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COPYRIGHTED, 1924

BY

ROBERT DOWNING.

808.51
175

x puch

2 1-29.29 186907

A HINT TO STUDENTS

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This Course contains the fundamentals of "The Art of Expression" and will enable any one, with an ordinary education, to teach themselves at home. It is sent out with a guarantee that any one who will carefully and thoughtfully follow instructions, and practice what is taught, will be master of the "Secret of Successful Reading and Speaking."

This is not an experiment, but has been demonstrated by the writer for many years on the stage, and in the pulpit, also by many pupils all over this country, as well as abroad, who have taken the course and can vouch for what I claim it will do.

I will admit that no one can become a great actor, or orator, by merely studying books, or written lessons, unless he is willing to test out by practice that which is suggested by said books, or lessons.

The "Art of Expression” is not confined to any particular calling, but it is most beneficial in every walk of life. For every one should know how to read and speak correctly and with effect.

A little time spent each day on this work will bring results that will prove most satisfactory.

Each lesson will be arranged with a question sheet, these questions are to be answered without referring to the lesson page.

These lessons should be read through once, chiefly with a view of understanding them.

Then read through the second time to judge whether the suggestions therein are true and practical.

Read them the third time, to ascertain the meaning of each thought, committing to memory, through analysis, not by mere words only.

Study the contents of each lesson and fill your mind with the spirit.

Have some one question you, by using the question sheet. Or, ask yourself the questions aloud in the quiet of your room, then answer same without referring to the printed page. This will not only impress the lesson on the mind, but will be a wonderful practice for the voice.

There is nothing better for the voice, than reading aloud.
A singer will never amount to anything, without practice.
A speaker, or reader, needs the same practice.
To be a successful actor, one must act.
To be a successful preacher, one must preach.

In the study of this course, there is nothing but what will be made perfectly plain, and in the event that anything may arise by which you do not thoroughly understand, I will clear it up at the reviews of the lessons from time to time, during the course.

Choice selections from Shakespeare and others supplement each lesson, and the student is expected to study and recite these gems.

By faithful application on your part and the opportunity you will have for "Personal examinations by the writer," I can guarantee the course.

Yours for Success,

ROBERT DOWNING.

Note-Mr. Downing is also teaching the Art of Expression at his studio in Richmond, Va. Private and Class lessons.

These lessons are for those who cannot take the time from their business to study at the studio, but feel that they have talent, and would like to develop same.

FIRST LESSON

The method I use is my own. It is very easily understood and so arranged that "those who run may read.”

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This represents the Stage, or platform, and you will notice, there are only three words printed thereon. Centre (C) Right (R) Left (L).

It is on the Stage, or platform, that most of the work will be done by the students of this course.

Directly in the centre of the stage is the point we work from.

Bear in mind that you, as the speaker, or reader, must arrange your positions, make your gestures, etc., from these three points, Centre (C.), (R.) and (L.).

You are facing the audience, so that the right (R) is to your right. The left (L) is to your left.

All of your actions are worked from these three points.
The audience view point will be just the reverse of yours.

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But with this you are not interested.
Now get these three points clearly in your mind.

To go on the stage, or platform, the party will enter from either Right (R) or Left (L). At times you may enter from Centre (C) at back of the stage, or platform, but the entrance will be either from Right (R), or Left (L).

This will be made plain to you later on.
Walk to the centre of the stage, from the left.

This is very easily done, ordinarily, but now you are to "walk correctly, and naturally before an audience."

“True art is to conceal art."
There is a right and wrong way of doing this.

Now, we will go back to the stage, or platform, and look at the centre (C.), (R.) and (L.).

We will say that you are making an entrance from the left (L.) and you are going towards the right (R.).

You will start with your right foot in advance, as you are going towards the right. When you reach the centre (C) of the stage, you stop, with your right foot still in advance.

You are going to face the audience. To do this gracefully, make a half turn towards the left, draw your heels together, and the toes pointing slightly to the right and left. Try this, and you will find that you are in the correct position.

To confirm this, I want the test made by yourself, and you will see that it is not only a correct position, but an easy one, and the more you practice it, the more you will see the necessity for it.

This you can do in your room at home by arranging in your mind the stage, or platform, adjust your audience in your mind, then settle in your mind which is right and left.

Practice this until it becomes almost second nature to you, so that there will never come any doubt in your mind as to the correctness of the situation.

In making an exit off the stage, or platform, to go off left (L) you make a half turn towards the left. This brings your left foot in advance. Lift the left foot slightly from the floor, and start with the left foot in advance, and walk directly off the stage or platform.

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