Notes from Monday Afternoon

This week I caught up with the Monday afternoon class.

Anna, Jeff and Ross were working on, The Scene by Teresa Rebeck. The actors had a really good rehearsal, they were on top of the material and the scene was cooking. Jeff had great success in his character body work. It was so specific, that as soon as he saddled up behind Anna we knew instantly what kind of guy he was. Both Jeff and Anna felt they had something going for the place, they felt it come and go but overall it was strong. Anna felt improvements in her listening and her relationship’s with the other characters. Ross was working at exploring the second half of the scene and found some hilarious behavior, “egging” on and luring Anna’s character. It was funny and exciting to watch.

Also in class, Sarah and Matt were reading from Venus in Fur by David Ives. Sarah is newer to class and has felt a major improvement in her work. She commented that she is able, “to stay with the other person more, click in and access the character more easily”. Matt had a lot going for the character already and feels his next step will be to figure out who Vanda is to him. Because the character of Vanda changes so drastically over the course of the one act play, Matt had questions about approaching his personalization. Cay suggested that he could either use two people from his life and morph one in to the other or go for a “twofer”, finding someone that he knew at two different points in their life or someone who his opinion of changed over time.

During class, Cay shared some great advice for actors in their beginning stages, although it easily applies to actors at any stage. An actor in class commented that, “the more they worked on a scene the more they felt stuck”. Cay said that this was a common experience a sort of, “peaking too soon” and the best way to combat this was moment-to-moment work.

“You have to value the specific moment you are in above all else. The solution to anticipation is to go back to the proceeding moment and not slide ahead until the proceeding moment is over.”