Notes from Tuesday Evening

This week I caught up with the Tuesday night’s class.

First up were Kayla and Pam, working on Craig’s Wife by George Kelly.  In the scene, Kayla’s mother is terminally ill. Kayla has a strong preparation for the inner object of the mother and was able to access it effectively. Pam found the rehearsal made clear what was working and what inner objects still needed to be created.

Second up was a reading from The Scene by Theresa Rebeck. Lesley and Frank were relaxed, connected and the first read was very funny.  When Cay asked the actors what they were working for, Frank said he was working for who Lesley is to him; he was concerned that he could feel it come and go.  Cay had these words for approaching this substitution.

“It’s like a leaf in the wind. Sometimes you see the underside, sometimes the top of it, sometimes you see just the side. Don’t try to hold it fast, let it appear and disappear.”

In the first reading Lesley was very connected to the inner object of the baby her character is planning to adopt. Cay asked her to try this rehearsal technique:

“Tap into what is strongest (in this case, the baby), and start again, even if you think it ”wrong” for the circumstances at the top of the scene.  You’ve got to get the hook in you.  Then you’re “underneath” and can find the shared space between you and the character.

Lesley was much more connected, her truth was infectious and both actors made discoveries.

Third up were Lauren and Ryan doing a reading from Great Falls by Lee Blessing.  Ryan was comfortable and relaxed, working well. Lauren is new to class; after the first read Cay asked her to do it again working for her listening and responding, allowing the scene to grow and change. Lauren took this note really well and both actors were more open and receptive to each other the second time through.

Caroline and David were working on The Proposal by Anton Chekhov. The actors had a very successful, very funny first read. The scene demands a certain tempo, it culminates with one of those zippy comedic fights  that builds and builds till both characters are shouting single word phrases at each other. Cay reminded the actors to make sure that they don’t get seduced by the tempo in their early rehearsals. Even though it is crucial to make the comedy work, like everything else they must first find what things mean to them  and work moment-to-moment.

The class ended with Ronell, a new student, doing a monologue from Before Hits Home by Cheryl L West. After his first pass, Cay had him do it again directing it to another actor in class. Ronell found that the second time through he felt much more genuine and connected. The piece was from a monologue book and Cay encouraged him to find material from an actual play. She said the piece had a, “feel sorry for me” quality and that those pieces in the audition situation make the auditor want to distance themselves from the actor. Not what you want to go for in the audition!

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