Congratulations to me - I just realised I've been doing this wrong since week 1.

I was never sure how to write this ... is it a 'dear diary' situation...
Don't want to look lame! Though I suspect that has already happened.

This is Emily (an artificial redhead)!

Week One


the first tutorial was daunting, everyone else seemed to know each other! (that was probably because they did). I didn't really know what to expect. I've only done theory based units up until this point in my degree and was excited to get physical ;)
It was interesting to see how well a group of people who have 'just met' can let go and get working quickly. Although none of the work we did on the first day was particularly difficult to do/understand it achieved a lot.

The walking exercise brought a calm over the room and settled the nerves I had about being in a group of people I had never met before. We did exercises like this a lot during high school. But there is something different about doing it in a setting of older people. Everyone took it more seriously than a group of school children would. It was this different environment which really changed the way I understood and appreciated the exercise. In a world where we rarely take the time to centre ourselves and relax it was really nice to stop and focus specifically on walking. It makes you realise small things about the habits you've acquired in your stride and how difficult it is to just let go. Although we weren't talking or touching there was still the sensation of interaction which arose from simply walking past someone. it was as if the whole room was filled with an energy brought about from people simply being in the space and being aware inside themselves.
When the exercise changed to include the need to communication with each other without talking or gesturing the energy grew stronger. It still doesn't make sense to me how a group of almost strangers can move as one without discussion. It was interesting to see how sometimes the focus was lost, it seemed to me that this mostly occurred when one person would try too hard to make the group follow them- excellent observation...happens on the stage far too often so the exercise failed when the group wasn't working together and were instead focussing on themselves.
I didn't quite understand the part of the exercise when we were asked to stop and shake hands. was it a test to see how quickly we could regain focus? Every time I stopped and focussed on one person I lost the control I had over myself and my movements. It was especially difficult to regain the focus when we moved into saying hello to the person because we moved into vocal communication and lost our 'silent' way of interacting and understanding each other.

The running at each other was and interesting exploration of trust and self confidence. It made us move from a state of completely letting go (running really fast at someone whilst screaming) to control (stopping) to losing control again (screaming at someone). It was easier to participate in this exercise after having already explored trust and teamwork in the previous activity. There's nothing like yelling right in someone's face. It was interesting to experience the difference it made when one person was not allowed to respond. I was almost difficult not to yell back. The response also influenced the power people used in their vocalisation because both people wanted to 'win' and be stronger than the other.

I think today was mostly an exploration of self control.

WEEK 3


What I liked about today's tutorial was that we further investigated what we had done in week one. We explored the walking exercise in a different way to week 1. Today it was more about physical exploration and trying to start trends. In week one the exercise almost fell over when people attempted to take control but today that was the point. It was interesting to see what worked and what did not. for example the stomping caught on very quickly but other methods of walking did not. A couple of people attempted to do things such as tiptoeing and sideways swinging strides but the group didn't connect with them and not everyone accepted their ideas. I think the main reason for this may have been the sound factor. the stomping produced a noise which people could connect with more and catch on to faster because even when facing in the opposite direction they could hear something in the group had changed. it was also more fun to play around with the sound when we weren't allowed to speak.

today was the first time I had worked on the script of 'Kiss my Hands'. I think watching the video prior to rehearsing the scene helped a lot in understanding what is was about and how I was going to portray the characters. It is always easier to play a character you have an understanding about and that was a quick and easy way to show us the mood we needed to set. I think as a whole our group worked well together. Everybody was contributing ideas and accepting each others views (so much so that we forgot to look over the whole script before we performed it). It was nice to be in an environment where I didn't feel judged for just vocalising what was running through my head.
After watching the other groups I think maybe we under used Brecht and Stan's techniques. The other groups went to the extreme and our uses were perhaps too subtle for the exercise. It is funny how 3 groups of people who have all listened to the same instructions and information come up with very different ideas. Watching the group who just used their voices to portray the scene showed just how powerful a good script is. Words are so important and they have the ability to convey a whole story by themselves.

