Thursday, July 7, 2011



I don't have a picture of my handstand yet. I did one good one today. I am practicing, though. When I have a good one I promise to show you!


But I am getting ahead of myself. We began with gestures. Stephanie prompted us. We were to do a gesture and hold it as if we were on a postcard. The prompts were: hi, oh joy, i'm frightened, but i have courage, i love you, what?!, i beg you, oh god, go away, (repeat). We repeated these about 10 or so times. Afterwards, a couple groups went up and did them in front of the class...then with masks. SO AMAZING. The more specific and held the positions were the more effective the masks became. We were told to allow ourselves to be the mask and not force our own agenda upon the mask. 

In many instances, in theatre being presentational is bad. But here, we are told that being presentational is being present for the audience. We are to treat the audience as another actor having an equal part in the story. It is a really cool, new way to look at the word 'presentational'.

Our next exercise was a bit silly. We had a partner. We began by throwing and receiving energy from them. We then evolved that into throwing and receiving focus from our partner. Once we received the focus, we were to take it then have a take to the audience and say our name, then throw the focus back to our partner. We then threw 'insults' with reaction take to the audience. These were funny. My partner and I said stuff like: perky ponytail, smart, pretty, and pink hairthing as insults. We then threw gestures with a reaction take to the audience. My partner and I got to present ours to the class and got a lot of laughs! (score!) (that was my reaction take to you!)

When putting on our masks, we were told to close our eyes when putting on the mask, when we opened our eyes, we were to see through the eyes of the mask. We worked with larval masks (precursors to character masks). I love the innocence of them. They live in the present. It is hard to imagine a past or future for these masks. The naivety of them is awesome! LOVE LOVE LOVE! 
(this is from a former class at Dell'Arte)

We then explored character masks. Everyone in the class had a different character mask. We walked around the space and explored the different relationships we could have with other masks. The first mask I had was blueish in color and had an expression of sadness. The second (my favorite) was of an older man with a very large nose. He was quirky and loved to dance. We all got to present our chosen mask to the audience. We had to have an entrance with a clear moment once on stage, an interaction with the mask entering to take it's spot and an exit. SUCH AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE. I know I will be able to translate this work into other avenues of theatre. It helps us to become more specific with our movements and how to subtleties are just as, if not more, effective than big large gestures. They also help teach you how to take your time. If you rush through a moment with a mask, it either goes dead or the audience loses the action. Masks are so amazing and POWERFUL. They show human emotion in a pure way. Everyday we hide our emotions or thoughts with our own masks. But a mask can't hide it's emotion. And if we do our job as actors, we will embody these masks and allow them to live and breathe and tell their story. 

Here is my Larval Mask y'all!

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