Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Wheels Falling Off

I have been working relentlessly for nearly two weeks with two of my favorite people to work with and it has been one of the most difficult artistic processes of my life. Maybe we want it too bad, maybe we are lost in the genre, maybe we are just too tired after a year long of theatre. But we've hit this wall. After working HARD to create a piece of theatre of three clowns in a jail cell, we have scrapped it. We are going to try a new proposal tomorrow and I am really doing my best to stay buoyant through this. We have one week to create a piece of theater. I have four good friends, my mother and her boyfriend (whom I have never met) all coming into town to see the show and I'm just...completely...blotto lost...about how to move forward.

What is the image that drives Pepper? What motivates her? I have lost touch with this charming character who makes so much fun, who is so honest, and so bold. I have literally and figuratively imprisoned her. And now, we start the bold act of climbing out of this. One gentle schtick at a time.


Sunday, May 5, 2013

Believe in This

Oh me oh my. 

The clown block has come to a close, I've had a week off to decompress while working a forty hour work week. And the year is nearly at an end. What a year it has been. I can't help but think reflectively and comprehensively at everything I've learned this year as our final projects now stand before us. I'm working with two extraordinary women and diving back into clown. COULDN'T be more thrilled about that. 

The exploration of clown really did draw from all three previous units. The first ten weeks were so much full of getting in touch with my body and the way it moves in space, and how it can be used as a tool to reflect the space that is the earth. It was in many ways also a process of destruction. In order to grow a garden, the ground must be tilled. I was both uprooted during those first ten weeks and replanted. 

The next block of commedia brought me face to face with my body and comedy in a very fundamental way. My face was covered with a mask and I was forced to use my body to channel and transmit a character. I tripped onto this character so adoringly called Squirm, taking advantage of my skills of funk and lack of skills in coordination. I learned a lot during this time, namely the need to remain buoyant, in the face of any form of theater. I also began to understand the way listening to the line of force offers the chance to have the story tell you --getting out of the way. This lesson was brought home in a big way during melodrama. Buoyancy and line of force have remained ever present lessons during this clown exploration and added to that have been another mountain of lessons namely it has been listening. Listening to the logic of the character and to the other characters in the piece of theater. Listening so deeply and holding myself so accountable for this listening that it allows the character to pay attention to the consequences. These three lessons of buoyancy  line of force, and listening rise to the surface as central to my studies here at Dell'Arte. 

As I move forward into my final project I feel my last frontier is to explore THE VOLUME OF TIME AND SPACE....both within and outside of my body. It is a note I continue to receive and one that continues to elude me. 

Off we go. 

Life is 51% Comedy

The clown block is over.
It was all I dreamed it would be.
When the melodrama block ended my roommate and I likened it to five weeks of asparagus every day. Sure you like asparagus but after five weeks of it every day you get sick of it. Then we likened our clown block to five weeks of soft fresh out of the oven walnut, sugar drizzled cinnamon rolls. The only catch is that you have to eat five pounds of them every day for five weeks. Thing is, I fucking love cinnamon rolls. And while it did get old eating them at that capacity, I also loved it.
As I leaf through my notes, I realize that trying to digest and synthesize clown is difficult to do. Instead, I will share an inexhaustible non-comprehensive list of lessons learned: create theater that is ruthlessly rehearsed and still surprising, your guts have to scream you, see a place in space before moving to it or it's gratuitous movement, it's all about how you enjoy what you are doing, release tension but work with total abandon, listen to where the comedy pours from, theater is political period. there's no such thing as political theater but there is such a thing as shitty theater, the chin grabbers --at some point fuck 'em, POV is the mind pointing funny at things, generate delight from within and keep it rolling, clown means nothing is taken for granted, a series of repetitious gestures causes us to revel in understanding, RISK BEING TOO MUCH, moving out of your comfort zone -spills out -moves forward and -disturbs emotionally, life is 51% comedy, don't be sad --be full of weeping-- but don't be sad, do not defer to know the relationship you are in --let it develop, this is YOUR WORK, listen and find when the "damned thing" comes into your sphere of occupation and god damnit be ready, always have an eye for the pay off, tension as an actor is a signal for the character to release and find delight, vital --it must be vital, the amount of forces you give is equal to the amount of forces you're able to discover, work to create a tone that would otherwise remain inaudible, ANYTIME you have a line -remember you are a poet, in stillness I move -in movement I am still, trust more in character coming out of the eye than antics, open open OPEN your EYES, open your face, when you listen to the mind of the ensemble its genius, watch for interruptions, constrasto -look for it -love it -use it, articulate your moves.