Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day 3: The hard part

OK. First:


I was able to at least catch the first half of the game before our workout with Dave. We worked on scenes today for 90 minutes—Jill and I decided afterwards that it’s OK to have a workshop end when we’re failing, because it gives us something to think about.

Yeah. Not pretty, today.

It started off great—a short, elegant exercise where one person enters, reacts with a single line to the other person’s shape, and then you each name what you were cast as. (Harder than it looks—you want an adjective, not a verb, not exposition. So “sad,” not “ignored.”) Because you were isolating a moment, you could pay attention to everything. 

Then we moved to longer scenes. I got caught up in heightening—or trying to heighten—and getting really frustrated, but learning something new with every scene. I either wasn't doing enough...or bailed on the thing I started with...or I went too far. I got caught up in this manufactured emotion and let the Viewpoints tools fall out of my head. 

So I lost the deliberate approach to scenes I started to hit yesterday, where I could operate as a character and an improviser at the same time. I wasn’t improvising—I was making stuff up. 

For this to work, I've got to replace judgment and ego with knowledge and understanding. Instead of just relying on "intensity" or "cleverness," I've got to learn to listen for what the scene needs and choose what to add from different tools.

It's exactly what I’ve needed, but I feel soooo clumsy with it. 

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