E mails from D’Mommy brighten my day.
In other news, I still wasn’t sore this morning, and feeling very proud of myself. Physical Theatre this morning proved to be once again, fascinating. I think that may end up being the most valuable class I’ll take this semester. I’m learning more in that class about how to control emotions or behaviour through movements, and it’s so easy to explore different characters, and just jump into a role. All this crap that you’ll hear about needing inspiration to play a role, or “I wasn’t feeling it tonight” is an excuse for lazy acting, because it doesn’t matter if you’re uninspired or you can’t feel it. It’s the audience that matters, and you need to be able to produce things no matter what, and that’s what this class is, really. Today we explored the eight states of tension (but because Hugh takes so long to massage people, we only got through six, even though the other class did all eight).
- The “Jellyfish” state. What happens when you remove all tension from your body? You collapse. We were supposed to answer the phone, someone was calling, asking what we wanted for dinner that night, and they keep calling because they keep forgetting. So how do you respond to them in each of the states? This one was mostly grunts. Basically, it’s a total relaxed, almost asleep state.
- The “Just Woke Up” state. This one allows you to have just enough tension to stand up, but you’re still unsteady and flopping over. It’s hard to hold things in this state, and your breathing is slow and steady. (At least, mine was.) I did feel some impatience in this state, almost an irritation at everything, because all I wanted was to go back to #1.
- Allison called this the “California” state, but I prefer the “Hipster” state. This one, you’re more balanced, but just loose. I was in an almost unalterable good mood with this state. Nothing could really bother me, and moving around was very fluid and easy.
- This is your average state of tension… Not much to report here…
- The “Stage Manager” state. This one is starting to get tensed, obviously. I had a need to control everything, and was looking around a lot more than I had been in my other states. My breathing became slightly more shallow, and I was so irritated by the damn person on the phone, because I had stuff to do!
- The “James Bond” state, or what I prefer to call the “Action Hero” state. This one was as though you are in a dangerous situation, but it’s resolvable. It’s basically being an action hero, and I loved doing this one, because pretending you’re an action hero is the most fun kind of pretend! I was hyper-aware in this state, and my pace was changing a lot.
After that, we had Shakespeare, which was fairly uneventful. We went over our monologues from Caesar a little bit, and reviewed some scenes from All’s Well That Ends Well because we had tickets for it tonight. Then, everyone rushed frantically home to drop off their stuff before going off to Westminster Abbey to meet Michael there for our tour. It was pretty neat… not quite everything I was anticipating. We walked around for a little over an hour and a half, so by the end of it, I admit all I wanted to do was sit down. But we saw a whole bunch of famous people’s tombs, which was somewhat neat. There was Newton and Darwin (the most exciting), a butt load of artists including Ben Jonson (who is burying vertically because he couldn’t afford a bigger plot) and Rudyard Kipling and Lewis Carrol, etc., lots of royals, the most notable of which were Elizabeth I, Bloody Mary, many kings, and Edward the Confessor, who dates back to (I’m almost positive) the 11th century. That’s… that’s very old.
After that, we were so close to the National, where we would be seeing All’s Well, that we went down there to hang out for a few hours before the show. Sienna and I got awesome tickets for Inherit the Wind, starring Kevin Spacey (£12, fourth row) and then we sat with two other LDAers at a crêpe café. I had a huge asparagus, cheddar and lemon sauce crêpe, followed by a nutella and banana crêpe. No doubt that I’ll fit into my corset on Monday…
At the National (which is huge, by the way) I bought myself a Daniel Radcliffe postcard, then we took our seats in the balcony of the Olivier Theatre for the show. (Oh yeah, sidenote! Did you know that Laurence Olivier is buried at Westminster Abbey? Somehow, it really peeves me that actors like him, or Siddons are buried there… Actors?! Anyway…) The set was quite impressive to begin with, though … it would have been significantly more appropriate for a tragedy. I could see it as a wonderful set for almost any of the tragedies, certainly Macbeth, Hamlet or Othello, but a comedy? Especially one that has the word “well” in the title. Twice. Well, trust your instincts.
In all fairness, the show was not as bad as it could have been, nor was it as bad as Troilus and Cressida, but it was not good. There were some cheap laughs, but the period was constantly in flux between at least five different times, the actress who played Helena was weak and not at all a strong enough heroine, and there are also some flaws in the script (sorry, Will). Not only that, but it was half an hour too long, and I was struck by a rolling soreness in the middle of the first half, so that I could not move my arms, and I know at least two other people had this happen. So I guess the workout on Monday really was that bad…
In any case, we were all stuck on the tube after eleven, traipsing miserably home in the heat, sore and exhausted, with homework awaiting us, because we didn’t have time to do any of it during the day. In fact, that’s what I’m off to do right now…