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Make graceful and lasting change


Cindy Tonkin - August 1, 2008

Leprecan, a brand of portable loos!

This morning we were asked to create our own warm up. We basically improvised a physical floor slapping warm up which transformed into an onomatopoeiac word association game, and then into a circular dance routine, combined with floor slapping, and some counting and then finally singing.

It was a lovely way to warm up now that we know each other well!! (And such low risk if we didn’t).

Today’s Shadvice has been “people over plot”. It’s one thing to find a character, he says, and another to answer the question why they are like that. For example a drummer who drums on anything except drums is a fun character. If he’s doing it because he is pretentious that’s a character trait that’s portable into other arenas.

I didn’t get to see the TJ and Dave show last night (it was sold out), but most of the class did. It’s 2 guys chatting and doing scenes. It was realism or realism within the world (where it was absurd, they played it straight). Looking forward to seeing it next Wednesday.

So today, inspired by their show, we did 2 person 10 minute scenes. It was releasing!
When we dropped the need to advance the narrative, suddenly we could build relationships and environments and leave little offers to mature till someone picked them up. Like little bread crumbs in the forest (but no witch at the end).

My scene was exhilarating to be in (this is why I improvise!!). My note was to give more detail (not my strong point in life) and describe the external world as well as my emotional experience of it (again, not my strong point in the real world). Shad also suggested that while I do the emotion and then justify it (wow, didn’t realise I did emotion on stage), I should build to the emotional rather than start with it (he said it earlier in the week too).

If you know the enneagram (a personality styles thing) it divides people by the order in which they work. I’m doing feel-do-think, and they are suggesting think-feel-do (the other option is do-feel-think, I think). Anyway, just as loudly as Shad said “build to the emotion”, Jason, one of my classmates said “I wish I could do that”.

I was just please to have firstly gotten an idea. Secondly to have laid out some random ideas, and then worked out how to bring together many more of the threads than I thought was possible. I’m even now recognising bits I justified that I was by no means consciously doing.

So it’s been “awesome” as my American friends would say.

For your “cool exercises to do” list, Craig from my class practiced Shakespearean language by getting a random object, and then you insult the person on your left using the object as a base, and compliment the person on your right using the same object (thou art like a flower…)

And transitioning from one scene to another in the two person scene I saw the other night – they just exaggerated a physical gesture from the scene to create either a transition space (not scenic) or a new scene. They used bees and angels a number of times (when one thought a scene was ready to edit, as a last resort they switched to flying around until they alighted on a new idea).

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