Thursday, March 26, 2009

Breakthrough.

First of all, the really important stuff...


That's me with my new nephew, Jason Turner. He is awesome...and I'm using that word in the way Pete might tolerate. 

And now, back to the single-mindedness...

*******

When I first started working with a trainer, I had no idea what it meant to use my abs to help me with bicep curls. Every workout was an ungraceful exercise in flinging and flailing and straining.

That’s how it’s felt to play lately. I can coach people to be purposeful about their movements or specific about their shapes, but when I get up on stage myself, I just throw myself into the scene and hope whatever habits I’ve picked up over the years will get me through.

That’s why I’m such a whore for workshops. It’s like working with a trainer—every exercise is intended to isolate a muscle, and someone is there to tell me where to focus. So the shows I play closest to class time feel the best, because I’m in control.

Not the bad kind of control. I’m not counting on momentum to get me through a scene or in my head, thinking of lines and characters and plot points. When I feel best is when, “behind the scenes” (which happens somewhere in my head), I’m able to chose the right tool and use it skillfully.

It might mean that I make a status choice at the top of a scene and know that all I have to do is find ways to raise or lower my status—using the other characters, the environment, my body, and my dialogue. Or it could be about topography and spatial relationships, and moving when the scene calls for a change or a turn.

It feels good.

And that’s how the last two rehearsals—one with Spite, the other with Roving Imp—have felt. As stressed out as I’ve made myself by over-committing to shows and classes and rehearsals, I’m getting the return on investment I was hoping for. The scenes these last two nights may not have been my funniest ever, but I’ve made choices instead of just following the scene.

Which, to me, feels like I’m finally improvising again—instead of just making shit up.

******

If you're not all that into basketball, you should come see Spite with Loaded Dice at the Westport Coffeehouse tomorrow night. 

Or check out Omega Directive at the Roving Imp on Saturday. It's my first show with this cast—I can't freakin' wait.

1 comment:

  1. That context is completely acceptable. Proceed. Oh, and welcome back to your blog!

    ReplyDelete

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