Before actor Scott Glenn shot his recently-aired solo episode of The Leftovers, the HBO series based on Tom Perrotta's novel, "a fateful book changed his approach to acting--and then it changed his career, forever," Indiewire reported
"I learned the whole thing like a play," he said. "Prior to that, I said [to co-creator Damon Lindeloff], 'What can I work on?' And he said, 'Walk in the woods a lot. Read Bruce Chatwin, The Songlines. Read books about the clever men and clever women. Get a didgeridoo. Learn how to play it.' He just gave me all this stuff to do, and I did it."
The Chatwin book helped, but it was Karen Prior's Don't Shoot the Dog:The New Art of Teaching and Training that made the biggest difference. "I was reading a book about dog training," Glenn said. "It's one of the best books I've ever read in my life.... If you read the book, it's really about training your partner, your kids, and, ultimately, yourself. It's about positive reinforcement and operant conditioning. In the section of the book I was reading when I got the script, she says an interesting way of memorizing long speeches is starting at the end and memorizing to the beginning. It will take you longer, but once you've done it, you'll find you know it in a more thorough way.
"[That way] once you launch into [the speech], as you're getting near the end, you'll be going into more and more familiar territory. It'll be like walking home. You become more and more relaxed and feel better and better, rather than what has always happened to me in memorizing speeches not even half that long. I'm great at the beginning, and then as I get to the end and [Glenn gives an exhausted look]."
For his intense, seven-page monologue, he said he "almost burst into tears, I was so happy.... I love poetry. I love to read, and I've read about those moments, and it actually happened to me. It was the happiest I've ever been."