We’ve reached the Labor Day weekend, and I still have not heard about the part I auditioned for with the Florida Players. Although I did speak with the other actor who auditioned and he informed me his schedule would not allow him to take the role anyway. Was there even anyone else in contention at this point? I have no idea. So I’ll keep waiting and accept the fates. On my first exam in Script Analysis, I spaced on a couple terms. One of the terms was, “Analytical Analysis”. I wrote that down and then crossed it off because I thought to myself, ‘Isn’t analyzing analytical by nature? That can’t be right. There couldn’t be such a redundant term.” Well, there is. Fuck me. Who knew? But for the most part, I think I might have squeezed out a B? We’ll find out next week. Anyway, took my first exam. Bully for me!
So this journal is now presenting something theatrical…suspense! Will he get a B, A, or something worse? Will he get the part?
More suspense in the following class journal entries:
Today in class, we took larger parts of our dialogue and spoke them relative to Chekhov exercises. These involved movement and internalizing of physical, emotional, intellectual while delivering some lines from our monologue: flowing, radiating, molding, flying. This exercise not only introduced some of Chekhov’s system in a directly experiential way, but it allowed for us to see the many possibilities for expression in any given performance. A few students generally were not impressed or otherwise found the exercises not useful, which is fine. All actors find their own ways. I think honesty and trust are two important components of proper actors so to hear that negative reaction was refreshing for me. I do not want to be in a class of ‘yes, teacher’ students. Question everything, deny nothing. That is where my thinking has come to so far at UF. For more on Chekhov’s stuff that I’m referring to, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Chekhov
ACTING FOR DIRECTORS:
The class continued with the Director-students making their presentations on selected Directors of note. The director for my scene, xxxxx, did not present me with a scene but took my email and said she’d get one to me over the weekend. (It’s Saturday as I write this, 8/31, and still nothing. I’d really like to get it early so I have extra time to memorize the lines.) Monday is a holiday, so we’re not meeting. And Wednesday, Professor Young said he would only like to meet with the Director students, so no class that day either. Butter told me that she’d like to get together Tuesday around 5 or 6pm, which I agreed to. That was class for Friday.
Here is the last director covered and some of his main points/tips for the record:
- Richard Ramos
- Directs from the Actor’s Viewpoint (He’s also an actor)
- Pauses are important but don’t overuse them.
- He’s big on ‘table-work’.
- He typically sticks to the script and respects each and every word on the page.
- Don’t assume your scene partner wants to listen. MAKE them listen with your actions/words.
- Speak Shakespeare naturally and know the meanings of what you say.
- Enunciate. Sharp attacks on Ps, Ts, Bs, Express consonants clearly at the end of words/sentences.
- Most stage-fright is connected to simply not knowing the lines.
The other speakers summarized main points above and summed up the presentations.
We turned in our Body Imagination – Personal Inquiry answers today, and in addition, we were each asked to bring in two questions about the Alexander Technique. After a brief warm-up of stretching and walking, we sat in a circle and our Professor touched on a few of the questions and did some hands-on work. Of extreme interest to me was a demonstration in which a student simply picked up a glass as she would normally. We then analyzed her effort, her body, her use of movement, muscle, energy. Then Professor Sarra facilitated some Alexander with just the gentle touch of her hand, and you could see the student adjust her position, her thinking, she elongated her body, sat her head properly on her spine, and repeated the action of simply picking up a glass. As remarkable as it seems (and as trivial as such a matter may be perceived to be), the fact is that she was expending considerable energy ‘naturally’ picking up the glass and far less the second time when she was in Alexander mode. In short, what I derive is that we are not naturally natural. Society, the way we sit, hunched over into our computers, our iPhones, in ‘downward’ gravity existence…we are resisting natural motion and mobility with our ingrained cultural depressions. We are naturally unnatural and thus, we spend considerably more energy than we do we become conscious of this fact and ‘allow’ or ‘give permission’ for our bodies to soften and go up instead of down. Picking up a glass = profound! Who knew? We received a number of additional handouts to read over the holiday weekend: Tension & Empathy, how actors employ Alexander Technique, Where the Mind & Body Meet, and the like. More on this to come…
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