Monday, October 12, 2009

And now I'm pooped.

What a day! Man, ups and downs all over the place. To keep it concise, I'll stick to one of each.

Bad news first (might as well rip off the band-aid quick). I was supposed to see The Laramie Project: The Epilogue this evening at 5pm. Well, I only remembered at 4:57pm and I was maybe 12 or 13 miles from where I needed to be, not to mention rush hour traffic to contend with. Needless to say, I didn't make it. Was very upset with myself. Argh.

Okay, time for good news! I'm in this advanced acting class called Stretch, so named because it's supposed to "stretch" your comfort zone out by focusing on an area that you find difficult as an actor. Based on a person's past, he or she may/will find it harder to go to some places, like confrontation or vulnerability or trust or taking control. So, our teacher, Janis, figures out what that "stretch" is by asking us about our past and just by her own observations. (Darn, I realized I was supposed to keep this short... oh well.) Then she writes scenarios and places the student actors in those situations, specifically designed to challenge us into action. The scenes themselves are improvised, which makes it that much harder, because the words have to come out of our own mouths. The idea behind this is that it is indeed easier to portray an emotion if you have the words that convey that emotion right there in front of you. But if you have to come up with those words yourself, that forces you to sink deeper into that and really feel it. Basically it's super amazing. Oh, and as a rule--to maintain trust and a safe working environment--no specifics about what goes on in the class are allowed to be disclosed, ie the work of other actors besides yourself. (So I can tell you what it's about and my work, but no one else's.)
Okay, long explanation over. I had an amazing scene tonight (as a returning student I had seen the framework of that scenario before, but aspects of it were switched around a little to fit the performers). I hadn't done a real scene since sometime in June, so I was nervous about it, and shaky and stuff, but oh man, just letting myself sink in and go there was sooo fun!!! My thing is being the center of attention and "explosive emotions", or letting myself get taken to the far end of how any particular emotion that comes to me in the moment. Lots of fun, a little scary, and I'm looking forward to future scenes. Success! On the downside my throat hurts a little from shouting... poop. But other than that! :D

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