Secondly we had Audition class with Joanne on the Nicholas stage. Today was a mock-audition, and we went through the class each pretending as if it was the annual SCR generals: Walk in the room, slate, say your piece, say thank you, and walk out. We also timed each person; an ideal audition (and the usual requirement) is somewhere between one to three minutes. I felt pretty good about my piece, which is a Pooty monologue (great character name, huh?) from Reckless by Craig Lucas. My next task is to find a good contrasting piece. Joanne suggested I look at plays by Theresa Rebeck, who I'd never heard of (sometimes I feel like an ignorant fool when confronted with all the plays and writers I've never heard of) but apparently writes great edgy and funny female roles.
In the afternoon we had a combined Advanced Technique class with Hal. We worked with the idea of Tempos for the first time. This technique works with the concept that each character has an inner and outer tempo, and the atmosphere they interact in has its own tempo. A character's inner tempo is the rate at which a character thinks, feels, visualizes, etc, and can be categorized as very fast, fast, normal, slow, or very slow. A character's outer tempo is the rate at which a character moves, speaks, handles objects, etc, and can be fast, normal, or slow. The tempo of the atmosphere, or its pulse or heartbeat, can be very fast, fast, normal, or slow. We all got to take turns making up characters with any combination of tempos. I chose a sharp old lady (inner tempo: quick, outer tempo: slow) and a bouncy little girl (inner tempo: slow, outer tempo: very fast). For those of us who didn't get to do a scene playing with Atmosphere on Wednesday, we got to go this afternoon. I played a scene in which my husband was leaving me, and I was trying to get him to stay. The first atmosphere was despair and the second, anger. Playing despair, I made myself cry again.
It's the small victories in life.