Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Map of the Heart


Knee deep in Melodrama. About to get waist deep, then up to our necks. Do I have the courage to go any deeper? Ronlin told us to drop the snorkel and risk getting the bends.

We're exploring the actual physical manifestation of emotions in class. Where does joy live in my body? What consistency is anger? Where does jealousy flow out of? Wild stuff. How do we find these transitory emotions and cultivate them? How do we allow them to grow inside of us and out of us and share them without any ego? The energy required to simply explore this on a personal level is immense. Translating this research out in front of an audience. Whoooo. Heeee.

A murmuration is a beautiful configuration created by a flock of starlings. The ensemble work we do has the potential to be a murmuration. The way we work together is crucial to that. Listening and allowing ourselves to go deeper with each other. Flying and sinking all at once.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The ferocity of reality

Thirty years ago today, a baby boy was born that my parents named Jason.
Jason Michael Charles Bogar.
Michael for my dad.
Charles for my grandfather.
And Jason because they believed that he was a healer.

The name Jason means healer.

Jason spent most of his life terrorizing those around him.
His terrorizing came from a deep place of love.
He was a clown.
He loved to play.
And play hard at that.
He loved to watch me squirm in frustration.
He was a trickster.
How can a trickster be a healer?
It was my brother's way of life.
He provoked.
He caroused.
He never apologized.
He lived life with ferocity and unabashed raucous.
He was a hell raiser.
He loved deeply.
And if you didn't realize that--
You could go fuck yourself.

I wish he hadn't fucking died.

I wish sometimes the world was an awful lot different than it is.
Some days I delight in the world as it is.
Most days I delight in the idea that I can delight in the world as it is.
But today.
But today, right now. I do not want to delight in the way the world is.
I don't even want to delight in the god damn idea that I can delight in the world as it is.
Loving what is
Leaning into it.
Divine intervention.
Fuck all that.
I want to call Jason and welcome him into his thirties.
I don't want the world to be the way it is.

Turning thirty signifies a time in your life where things shift.
Saturn returns.
We grow up.
The ferocity of our youth meets the wisdom of our old age.
I want to see the collision of trickster and healer.
He died too young to get to grow into the beautiful man that he would have been.

I want to smash something.
I want to talk to him.
I want to be annoyed by him.
I want to hug him.
And ruffle his soft hair.
And stop writing shitty poetry on his birthdays.
To him.
For him.
When he can't fucking read it.

Fuck that.
Fuck this.
I don't want to make this pretty and neat and poetic.
Jason wouldn't want me to.
He would want me to be angry.
If I felt angry.
He would tell me to be sad if I was sad.
So that he could push me unwittingly, smile that gigantic disalarming smile and say.
"Whoa, goochy girl, chill out. Jeeez."

Happy Birthday Jas. Fuck.
You bad ass SOB.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Saying Yes

At the start of last week our teacher Stephanie told us that we may learn more in the week of production than we have all four previous weeks combined. Lordy that was true.
This past week was amazingly intense.
Of all the lessons I learned as an actor and performer, one of the greatest ones was my role in an ensemble.

I talk a lot. I talk so much.

I mean, I realized it only as I was in the depths of this process with six other performers and it really sunk in. I am a bossy girl! And although that quality is super good for me. I do it more than I would like to. There was one point in the process where I was so worn down that I went with the group in a direction I did not agree with. I said in a very professional manner that I did not agree with the direction but when it became clear everyone was willing to go for it, I tried it. I was not eager to do it but I did it.

I shut my mouth the whole creation process, I did what I was told and did not fight any of it.

And it made the show a better piece. Imagine that.

I also found that the next time I had a proposal, my ensemble mates were more willing to hear me out.

As I move forward with ensemble work I will remain alert to this feeling of resistance and notice if I have the courage to set it aside and go with a proposal I do not like.

Just as our teacher Joe asked us to never say, "My character would never do that.", it is equally valid to hesitate from saying, "As an actor, I would never do that." 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Transporting the Character

Wow. Have learned just so much over the past five weeks about theater and comedy. The past two nights of performance have been a lot of fun.

Performing as Squirm is really a riot. The click happened for me when I realized that she is a violent character living in a world of comedy and that the violence is playful. This is a fun form. It requires buoyancy. But as my teacher Ronlin said, buoyancy is not airy. It requires deep roots to stay grounded while still remaining up.

Last night, I went into the show with the same commitment to play violently buoyant but with an eye to intensify the need of the Squirm. Staying in it without going tense, really requires a deep level of energy that I do not know I was completely able to attain. However, I was able to connect with the audience at a few key points in the show. I was able to "get them on my side". Or maybe a better way of putting it was that I was able to "allow them into my world." It was funny because all I did was stay present and say what was on my mind.

Tonight as we close our third and final show I have a lot of notes rolling around in my head. One big thing I've learned over the weeks is that to focus on too many things leaves my head spinning. Essentializing my focus is super important for me as an actor. And we all have our different processes. Tonight we've added a new scene where Squirm breaks down into tears. In that particular scene raw vulnerable buoyant play is absolutely required. Enjoying the play, but living in the break down with an honest experience. Not pushing the tears but allowing it to channel through me...I think? We will give that a try.

As far as the thruline of the whole piece, I really do think this is Squirm's chance to take the audience on a drug run. She is here for the audience and for herself. She is proud of her job as a drug dealer and wants to give the audience the inside track. The main note that Ronlin gave today was to have the courage to put on the mask and get out of the way for the character to run the show. To be the vehicle of the character. To allow for the failure of giving over to Squirm. What a raw thing. To let all the other notes go and just strap in and see what happens when I listen attentively and give over all my energy to her and her shenanigans. I guess I should start channeling the energy of a low rider. Squirm's ride. Fo shizzle.