Quotations: Volume 14

Here are some of the educational, inspirational, and humorous quotations from my classes this week:

(Note: We only had a handful of actual classes this week, which is why there are so few quotes.)

"I have to be clear with this group. Otherwise, you don't know what might happen." - Voice Professor

(When discussing the peer evaluations that the professors give each other, my Voice Professor was asked how she would evaluate our Analysis Professor)
"Very harshly. It's going to be so esoteric and bizarre, my assessment. I may get fired, but it might be worth it." - Voice Professor

"You know, to be an actor like [3rd-Year BB], you really need to get yourself an old Volkswagen bug. That's all it takes." - Acting Professor

"Acting really should be like a cat purring. They don't really know why a cat purrs. But I am sure that it is not the cat choosing to purr. It is something inside the cat that makes it purr." - Acting Professor


Wednesday, November 26

We spent all morning preparing for and performing our Voice Showing (I guess I shouldn't really say performing... it wasn't a performance). I think it went well. All we had to do was tremor and say a line... Easy enough.

The 2nd-years had a lot more to show. They demonstrated the dialects that they've been working on, their scansion studies, and then recited "Lady with a Lapdog" (which I was previously unfamiliar with). It's exciting to get a glimpse at where my class will (hopefully) be a year from now. :)

Group Therapy
I just really have to say this: thank God for our bi-weekly therapy sessions. Seriously. There are so many things that would never get addressed without them. And not just problems, but also things that we appreciate.

It was mentioned in Group Therapy that we're a team, and I think that's finally true. "Ensemble" is such a strange concept, but "team" makes sense somehow.

Between classes, a couple of us were discussing catch-phrases for the class of '11. The best two were:

"We're so great, we're #1... TWICE."


"On a scale of 1 to 10, we're '11!"

I found them most amusing. Go team!

We got through all 8 scenes in one day!

Everyone is growing so much right now. Even just in the last week, I've seen major developments.

I'm glad that things are fitting together. Our showing is next Thursday. If we can perform that day on the same level we've been performing, I think we might just turn our skeptics into cheerleaders.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Tuesday, November 25

We spent class going over what we're going to do in our showing. It's a relatively choreographed docket. I wish it were a little more slap-dash, but I'm sure it'll be fine.

Our showing is tomorrow, but I don't think anyone is nervous about it. We're each doing a tremor position (with all the positions we've learned being represented), and each saying a line of speech from our consonant exam (my line is "Amidst the mists and coldest frosts").

We made more progress on "Twinkle, Twinkle", and now have done the first two lines of it. It sounds lame, I'm sure, but it feels like major progress.

I did both of my scenes (with D-Train and with Thrill) today, and I thought they went pretty well. Except that my head whacked against the floor really hard during my one with D-Train, making me cry and giving me a wicked headache for the rest of class... But aside from that, it went well.

My Something You Did group presented today, and I think we did a tremendous job. Of course, I may be biased. I baked oatmeal cookies for the occasion (as they're mentioned in the script a couple of times). I think I'm starting to get a handle on what my professor wants in terms of our analysis.

But man, I am SO CONFUSED on what the climax of a play is now. The definition we're using in this class is in direct conflict with what I learned in undergrad. And frankly, I far prefer my undergrad definition. It makes so much more sense to me. The idea that a climax can come in the middle of the play (as opposed to in the final scene) just seems wrong. *shrugs* Oh well.

Today was the first day of rehearsals for both The Imaginary Invalid and The Winter's Tale, both of which I'm an understudy for. I was unable to attend the Invalid rehearsal, as it was during the class day. I did, however, attend the Winter's Tale read-through (along with 9 other members of my class). It feels so great to be in a rehearsal room again. I didn't even get to do anything (aside from follow along in my script), and it was still great. I don't remember the last time I was in a production that had actual table-work involved (actually, I do... 2006).

Most exciting news of the week: I got my Equity Membership Candidate card in the mail today. And I had this strange moment of realization in my kitchen as I read the letter that came with it... I'm going to be a professional actor. Me. That's going to be my job. My real, actual job.

I don't know why this should've surprised me, but it did. It's incredible. I'm not doing this for fun anymore. I'm not doing it as a hobby. I'm doing it as a profession. As a career. And that's an unbelievable feeling.

I am a proud member of the EMC! :)


Monday, November 25

Wilder! Wilder! Wilder! (a collection of five plays by Thornton Wilder: Infancy, Childhood, The Wreck on the 5:25, The Happy Journey to Camden and Trenton, and Rivers under the Earth) finished its run on Sunday. And I have to say, I'm sad to see it go. It was a great production to be a part of.

My entire class was called in for strike, and it went pretty quickly. Even including trips to the scene shop and the props storage building (they're separate, and neither within walking distance from school or each other), strike was over in under 2.5 hours. Piece of cake.

