Some good advice, but there's some generalizing there, too. Someone pointed out the first 2/3s of THE THIRD MAN with 2 people talking about another in scene after scene. I would add the 3rd act of THE VERDICT, where the prosecutor or the defender talk to witnesses about other people. Okay, it's a trial, but he gave no exceptions in his comments. Bottom line: simple comments can be simplistic. Writing is greater than David Mamet's pronouncements.
Well, then most of The Iceman Cometh, Eugene O'Neill's masterpiece is a CROCK OF SHIT.
2/3's of the play is the denizens of a seedy bar talking about the Iceman, who has yet to arrive.
Question: what American playwright won the Nobel Prize for Literature?
Answer: It's not Mamet.
He's talking about TV writing, where you have established characters and have to cram a lot into a short space of time. I think they are generally good comments.
Talking about a character before they enter is a classic way of building your anticipation for that character. Ie: Lector in Silence of The Lambs.
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