The quad video and the clip of the two dancers (I've forgotten what it was called) were extraordinary. People have such great talent. How does one person remember so many moves and manage to stay in sync!!!!! Ermergerd. It is also baffling how things like that convey so much meaning... where do we as humans acquire the ability to make sense out of 'nonsense'! or are we making more nonsense out of nonsense?

excellent beginning BUT you seemed to have petered-out...?


Week 4:



The warm up exercise still confuses me.. I missed the tute where the consonant in the vowel one was explained and I just sat there praying serge wouldn’t pick me to go through it!!!! (and you didn’t hehehehehe success)

Today we worked on conveying meaning without leaving the dialogue to do all the work. I like that the way serge teaches is to just throw people on the floor and make them jump straight in. I think it’s a good learning strategy to do and then think (in performance anyway :/ )... doesn’t feel so good when you get thrown in first haha. sometimes practice informs theory...

ANYWAY

This weeks exercise was to just use the words yes and no to convey a scenario where one person in a relationship had had an affair. Watching the first few groups I could see that it took some people longer than others to find a way to connect with the other person and with their own character without using words. Some even attempting to mouth other words to get a point across. BUT after a while everyone got the hang of it. It’s interesting to see people who went up there with a specific storyline in mind and were then put in a partnership where the other person clearly also had a different storyline they wanted to follow. anotherr good observation In all those cases one person eventually gave in and the pairs all worked together. Our group is really good at getting together and working hard- I think ive mentioned it before... but no matter the pair put together the performance ALWAYS has some good element to it. When it was my turn (woe is me) I had been so involved in other performances that I hadn’t really come up with anything I thought would make the scenario work for me. so I just jumped in and attempted to think on my feet (something I really need to work on).. scenarios which involve bad things happening always have a really big impact on me ... I try not to (because I know it’s bad for my brain) but I always get really emotionally involved in the characters which are thrown at me. so I walk off stage feeling really drained and sad... however, I think it works for me while im on stage so eeeeeehhhhh I’ll just be sad lots. Being sad is fun right? I felt like our little thing went well.. I never really know how audiences are feeling. I think we could have experimented a little bit more with the scenario because in those settings you can afford to go a little bit crazy and try new things but I didn’t know how said partner would feel about that! It’s interesting how ideas seem to pop up straight after you’ve had an opportunity to show them!!! Why, why brain. I think if we had ll had a second chance to perform things would have been much more interesting .. many more slaps.another good observation
You have a good enquiring mind...never stop asking!




Week 6:



Exercise from last week take 222222222222... this time ‘yes’ ‘no’ and ‘sorry’ were the words which were allowed to be used. (I didn’t have to get up .... wahoooo- improve scares the bees out of my knees... good saying emily) It was more difficult this week because people weren’t given a scenario like last week so it could go anywhereeeee. Some people (rightly so) looked really awkward because they obviously had no idea what the scenario they were playing out was... but then like I said last week it is a good space to be caught out so that when you’re (in the real world) on stage you know what to do in strange situations. I think for these types of exercises it is good to have some idea of a scenario in your head but then to be realllllly flexible so you’re not battling your partner who also has an idea... this way you’re safe if the other person has no ideas but then you’re not having a collision on stage if you both do. Im awful at coming up with situations really quickly... clearly not very imaginative.



The rest of the class moved into something a little more close and a little less ‘no kissing’ ... I don’t think anyone thought, before the class, that this week would get as intimate as it did. It brought the group into a brand new mental space. All semester we have been focussing on special awareness in a more spacious environment. However, we did lead into it well with the movement classes because this was all about conveying emotion and words without dialogue. The first time we did the Tereus and Procne exercise I felt like I was super super committed and really felt the character... moving as Procne towards Tereus just felt right and I got how she felt (as much as I think I could without being in her situation.. which ‘touch wood’ I hope I never am). But then after we changed partners I think it all got lost somewhere. It wasn’t that we did anything terribly but I could just sense the awkwardness the boys felt at moving towards the girls ... whether they felt right and just looked a bit odd I dont know.,, Tereus was supposed to feel slightly ashamed at moving towards her but it was really hard to connect with and I think I got a bit distracted. That and the fact the way teenage boys and Thracian Kings look and move is quite different ;) maybe we could get one in to practice with next time hahaha

I almost wish we could have all done them separately (I know that could be construed as a little bit perverse- I dont mean it like that AT ALL) because everyone was so intensely focussed in their groups and I think lots of peoples performances would have shone and they would have been incredible to watch. I know what you mean...its astonishing to see these intense focused moments ... if only theatre could be like that...?



