Saturday, September 22, 2007

Week Five: (Un)Mask(ing) Work

Well, the constant ebb-flow-ebb-flow of anger that I was feeling last week seems to have ebbed fully for now. I'm not the only one who's been emotional. One actor was withdrawn and depressed for a couple of weeks; another makes snide comments from one side of the mouth when 'no one' is listening and then can't understand when one might think it means something. Another can't tolerate any confrontation whatsoever and gets 'wounded' in a flash. Another looks through narrow eyes and says nothing. Another pops his shoulders up in a "what the fuck" motion whenever he feels caught out. It's been tetchy around here.

But, at the end of week five, at least we all seem finally to recognize that more energy has been going into resisting the training and keeping masks up than has been going into training. We got yelled at a lot by teachers this week for ensemble members not showing up to class on time and the obvious bad will that has occassionally seeped into view of our teachers because the POINT of some assignment or another isn't readily apparent to all of us.

One bit of comedy: graders (what "teaching assistants" are called in the department) coping hard assed attitudes about their undergraduate students for not showing up to class on time or having weak excuses for their poor performance on quizzes, only to turn around and not show up to their own classes on time and not get homework done. I just blink when I hear graders talk tough about their students.

On the upside this week: Kim Weild came into town on Thursday and did some good work with us in Suzuki and Viewpoints. On Friday, she held auditions for GOOD WOMAN OF SETZUAN, for which there were callbacks, this morning. Cast list will go up Monday (I'm betting on getting GOD NUMBER ONE, but of course, I want him.) Kim noticed that we were all being very "polite" with one another in Viewpoints work. I think we all heard that. There was a discussion with Kim about our need to take our "masks" off. I think we all heard that, too. I think.

Speaking of masks: I ordered a "neutral mask" which should arrive in the mail today. I'm using it for the solo dance piece I'm supposed to choreograph and perform. Keith Johnstone's book IMPRO made an impact on me. I think that working with a mask may help me take OFF the mask I habitually wear, and gets in my way. I'm hoping to unmask my body by masking my known face.

1 comment:

dennis said...

Please email me at dennis@dennisbaker.net I have a specific question to ask over email. Thanks.