Acting program Devising- bleeding the genres
This has been the best week yet on the Acting program.
We did a fantastic improvisation inspired by Laban’s 8 efforts and movement.
This technique was originally used in dance performance.
From my ahem “intellectual” reading on post-modern performance. Most contemporary artists prefer to think of the theory part of writing and performance as not prescriptive but fluid and as something to provoke the imagination.
The theories exist to be used to merge into something that is relevant to today.
This program is far away from what I’m learning on my MA and this is my struggle with what I’m doing in my MA because, we as an ensemble – group of amateur actors are working towards devising a performance not based on text.
Back to Laban – the whole purpose of the exercise was to move forward and start thinking more about character development. How many ways can an actor develop their character?
For me, it helped me focus more on my physical body and what I could do with it, to create a character with emotional depth.
This is the exercise we did:
Laban categorized human movement into four component parts:
Each of those parts has two elements:
Direction is either direct or indirect.
Weight is either heavy or light.
Speed is either quick or sustained.
Flow is either bound or free.
Laban then combined these parts together to create The Eight Efforts:
The Direction is Indirect
The Weight is Heavy
The Speed is Sustained
The Flow is Bound
I loved how I explored character development using my voice, my body and employing Laban’s technique to create a character.
I chose the movement to ‘wring’ and what stemmed from that incongruent action was a character called -Prushka who ended up in an improvisation scene with another character (his chosen action Punch) who became my workaholic husband with a temper.
We did a short improv scene in pairs of threes.
Us the couple were arguing about our relationship and where it was headed when the third character (developed from the movement of ‘flick ) interrupted us.
Her drugged up character was stumbling across the streets asking where she was. We ended the scene by my character telling my character’s husband we had grown apart and it was over.
I went to help the drugged up girl get on a bus and get home. Instead of dealing with the confrontation – a stake was thrust into the scene and as a Wring character, I made the decision guided by my body movements to leave the relationship and avoid the angry, punchy husband.
I’m sure there is a much more simplified way to describe all this but I have never been one to simplify anything!
This acting program has got me thinking about finishing my MA somewhere else. Sad but true.
As a group, we seem to be gelling more and getting to know each other.
It looks like we will be devising a piece to perform to a public at the end of March.
Sat on the train, typing this post and I can’t wait to get home.
Weird guy with bouffant hair sitting opposite me and staring at me like I’ve got an abscess growing on my nose. 😂😂.
I’m currently redrafting TMA 3. I’ve strayed into morality play /Faustian territory purely by accident.
The piece is set after the 1918 Russian revolution ,in Paris.
RANDOM FACT- my great grandparents fled the 1918 Russian revolution changed their surname and went to live in the slums of Paris. That is where my Grandad was born.
I have three characters who have some of my character traits and a mish mash of other lovely people’s traits I have come across in my life.
Panacea wants to be accepted by family and society: Vladimir by society. The other character, Eve -has the love and adoration of the society she lives in because of her talent to play captivating pieces of music on the piano.
She has it all except she lacks conventional sight.
With a wee bit of determination and vengeance, Panacea takes Eves essence (talent) and Vladimir’s only access to power and being accepted by his peers is now in the hands of Panacea.
Eve is left with a second sight not normal sight.
I don’t know how magic works!
She can only see the past.
Things start getting tense when she starts seeing things:
She starts seeing people’s past actions. Not the good but all the skeletons that people hide away or try to forget by drugging themselves- insert vice of choice here.
Vladimir- her guardian is clearly hiding something.
How are Eve’s past visions connected to him?
Why won’t he tell Eve?
The climax and resolution of the final scene, see the loose ends of the plot coming together and finally, we see how all three characters fit together.
I’m not saying any more than that.
Both Eve and Vladimir ( who seem like the victims of a salacious act by Panacea) lose everything they wanted and indeed had.
The music threaded throughout the piece (which initially draws the crowd to adore Eve and propels her to ‘stardom’ )seems to serve as a metaphor for the vices which society still use today to forget and self-medicate.
The somewhat pantomime-like, sarcastic Panacea, in scene one, is a character, I hope my tutor can sympathize with at the end of the piece- with her revelation.
Her motives are utterly selfish and human.
But finally, she is accepted and her nephew is forced to love and adore her because she has the essence and power to help not only society. but also Vladimir forget who he actually is.
Ha ha! What a raucous.
Well, it’s all a been a bit of fun trying out new writing styles. Writing should be fun and not some Herculean labor (which it does seem to be at times)
As long as I pass I will be happy.
Daisy- ‘the entrepreneur in progress’ is moving forwards in my business.
That’s a bit of an update from me. My stop has arrived. I’m tired cold and I want to see my family.
I have blogging awards to accept and nominations to do and look forward to catching up on blogs over the week.
I may barricade myself in my bedroom over the weekend and devour every post/blog I come across.
Have a great week!