox.”

“Well, lucky for you I saw it wrong, you have an extra thirty minutes.”

“Sorry, no can do. I already logged on, can you take it out for me?”

“You were already logged in!”

“Yeah! But I thought it was later than it was”

My example: Taking a vacation and having to sit through a sales pitch when all I wanted was to relax and be entertained won’t be a fun time. So stick to what you are selling. If it is a dramatic story you advertised, then don’t push a condo down your reader’s throats.

My thoughts: If your story has a harsh sales pitch, tone it way down. The idea will still be there, but it will be felt and talked about after the book is read or when the movie is over.

The drama is everything. Give it its space. Allow people to enjoy the story.

I will not tell you everything from his Masterclass videos. If I did you would miss out on a hearing him talk. If you would like to check out David Mamet’s Masterclass,  click on the link in the top left sidebar. It’s sitting just above James Patterson’s Masterclass.

Have fun!

1st video: Teach me, David Mamet, You Are My Only Hope


Teach me, David Mamet, You Are My Only Hope

I am enrolled in David Mamet, ‘Teaches Dramatic Writing’ Masterclass course

David Mamet ‘Teaches Dramatic Writing’ Masterclass course


I started the first of twenty-six videos, and I am going to post my thoughts and bits of the class here.

Check out the class by clicking on the link in the left top sidebar.

Happy New 2018!  let’s get going with a new Masterclass.

Who is David Mamet?

David  Mamet has written 39 plays, 29 screenplays, and 17 books, and he directed 11 films. If you have ever seen ‘The Unit’ or House of Games then you can see his ability for dramatic writing. Not ringing a bell yet? Then check out imdb.com. His list is impressive checkout IMDb

I will give you a taste of the first video in  David Mamet’s Masterclass series.

01 Introduction

This starts out with sounds of people talking. Some upset asking questions; asking to learn something. Then David Mamet walks in and sits down on a tall stool, then we see him at a desk.

And we hear “Oh, have I got your attention now? Good!”

“They say, when the student is prepared the teacher appears. So the same is true of most of the lessons you gonna learn in any… I don’t know of any art, -but certainly in any craft. When you’re ready to learn it you will. –if you want to– and if you need to; and if you don’t want to and don’t need to -you ain’t ready yet. Or maybe you don’t want to. I always say, you know, the arts, my experiences is like running away to the circus. You know. If you got something to fall back on the circus don’t need you, circus don’t want you. You gotta runaway, say OK, I’ll leave, BUT your gonna have to kill me. “

“…Being a writer is a lot like being a beaver their teeth itch, that’s why they cut down trees.

David said he will talk about, “a kind of unified field theory of aesthetics” where we can regularize how we perceive and how we write.

It is a cause and effect…a  survival mechanism.

A plot is an exercise in cause-effect. A plot, a scene, a movie script

Analytically Propounding a theory,  does it make sense to you?  It can make a great tongue twister until you are ready to learn it, to hear it, to understand it.

Think of it as a logical progression while you’re writing,  your thoughts need to see the action. The way I see it… is like a two-year-old, kicking a screaming for candy. He wants that candy, not because he loves candy, but because his mother isn’t paying attention to him, ‘look at me’ she is not looking, instead, she is talking. If he doesn’t get the candy he will cry himself to sleep. If he gets it, he will be so wound up he will be climbing the walls. Cause and effect.

“I’ve always been more comfortable sinking while clutching a good theory than swimming with an ugly fact.”~ David Mamet quote

I will post my comments about video #2 in David Mamet’s Masterclass in a future Blog.  In the meantime, check out his class by clicking the link in the left top sidebar.

Thank you for reading.