In script analysis, we got our papers back. Yes, true…perfect score on my Freytag analysis, and perfect score on my response paper for Never The Sinner. It’s a curio that when I finally get perfect papers, it’s when I start drinking alcohol again. Maybe it’s just me. We learned about graphing Modern plays, which unlike Freytag’s classic have a shape like a staircase going up to the climax. We were told to underline ‘facts’ and where beats and units begin and end, notes about time/place/weather/mood/environment in what people say and stage directions…it seems fun. Ibsen’s “A Doll House” is up next. We were told it’s been mistranslated to read the possessive, “A Doll’s House” which lends a whole new meaning to the play. She doesn’t own the house, damn it! But, you know, it’s debated. In any event, our mission is to read this play so that’s what I’ll do. Quote of the day: A student asked which translation should we get? After grousing about online translations which are replete with editing errors, misspellings, and outright wrongs, Professor Russ said, “Get the one that doesn’t suck.”
Here are the journals:
Acting For Directors:
Watched four more monologues today.
We’re work shopping scenes now, which is basically a process of suggestions from our Professor in terms of motivation, specificity, back-story of character (ie. Where were you before the scene began, what happens after…) and the like. We went through two scenes, and that pretty much took up the entire class time. My observations of events reminded me of diction, having a reason behind movements, gestures, dialogue, etc. WHAT DO YOU WANT? WHY DO YOU WANT IT? WHAT’S STOPPING YOU FROM GETTING IT. A scene cannot be the recitation of lines. Those have to go into the brain/body and come out as real…an actor needs to listen to his scene partner and respond with the reality of it, the underlying motivation. An actor can easily spot phony acting, acting without the work behind it, acting of techniques. My guess, if an audience can not directly spot it, they can feel it. Also, in consideration of the audience, don’t play a scene in a small room with fourteen people like you’re in Madison Square Garden. And vice-versa.
Still haven’t found a partner yet. Everybody’s hooked up. I bet ten bucks it’s the guy who forgot his monologue lines. That would be fine. This is a collaborative learning experience and I think it’s important to work with all kinds of different folks. Alexander comes up frequently in conversations, I’ve noticed. I had a nice lunch with a girlfriend (she’s a performing artist who teaches and is a practitioner of improvisational music/performance—she specializes in voice so it was neat to let her know that was the foundation on which Alexander built his methods.) I told her I’d pass along my text book when the course is completed.
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