Thursday, July 1, 2010

DAY 18

This morning's Improv class with Greg found all of us suddenly having a terrible time with the simpler games. A mid-week funk, if you will. We moved on to a new game, which was similar to one that we played in Hal's class a few weeks ago, playing with mock job interviews. One person would be doing the interviewing, and the other would have to come up with three distinct characters to interview for the job. It was interesting afterward to pick apart how some turns in their conversations had either helped or hindered the scene: Any time someone gave their scene partner good detailed information, it was greatly beneficial, but if the person didn't receive it or accept what they said as true (breaking one of the holiest improv rules) the scene tanked.

In Hal's Advanced Technique class we continued to focus on Atmospheres and Psychological Gestures. I feel that Atmospheres and the Qualities that we worked on in the earlier weeks have largely the same effect for me, just with different ways of using the imagination: Either that it comes from your surroundings or inside your body, whatever "it" is (the feeling you get from an atmosphere of power versus the carving quality feel similar to me). We worked on finding a Psychological Gesture for our Three Sisters characters, which can be hard to do for intellectual characters, and especially hard for intellectual actors. The gesture is supposed to be a sort of gut reaction to the character, in one simple physical movement, that symbolizes their objective and situation. A character looking for love while feeling trapped could perhaps lunge forward, arms outstretched, without quite reaching what they need. It can feel silly to do such huge movements that are not at all realistic if you think too much about it; it is more of an intuitive response.

In Hisa's Shakespeare class I got up to do my Helena monologue from All's Well. I was so focused on not being "promiscuous with my pauses" that I sped through it pretty quickly the first time around. Then she had me go back and do it again focusing on clarifying each image (and not moving my non-paper-carrying hand like a crazy person). I connect so deeply to Helena in what she's saying in this monologue, and I became a bit overwhelmed by it and unable to connect that emotion to the words off the page. By next class I will be memorized so that I don't have to be hiding behind the paper while I speak.

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