Sunday, January 08, 2006

S&C: Day Ten

Yesteray is a blur. What happened.... The morning was almost restful. "Physical Awareness" and the movement section of "Voice and Movement" focused on Alexander Technique, which turns out to be so simple as to be easily dismissed. It seems mostly to boil down to, "imagine your head floats on top of your spine for a second, and then don't think about it anymore, until you think about it again;" that is, it comes down to minute physical awareness--especially of the spine--and 'lengthening' the spine (although this is an unjust summation in its brevity, it'll do for now.) In voice, we spent our time on the jaw, loosening it's tyranny in tasks that by rights are not its, e.g., articulating, lifting the head and standing up.

In the afternoon, the stage combat workshop went three hours, continuing to cover simple moves and get the grammar and vocabulary of stage combat--a form of dance, really--into our bodies. We added an upper cut and downward "hammer" to the haymaker punch we'd learned first session, pulled hair, got dragged or dragged our partner across the floor, punched each other in the stomach, and put three of these moves together in a short routine, at end of class. It was a long afternoon.

After dinner, in the evening, we spent an hour and 1/2 in an interactive lecture on sonnets. Sigh. Sonnets are lovely and often visceral. There was a lot to be gained from getting them on our feet, into our bodies, relating them to others around us in the intimate mode they're written in, and learning how to use the verse as a guide, when walking down the unfamiliar paths of the sonnets lines and verses. But. It was Shakespeare 101 all over again. That's not a bad thing. It's "always Acting 101," anyway, as someone has said. But. Near the end of the day, tiring.

After sonnets, we met with our scene partner and a faculty member to start putting our scenes up on their feet. Tamiko, the teacher who worked with Rob and I, only arrived here a couple of days ago, as a teaching intern. She's been acclimating to the environment, having the same trouble with sleep and digestive function as the rest of us, and has been itching to get in the game. Well, she requited herself well. She helped Rob and I stay with the relationship of Friar Lawrence and Romeo, rather than let us get distracted by over-complicating the work. One small possible worry for me is that Rob is more interested in the personal, therapeutic uses of the scene, whereas I am interested in the scene as art. But, as a worry, it is small.

Finally, at 10:15 p.m., the day ended and the bar opened. I drank two beers, talked with a few of my favorite fellow actors, and went to bed by 12:30 p.m. I got up at 5:25 a.m. this morning to shower, shave, write this blog, and make some headway in memorizing my lines. It's going to be a long day.


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