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Itzhak Perlman and Alan Alda’s Friendship


Itzhak Perlman and Alan Alda on “Garbage Pail Soup,” the similarities between acting and musicianship and getting older.

American Masters: Itzhak premieres nationwide Sunday, October 14 at 10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) and will be available to stream the following day via and PBS apps.


Now the problem this is that if I don't stand up I can't see what's in there.

Oy! Perfect.

I'm cooking for you.

What are you cooking?

I'm cooking a soup.

What kind of soup?

I call it Garbage Pail Soup Ha, ha! I have to go now.

That means everything in the garbage pail goes in the soup.

I heard. You heard? Alright.

This is Sera... this is really a great wine.

Well que sera, sera! I'm surprised you didn't say that.

Too obvious... too easy... You knew I had polio... No!

You didn't know I had polio?

It didn't affect you as far as walking and stuff like that?

See I had something you didn't have I bet I had the Sister Kenny treatment.

A lot of really painful massage and wrapping your muscles every all over your body with scalding hot blankets.

That I did not have. I had to smell smoke parchment with holy words and then they would burn it and I would smell the holy words.

My parents would put me on all sorts of weird diets... a raw egg every morning. And you know I kind of liked that.

You did? I did. Especially the yolk, mercury I had to have a little thing of mercury every morning.

This is terribly toxic.

That might explain the way I behave.

What, what are you doing?

A good technique is not how many fast notes do you play, A good technique is how do you manipulate a phrase in such a way with giving it colors and stuff that you can actually make it sound amazing.

Once you have that technique, then you have to have I suppose a vision, of what to do with the technique, and I suppose that'''s in acting the same thing... if you have the... Yeah, I think so, I think there are different layers of preparation different layers of performance, for me personally I find out how I'm going to do it by doing it, Ok, yes! You too? Oh yes... Oh yeah... oh no no no, I don't have a plan when the music speaks to me I react, yeah but you know when something is planned it'll sound planned.

Boy, I think that's so true, I don't want to hear a report on what they decided to do, I want to hear something lived for the first time.

Ah now we're talking.

You know as I'm getting older I don't know do you find as you're getting older you don't like anybody.

No I've got the opposite as I get older I think oh my God look what they can do You said it... Was either of your parents musical? No. No? So where did you get it?




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