Fanny Ardant, A Superb French Actress
What Makes
A Woman So Fascinating
Holding Her Cigarette
Cool, Calm, & Collected
Fear, Tension, Judgement
All Up In Smoke © Natalie Keshing



We are all participants in a movie or play. Beautiful independent minds waiting for that moment where you can relate. Without an audience, a movie isn’t a movie, a play isn’t a play.

One of my favorite characters was Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate”. Anne Bancroft played this character beautifully, almost predator-like with a relaxed nonchalant demeanor. But who was she; really? The character of Mrs. Robinson. When I lived in Los Angeles I had the rare and wonderful opportunity to get into Mrs. Robinson’s psyche. I was assigned a scene to rehearse and act with other actors. Lynette McNeill, our acting coach, asked us to prepare a new scene of our character in their normal daily life. This was an important exercise that teaches you to understand and build your character’s purpose and ultimately what drives the character. No character is a flat-line of emotions. There is always a wave of emotions whether displayed outwardly or hidden internally. The hidden emotions drive us to do the things we would not normally do and so actors come to understand this at a very deep level.

First, I chose what Mrs. Robinson would wear, her clothing, hair, lipstick, and heels. The items I chose were purposely selected to teach me how I would feel in Mrs. Robinson’s own skin; her persona. How she dressed was as important to her as eating breakfast. But the real Lorie can relate to that as well. Because like most women I love fashion and it makes a statement. She had a luxurious lifestyle which became her number one priority and always needing the attention of other men. Why? Was she in an unfulfilled marriage that no longer challenged her intellectually, emotional, and sexually? Was her husband’s number one focus to grow his company, putting long hours and almost never really being at home except to sleep and occasionally relax? Did he have his own liaisons? Not caring if she had hers. Had they come to an understanding in their marriage that she needed him for the luxurious lifestyle and he needed her for appearances sake to mingle and present a fallacy as a normal wealthy married couple; mingling with society’s elite. All these questions were the external parts of her life.

Who was she internally? Drinking was a normal everyday thing. It was her need to drink, to relax, keeping her from facing reality. Masking and numbing all her true feelings. What was her childhood like? Was she close to either of her parents? What problems existed in her parents’ home which at the very least shapes the foundation of people’s mental and emotional capacities. We don’t like to think of it in those terms; or admit this. But it does. What was given or not in terms of love? Her insatiable need for attention outweighed all established moral boundaries. Her predatory behavior to sleep with her own daughter’s boyfriend was at its most immoral and damaging. She had to prove to herself that she was always going to remain desirable and beautiful; whatever the cost, even destroying her daughter. There isn’t just one cause and effect that made this woman a very unhappy person. There were the formative years in her life she had experienced forming her insecurities. She had never become genuinely and emotionally attached to anyone and impossible to change if narcissistic.


It Is In A Manner
We Delicately
Apply The Magic
Slip Into Something
Most Feminine
Pursing Are Lips
Then Showing Him

The scene I created was set in Mrs. Robinson’s luxurious living room. I was wearing an off white dress clinging to my slim figure accentuating my womanly curves. There was black embroidery at the bottom of the dress and the dress and intentionally exposes my skin arms, legs, and a hint of cleavage. Long black crystal earrings. My hair worn up with long curls parading down. Shiny black high heels. No nylons. Sunbathing by the pool gives that golden color to bare long toned legs.

Mrs. Robinson comes into her living room fidgety and agitated. She looks at herself in the mirror. She takes her lipstick from her clasp purse and reapplies it; pursing her lips. Looking from side to side, satisfied that she applied her makeup perfectly. She takes a deep breath. Looks at her watch and decides why not make herself a drink. Vodka on the rocks. With her drink in hand, she goes over to the console and plays a new song. Something jazzy, sexy. After a few more sips, she starts to become loose and even more sensual with the music. She dances to the music with a few uninhibited moves. She lights and blows smoke gently into the air. Looks at her watch again. Finally, she decides to make the call. He answers the phone expecting her call, “Well, Hi baby. I thought you were going to stand me up.” She responds, “Well, you know you’re just a temporary band aid.” They laugh together. He says to her, “Well, you know my wounds need some healing.” She smiles and confirms “Same place, same time.” She hangs up. Finishes her drink. Tells the housekeeper to tell her husband not to wait up for her. Grabs her mink stole opens and closes the front door. She is very well put together. Her allure, the movement in her hips and walk, tanned shapely calves on heels. Gets into her sports car rolls down the driver’s window, cigarette in her left hand smokes, inhales, and then blows smoke out the window. Starts the car and off she goes to apply a band aid and heal the wounds; hers. Scene done.” © Natalie Keshing