Yes. No.

Thursday was our final Acting Space with the brilliant Brian Stirner. We continued to work on the Chekov scenes, slowly moving into the text as written, although as Brian said, a lot faster than he usually likes to work. Slowly, putting the "real" words in, but trying to keep the spark and energy of the improvised versions of the scenes. What I found really interesting was that Brian's first direction to me was to keep myself separated from Ferapont, which in rehearsal resulted in a sad, depressing Andrij. Upon seeing the scene Thursday he recommended that we try the scene as a "release" - both Andrij and Ferapont need to talk to someone, and are grateful for the chance to talk, knowing they are not equals. Of course, this was opposite to what he had directed previously, so at first we were confused. After trying it we quickly realized that the effect of this was to have the deep sadness droning underneath while the happy, facade was smoothing over top...just like the Matisse sketch.

Watching each group do their scene really reminded me of how much more watchable this was. It was a way to have "something going on" just based on the words, the emotion in the text...and then smooth it out with the intention in the scene.

We did some great exercises too...shaking out limbs and eventually our whole body in a loose dance...just letting whatever comes up happen. I really want to keep using the focus exercise, working your way up from feet to face, really looking at each thing with curiosity. It reminds you that at its heart, acting is PLAYING like a child, with insatiable curiosity. Without curiosity actors are boring. As well, we did some Meisner style exercises in pairs with simple text such as Yes/No, Yes You Will/No I won't, and then back to back Listen To Me/Get Off My Back.

MAN will I miss this class. We are hoping to organize a couple workshops once Brian is back from Brazil. I hope we can make this happen.