I had a nice power-week in which I accomplished all my writing tasks and actually got ahead. I’m certain this no-drinking thing has helped. I don’t even crave a cocktail because I was never physically addicted, I just like to drink a tremendous amount of delicious delicious alcohol. If for no better reason, than to buck the health trends of all the Live-Like-Me people. I’ve always been a punk.
I turned in my Shakespeare Analysis project and damn if I don’t feel great about it, especially since a number of students seemed a little behind in the work or unsure of the assignment. I get it: it’s not science, it’s art. We can feel comfortable developing our personal approach. We talked about some further categories: Background, Technique, Exposition, Protactic, Historical, Modern, Minimalist, etc. We talked about the difference between Background Story and ‘Backstory’ (from the Character’s perspective). We learned a new term: LIFE LIE – Is it better to know the truth or live in blissful ignorance? We learned that in minimalist plays, the way to mine for subtext is to search for patterns of behavior. Professor Russ if fond of reiterating: BEHAVIOR INDICATES PERSONALITY! He also said something I quite liked. He said, “Sometimes you have to risk it all. And the only way to do that is to blow it all up.”
Here are the journals for the weekend:
ACTING FOR DIRECTORS:
We saw three more scenes in class today. I will briefly list the scenes and useful comments. The last scene, with a girl named Sam (who I coincidentally partnered with for Alexander class)—she was electric, sexy, natural, and fantastic. The Professor had only one comment for her at the end of her incendiary performance: “Obviously, there is nothing I can teach you about sex.” Ha ha. All the scenes had great moments. I’m in a class of talented peers.
Scene from Anastasia: Places on the stage relative to other player are indicative of power. Down stage tends to bring a character into power for an audience.
SCENE-The History of Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road: For the males to bring sexual power to their role, use “crotch energy”. Open up that area, push that area forward in posture for added sexual energy/tension/power.
SCENE – Born Yesterday: This is the scene in which Samantha so excelled in her role as a sexually alluring tease and temptress. Both players were great. We discussed pace and tempo/rhythm of a scene…the Professor said there were too many dead spots and it needed to have a rhythm (he demonstrates) CLAP CLAP CLAP! Pick it up, he said. Keep it alive.
Lastly, I got my paper back which had information about the sub-text of my character Trevor for the scene I’m working. I got an ‘A’ and one small note: “Great start. Add more sex.”
FINAL THOUGHTS: The message I’m getting is that sex and sexuality play an important role in theatre and should not be afterthoughts but forethoughts.
I got to read my scene for the class today. I think it went rather well. One of the students complemented me on being naturalistic. Another said it was a refreshing change to see a monologue where someone played to a person next to him instead of an imaginary person out in the house. Professor Hamilton said that generally, you want to play audition monologues out to the house (never directly AT anyone evaluating you) so they can see your face. I defer to Professor Hamilton, but I did kind of like playing it to my imaginary partner as if we were on stage acting it out. I also turned in what I thought was a rather good critique of the play, Tracers which satisfies a writing requirement for the course. Hopefully, she’ll like it as much as I do. That’s the first play (with the exception of Tempest for Script Analysis) that I have read since I played the lead in Leroy Clark’s, Outburst at the Acrosstown Theatre. I hope to read many more.
Friday. I plan to catch up on Alexander reading over the weekend.
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