Monday, February 28, 2011

notes to an actor who is hard on herself

in the end you will be further ahead BECAUSE you have the skill and discipline to BUILD the container
as well as learn how to fill it

just because some of the work as an artist at times focuses on
'just be there'

does not mean that a well crafted container is not important

it just takes time to get BOTH

think water and a glass

I hand you the water in a glass

without the glass
I can't get you the water
it's messy and self indulgent

if i hand you an empty glass
that's obvious

sometimes we are learning how to make the glass
and when water is around... it is very hard to make glass

sometimes you are learning how to trust the water... and even understand what it is and how to recognize it
is this clean water? is this coolaid? maybe I need juice or coffee...

but it feels sometimes very different than making the glass...
and well
trying to get the liquid into the glass!

yikes... you have to start with a wide open simple container...
to catch all that good stuff

then you can start to narrow the container... refine the glass... what is the best glass for juice? wine? coffee?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

notes to a depressed actor Feb 23/2011

I would say write a lot of unfinished poems, draw some faceless self portraits
and maybe there is something deeper or different, rather than nothing there
maybe you don't want to finish it the way you used to... and don't know what's next...
that's GOOD! and hard...

take a step back and take some time in the studio (somewhere private) to
a) have fun
b) be truly alone and do whatever you need to do

out of the studio...
c) go walk in a cemetery... what is really important to do before you die... talk out loud to yourself, to some dead people...
Abe Lincoln did it... you'd be in good company
d) take yourself somewhere you have never been before (a Korean grocery store, a Chinese herb store, a Hindu temple... ask some good questions, put your foot in your mouth)
e) watch some really funny movies... stupid ones... Bill and Ted's big adventure, amazon women on the moon... something so bad it's good
f) read a biography of a great artist/scientist/activist who was persecuted and also got it wrong at times... Van Gogh is always a good one
but look for someone new for you

sounds like you are hitting that normal place as an artist that we all hit
over and over again... if you can get through it once
congrats... it will be back
bigger and badder every time
and the pay off?

a new you, a new form, a new adventure... moving forward, death of the old self, birth of the new
death is not easy
but it happens every year- go look at the trees now- in the cold... touch them...

Monday, February 21, 2011

getting states of being consistently as an actor

I suspect you may need more specifics or to articulate for yourself more specifics that get you to (triggers/ways to cheat to get there) 'childlike', 'aggressor' etc.. otherwise they will become generic states and hard to find consistently... you need your specific triggers lined up and consistently repeatable- you may have them unconsciously- but it might be helpful to articulate them... so that you can CHOSE them when you need to- this is especially helpful for film- when you do not have the time often to get ready that you do in theatre and when your 'given circumstances' can be vague, changing, unrehearsed or you have to do the last scene first etc...
ie: when you cannot rely on the trajectory of the 'play' - this also happens in plays where you are multiple characters or scripts that are non-linear

notes to a performer Feb 21/2011 2

finding a way to allow for you own practice inspired but what excited you in all your classes- is critical
critical to allowing you to trust yourself
critical to really learning what we are trying to offer
critical to leaving training and OWNING what you are learning

your teachers cannot do this for you...
the sooner you learn this- the better off you will be
and it really does not have to look like anything your teachers tell you!
you can start from something you do in a class- so you have someplace to start- but then go where it is exciting for you to go!
and then when you get lost or distracted- go back again to an 'exercise'

I do the same!

the 'exercise' is there to keep me IN the work... not to dominate the work...

be an artist! play, work hard and trust your gut... follow the fun and let fun have a very broad and serious playground

notes to an actor Feb 21/2011

I break things down- in fact all of your classes do- in order to deepen, practice, understand

but dissection is not life... like is integration and full of it all

so allow your practice to be at times dissected and at times FULL
and full can feel very different... and when you are no longer training in the same way
or when you get older and have more experience in the WHOLE of the DOING of theatre
it will be easier to break it down from time to time to deepen, analyze, uncover a problem, understand

but we have to break it down... dissect it at times
even though
dissected things are typically...

and necessarily so-

or have no chemistry yet
(the cake before you mix it all together and it gets messy and bubbly...)

is full of throbbing, interrelated everything

and you cannot often see the detail/feel the detail within it
as you are experiencing it as a whole

as an artist you are often moving back and forth between these two worlds and sometimes it isn't even clear... which is which!

they are both part of the WORK!

Friday, February 18, 2011

naked disgust

And what if i did remove that outer layer?

you would see me
I would be sitting in naked disgust
my face curdled from my own sour

Why can I never seem to visit the place of the pretty?
The butterfly land of hyacinth and lavender?
Fearing the simple truth of the flower
Because it is simple?
Because it is truth?
Because it is nothing I can name or wear without watching it die
Naked disgust
How does one start again
When one has started again so many times to seemingly no effect
The growth, the change so unimaginably slow
the self hatred so rampant and boring