Friday, October 23, 2009

Acting Workshop Day "6"

Ok, for the purposes of clarity, we are going to call last night, day 6. And I am pretty sure according to most definitions that is what it was, though believe it or not there are multiple definitions.

Last night I delivered the monologue again. I incorporated some of the suggestions made during the previous class. I felt more at ease, because I knew more of what to expect.

Ironically, most of what I prepared for did not occur.

There were more people present this time then had been in weeks, so the group I spoke to was larger. Also, no specific instruction had been given as to how they should react. So I did my best to read the reactions on the faces of those watching me. My perception was that they were not playing characters that were as angry this time. I did sense some of them not turning, but as a whole, everyone seemed to be more open to what my character was saying, from an earlier moment in the speech, than they were on Tuesday night. (Either that, or I didn't do as good a job reading them.)

I opted to start off serious, and then soften things up by making the reading more humorous, and light. This is a combination between how I had originally prepared it on Tuesday, and they alternate way I performed it on Tuesday as a part of an excercise at the end of Tuesday. Though I never did feel totally off book for the piece, I felt much more at ease giving it this time. Part of it was because it was because I had done it several times. Part of it was because I was prepared for what (I thought) would be coming after). Either way it went very smoothly.

I was given the chance to go again if I wanted, but I didn't feel the need. I didn;t think I could improve upon it, given the mission of the assignment at that time.

I thought I would be in for another round of interview questions. But instead, he made some brief comments to the group, and asked how I made them feel as members of "the congregation". One said she felt I was being "holier than thou". (That coming from her character.) I didn't sense that when I was looking at her as I gave the speech, or else I would have changed my tactic.

And that, in the end, was the purpose of this assignment. The idea of having an objective for a scene or a moment, and doing things to attain it. To be open to the stimuli from other actors, (or in my case, the audience), and to change one's tactics to counter anything that may be an obstacle.

One thing the instructor did mention, that I may have missed before, but was glad to hear him say that night, was that objectives are far an actor, but that the character may not always be aware of the actor's objective. This was a small moment of clarity for me, because it matches more what I do when I am on stage, than what I thought he had been insisting upon before. Whereas before I thought he suggested our character know every moment what their objective is, and reflect it in every action, last night he made the distinction between the actor knowing the objective and the character knowing. I still do not 100% agree with the micro-motivations and constant objectives that the instructor advocates, but I think they fit in more with my style of acting now that the distinction has been made between actor and character. (Or, as I said, perhaps it was made before, and I missed it.)

Then I was done. I was a little surprised at how little I had to do, but he thought it was a good presentation, and there were no more question from anyone. I realized later that we were nearing the end of the class period, and that my scene maybe had been less discussed because of that. I wasn't offended by it, and I am sure that had I been struggling, the time would have been taken to help right me. But I felt, good, the instructor felt good, and the lion's share of deep discussion had already taken place on Tuesday.

I will say that my objective the second time was still the same as it was on Tuesday. Some may have changed it, and given enough time maybe I would have come to change it as well. But in the time allotted for the assignment, I still felt a strong pull towards the objective of Father Flynn trying to be closer to God in everything he did. That was, in the instructor's words, my "hot choice."

As for future meetings, there will be one on the 5th of November. (The Gunpowder Treason and Plot!) That is when my new scene partner, a friend of mine, and myself will do our first presentation of our scene from Chekov's Three Sisters. That same day, the rest of the class who has not yet gone a second time for the scenes from Doubt will do so then. So I have two weeks to get a new scene up and running with a partner. But it is a very short scene, and I know the woman well. I feel all will be well with that. Keep checking back, of course, to be sure.

The whole class, near the end, seems to have finally hit on an agreeable stability, in both scheduling and objective. This pleases me.

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