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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Unleashing Your Inner Joan Crawford

We all have our own Joan Crawford deep down inside. We only need to know how to channel her to get through life's difficult moments. And, in this post, I'll share with you how to do just that. Remember: As Shakespeare wrote, "All the world's a stage," but that doesn't mean your acting on it has to be Method. Stick with Joan's representational style and you'll go far!

First, there is humble Joan and, for this, you must learn to suck in your cheeks so that they look pinched. Add a furrowed brow for best effect.
Eyes are very important. Joan started in silent movies, opposite Lon Chaney. (Sr.!) It's important, if you care to be sympathetic, to employ the worried, doey eye moves. Joan stole scenes from Bette Davis in Baby Jane by working her eyes. In the following video by French & Saunders, Jennifer Saunders has Joan's desperate emoting-with-eyes down pat. Look and learn!



Speak as if your mouth has gone dry and you must fight to give voice to your thoughts. Wring your hands a little, let your lip quiver (don't overdo either of these gestures, however; less is more). Shake your head slightly, as if in disbelief of what's transpiring. I cannot overestimate the manipulative value to be gained from these bits of body language. They are the ultimate in passive-aggressive behavior! Sometimes we must stoop to conquer. Our girl Joan knew that well.

Your ability to mime is all well and good. But diction is crucial to establishing your superiority to those around you. Watch a few Joan Crawford movies and speak along with her dialogue as you familiarize yourself with them. Soft-spoken, theatrical, with a faint and phony Irish lilt to it. It doesn't have to sound real; it only needs to mesmerize and bring attention to yourself.

Now, Crawford can go from Underdog to Dominatrix in a snap and this is something you must master when you channel her. "Fierce Joan" is, perhaps, the part of her image we know best. No outburst is too over-the-top and, yet, you must put it across as if you're trying to hold back but just simply can't anymore. When provoked, Joan can be most harsh (as must you); witness this moment from the film Autumn Leaves:



If your emotions can't be contained, then you must take Crawford's lead and get a little bit violent. That means some face-slapping when push comes to shove! To demonstrate, see Joan haul off & let the sweet, little ingenue have it in Queen Bee:



So, by harnassing your inner Joan, you can (a) attain sympathy, (b) assert yourself when needed, (c) regain control when anyone gets out of line with you with a well-timed blow to one's face. I sincerely hope you will watch the videos provided, read my words and deal with life by being in touch with the Joan Crawford deep inside of you. She's there. All you need do is cultivate her.

Wishing you the best in all of your endeavors. Bless you.

1 comment:

  1. Love it Ms. Beaverhausen! You really nailed all her mannerisms, and shed light on why and how to adopt them!!! WERQ.

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