My Birthday Weekend!

I got an ‘A’ on the Script Analysis Mid-Term!

Here are the journals for the other classes.

ACTING FOR DIRECTORS:

10/4/13

 

Finished up the Director presentations today. Still working with the monologue. I’m supposed to get together with my director on Sunday to go over this. I think I can get this by Wednesday…we’ll see. Here are the Director reports:

 

#9.) Elia Kazan – by Jay

  • Co-Founder of the Actor’s Studio
  • Kazan snitched out fellow commies in exchange for the freedom to work. As a result, many were blacklisted from Hollywood, and at least two committed suicide.
  • Won an Oscar for On the Waterfront and an honorary Oscar which was particularly controversial.
  • Had an Actor vs. Audience theme.

PRESENTATION: Powerful presence, good volume & enunciation. Perhaps too casual in the delivery. It would help to slow down, engage the audience on points of interest, and try not to add in phrases that seem like asides and are non-informational: ie. Concluding sentences with “…and whatever”, “blah blah blah blah”, “yada yada”, etc.

 

#10). Arianne Mnouchkine – by Megan

  • Founded Theatre Du Solei, 1964
  • Created a communal space for the company with no hierarchy – a house in the theatre.
  • Believed in ‘no fourth wall’. Audiences and cast eat together and sometimes Arianne makes and serves food as well.
  • Dressing rooms and makeup areas are out in the open where the audience can see them.

PRESENTATION: Very good at addressing and making eye contact with each and every one in the audience. Good elaborating off the page. One can sense and feel the enthusiasm of the presenter. Understandable that some of the words in French (names, places) were mispronounced, but that may be something to rehearse and prepare for to help make the presentation better and more credible.

 

11.) Margot Jones – Sam

  • Founded Theatre 47 (as the years increased, the name changed: 48, 49, 50, etc.)
  • Popularized Theatre in the Round / Minimal Set
  • Arguable the ‘First Woman Director’ of modern popularity.

PRESENTATION: Good solid presentation which held interest and was well organized. To improve this presentation, try to either stand in place or move deliberately. Be aware, there was lots of arbitrary stepping forward and backward, side to side, which can be distracting and read by an audience as discomfort and/or nervousness.

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ACTING II:

10/4/2013

 

Today, we did a Uta Hagen exercise. The idea is to lie down on the floor, relax, get centered, and then Professor Hamilton lead us through a guided visualization of sorts: Picture last night, picture when you needed to do something, how did you feel, where were you before you began, what happened after you did it, how did it smell, where, when, specificity…

 

Then, we had ten minutes to craft a short monologue (2 minutes approximately) and then we flat-out performed it for the class. Some had a skeleton idea and improvised their way through it. Some wrote specific words. Mine was basically a reenactment of the night before, struggling to figure out what to write about reading the play, “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” for a class paper due the next morning. My props were a bottle of wine (needed that!), a notebook (representing the play), and a computer. Prof. Hamilton said not to mime anything. To handle something that represented or was the actual item. I’m not entirely sure what to gather from this exercise yet, but not everybody had a chance to go. I will enlighten further in Monday’s post.

 

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ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE:

10/4/2013

Went to see “Never The Sinner”. There’s a guy in our Alexander class and he participates and speaks up, but it’s not as if he’s the most energetic or enthusiastic participant. You wouldn’t look at him and think, ‘That guy’s a real go-getter.’ Turns out, he’s in his final year of the BFA program and in that play, he just blew everyone off the stage. (That’s excessive. They were all spectacular, but he really rose above. His nuanced delivery, his range of emotion, and he’s dressed up in this 1930s suit with his hair slicked back, and I’ll be damned if I ever questioned him being from the 1930s. What astonishes me is even when you are acquainted with someone, how much do you really know? The other interesting thing; our Alexander instructor seated right behind me. You can bet my head was leading my spine, my shoulders were widening, I was not over-efforting, there was no ‘try’ (apologies to Yoda), my breathing was nominal, and I was lifting up… I take away from this experience this: Always have an Alexander teacher close by. Or if that’s not possible, try to ‘be’ that Alexander teacher for yourself “…until the real thing comes along.” Frank Sinatra was wise.

 

10/5/2013

I am 48 today. I wrote yesterday’s journal entry today which was part of my Alexander work. We can assume at this point I engage in Constructive rest at least once a day, sometimes twice. I noticed that just thinking ‘up’, my spine elongates and now a vertebrae or two will effortlessly pop into alignment. A strange question popped into my mind (Professor Russ of Script Analysis is fond of saying, “Deny nothing.” And so I now have no problem asking…) and here it is: At the end of class, our professor says, “Run away.” It’s in a high pitched comic fashion. It’s familiar, but my only reference is Monty Python’s The Holy Grail…whenever someone is entirely out matched they say, “Run away!” As Alexander instructors are extremely careful about the language they use when interacting with students, I must now know where this comes from and what it means. There may be no significance to it, but maybe there is. It forms the conclusion of each day in class. So I will ask this question. It’s a catchy phrase. I hear it all over the theatre department and I am certain they are affectionately duplicating our professor.

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