Week 7-



Today we worked on our dialogues... I’m really worried about doing a piece from a movie... people tend to have a bad habit of just blatantly copying things theyve seen ... but Nik seems keen so we’ll roll with it! (we shall just have to think extra hard about not getting caught in the movie)

We spent all of today working through the script and finding the beats. Talking copius amounts about what we each thought the characters were feeling and thinking and what we thought they would do in each section. I’m really into using movement and chairs... I think if nik hadn’t calmed me down a bit there would have been much more use of the chair. I feel kinda bad because I think I took control a wee bit too much ... but only really because I REALLY didn’t want to get stuck in the movie and so I was trying to pull it away as much as possible without making it ridiculous. We had decided on the revamp of the characters to suit ourselves before this class and so jumping into it wasn’t an issue because we both had ideas about how it would work and different ways we could play with the words and the relationship. We went over the same bits over and over and over until we were totally convinced it was as good as it could be. I think in this respect Nik and I worked well together- we were both really driven to do as well as we could so neither of us had to crack the whip and force the other person to try harder. I’m glad about this- but I dont think it would be easy to get a ‘bad’ partner in this group... I would’ve been happy to work with anyone.

Hopefully it comes together J



Week 8:

Performing our piece (no matter how rusty and script holdingish it was) in front of serge was REALLY helpful. Knowing that people kinda get the direction we’re going with the script (even if it is just one person) makes me feel really accomplished. There were bits we were slightly unsure about but with a little nudge from serge we made them work! Yay. I think we’ve prepared as hard as we can... we’re meeting up to practice once more before the performance but I don’t think we’ll have to do more than run it a few times. Im happy about the way we’ve changed from the movie and the new life it brings to a cult scene... still worried about performing such a well known scene to a bunch of people who probably... no... WILL know all the words and probably be muttering them under their breaths but we’ll have to get through that.

CANT FORGET MY LINES! Wah


WEEK 9?
I am aware I forgot a few weeks- I'll get to those later :/
BUT to the topic at hand.
Dialogues started today! crazy times.
(I don't remember anybody's name from the 1st group so my brilliant and descriptive language skills will have to make-do)

I REALLY liked the group who did 'closer' and made everybody grab a chair. Not only did the space change bring the audience closer to the action and into the world of the actors BUT it also would have influenced how the actors were responding to each other and to the space. the characters in that particular scene are surrounded by people and would be acting in accordance with that- these actors did. they stayed in their own space and were concious of the people around them (how one would be in a waiting room). there was a great sense of intimacy with this piece- between both the audience and the actors and the actors between themselves. I don't know if that script says that the journalist was supposed to be awkward (other groups who did closer had an awkward journalist) but I really liked the way the journalist was played in this scene. there was so much depth in the way he spoke the dialogue which gave the character a great 'back story' (if that's the way it's put). the script felt different when this group performed it.

I'm tempted to go through all of the performances but I know I'll forget one. and then I'll feeel terrible- ALAS

perhaps I'll just point out key moments.

ENDGAME was BRILL ... what an inspired way to describe Beckett.
What a great sense of control and focus they had. It was simple and precise. They worked well together.

People's different approaches made the performance's so much more interesting.
I don't think I could've sat through that many breakfast club's if they hadn't all been slightly different.

The audience involvement in the real inspector hound made the piece. it really was hilarious. Phoenix's ability to keep a real focus and bring an actual character from a 'funny role' was unexpected NOT because i didn't expect it from Phoenix but because when boys play girls in a high pitched voice on stage they generally spend all their focus on maintaining the voice HOWEVER i think he maintained character in his face and stayed completely involved in his character. GRATS

ah so many great performance's.

I think the creativity in the group is overflowing. there was so much variety. imagine if there was the ability to create whole worlds and use lighting and sound and set ... and shadows.

I'm so into shadows.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA6dDt5FyOs
and dance.... coming from a dance background I know how difficult it is to convey meaning and emotion without speaking. sure, sadness and happiness and other basic scenarios are simple but intensely confusing plot lines are so hard to work out without vocals. I think it was during my ballerina phase that i really learnt how to convey emotion. thank-god i moved on because i cant imagine being quiet on a stage now but it was a great backbone. growing up on a stage as a dancer gave me the confidence to be comfortable on stage.

'best pulp-fiction quotes' just popped up on my youtube side bar and made me realise i probably should mention something about how i feel Nik and I worked.
I don't really waaaannaaaa- self assesments are the worst.
We did try really hard during the rehearsal process... we spent a lot of time trying to connect with the characters and find exactly what their motivations were.

Pretty pumped for Thursday's class

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaifMUo91Ds - some grand ole Beckett.

Week 11
YAY TESTS <3
Learning about tech stuff (technical term- I know) was way more interesting than I thought it would be. Its cool to know how everything works and what everybody is doing ... I’ve always noticed it and we did a few tech things at school but mostly just the design and plotting and not so much the rigging so it was super cool to to all that...
Sad tech people dont get more recognition- they know so many things!


Week12-
Awesome class.
Im glad we did this exercise to loosen up and get a new perspective on movement and vocal quality before the monologues. (OF WHICH IVE PICKED ONE YAY)
We read paragraphs from the jabberwocky in groups of about 4. Again, in true serge fashion we were thrown straight in and told to read aloud in a group in front of everyone without having time to even read the bits we were doing!!!!! Crazy!!!! The first time we did it I found it really hard to keep in time with everyone and keep the same tone and stresses... we all had really different ideas about how to read it and what it meant. But the second and third times I think we got into more of a flow and found a collective rhythm and meaning that we all ‘got’ (what a terrible use of English on my behalf). It was interesting to see how other groups found their meaning and how they thought it was being conveyed but perhaps wasn’t coming across. Speaking aloud in a group is really challenging... its hard not to allow it to fall into a droning narrator voice... I think that was what serge was trying to push past. And I think in the end everyone got there. SUCCESS

The next bit of the class was SO INTERESTING. I dont think ive ever fallen into such a trance where I just didn’t notice other people and didn’t care about other people so much. Moving through the strange images was hard at first but became so much easier with time. I felt like I really connected with the emotion of the images and lost all connection to the outside world (how cliché). I could have stayed in this exercise for such a long time. I think the way we were forced into moving so fast through images but also making sure to form a deep connection with each individual one really solidified the lesson serge has been trying to convey for a few weeks now... that we need to make sure each moment has the emotion of a huge and heavy scene but still has pace. Each moment should matter because each moment is in a script for a reason.EXCELLENT...SO IMPORTANT!

MONOLOGUES ARE SOON - STRESS



LAST WEEK!!!!

everything's over ! :(
I think today went well... i was impressed with the class's performances.. i think people took a big step up from the dialogues and had clearly spent a lot of time focusing on every aspect of their performances. kudos.
i hope people enjoyed mine.. i definitely could have practiced my explanation of the script... screwed that up.... and i should have set up and stood still and then said it! i told myself i would but then when i got up all i could think was wow people must be awkward sitting there watching me put this blanket down.
blanket! thanks for the idea to use it! it was a grand way to mark the space and made it easier to connect with the scene having something there which put me in a setting. thanks serge!
this unit was great (nice way to break up those boring law lectures) and i think every aspect of it taught me something or even improved my understanding of something which i thought i knew.
SEE YOU IN AP2
looking forward to it...
Exceedingly competent journal...great engagement wit the unit...and useful refections on the processes. HD-