This weekend has been marked by the 2nd-Year Directing students' one-acts for the Late Night Series here (starring members of the 2nd and 3rd year classes). The plays they directed were:

Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? by Caryl Churchill
Trash Anthem by Dan Dietz
Feeding the Moon Fish by Barbara Wiechmann
The Zoo Story by Edward Albee

They were all so different, and SO GREAT. They're all still running through my mind and trying to teach me things. It feels a little bit like when I was in undergrad and went to the American College Theatre Festival (except for the lack of a play that glaringly didn't match up to the standards of the rest... that was something you could always count on at ACTF...).

I met up with my Text Analysis group tonight to discuss Something You Did, which has now been our third meeting. I think we made a lot of headway, and I know we're well prepared for leading the discussion tomorrow. We don't necessarily agree on everything, but we clearly all have deep understandings of the play. I think we're capable of expanding the conceptions of the group.


Quotations: Volume 13

Here are some of the educational, inspirational, and humorous quotations from my classes this week:

(on our upcoming assessments)
3rd-Year DP: It's nothing to worry about.
2nd-Year KS: But they do provide you with tissues.

"I saw your lunch break in the corridor. Very touching." - Acting Professor, after seeing The Pro and I eat our lunches in the hallway before a student rep meeting

O.D.: I've been watching the patrons as they come in while I'm house managing. Observe them. Try to look into their eyes.
Acting Professor: No wonder ticket sales are down.

"Strange actors. They want to read the play." - Acting Professor, using a healthy dose of sarcasm.

Me: Dubai is like Vegas times twenty.
All-The-Way: It's Vegas on heroin.
Wifey: Vegas on Bollywood.
Me: That kinda makes sense.
Wifey: 'cause Bollywood is a drug.

"I think I've got plenty of leg." - Voice Professor, who is incredibly slim

All-The-Way: [Voice Professor], you're an appetizer.
Voice Professor: What?
All-The-Way: Like if a cannibal were going to eat you...
Wifey: My rump alone is a main course.
All-The-Way: I think it's good to be at least a side dish.

All-The-Way: Can we read these scenes that we've just been assigned?
Acting Professor: Nah. I think we should get together on the fourth and just kinda wing it.

(after Iceman and Two-Shots-Up did a Scene Etude)
Iceman: That wasn't what I would've done on stage at all.
Acting Professor: This is an exercise. If this is the same as on stage, then what the hell are we exercising?

(after waltzing)
Movement Professor: How are you doing?
Iceman: (with a vaguely British accent) My dance card's never been so full.

(while we did a combination across the floor)
Movement Professor: Don't accelerate! We never want to accelerate in our acting, either.
D-Train: Sometimes...
Movement Professor: Well... Sometimes...
Iceman: Yeah. Like what if you're playing a racecar driver...

"The pelvis is the anchor for all of life." - Movement Professor

Movement Professor: Does anyone know what this piece of music is called?
O.D.: (he says something that sounds unintelligible and foreign)
Movement Professor: Actually, it's "Fanfare for the Common Man".
O.D.: Yes. I said its German title.
Movement Professor: But... It's by Aaron Copland...

"There's a form. And the form says... I have no idea what the form says." - Voice Professor

"It takes tremendous patience and control to do anything that's real." - Acting Professor

"Some actors are like Disney Wood. I've been to Disney World. There's lots of Disney Wood there. It looks nice, but it's all plastic." - Acting Professor

"Is this a compliment? I agree." - The Pro, responding to one of Acting Professor's comments on his etude

"Don't listen like a pencil point. Listen like an elephant." - Movement Professor

"Tell her to take a taxi. They're these yellow cars, and they're a really good idea." - Voice Professor, telling D-Train how to handle a rescheduled class conflicting with when he was supposed to pick up his girlfriend from the airport

"Make this an action, and do not be seduced by the sound of your voice." - Voice Professor

O.D.: I wondered how I'd recognize [D-Train's girlfriend] at the show tonight, but then I realized, she'll be the pretty girl with the long brown hair.
D-Train: (ecstatic) AH! She's gorgeous!
Voice Professor: Don't talk about me while I'm here!

"Let's do this dirty thing we do so well." - Acting Professor, beginning etudes


Friday, November 21

I met with my Acting Professor after blogging last night, and he made me feel a lot better about everything. He said that my work in class wasn't bad yesterday, it just wasn't as strong as other work I've done recently. He said that I'm getting a lot more consistent, and that I shouldn't be hard on myself for having one off day, as I'm now having three good days for every bad day.

He said it's good that I know when I'm on versus when I'm off, and that I recognize my own problems before they're raised. He said that I have to start looking at that as an advantage.

I've gotten a couple of notes as of late that I haven't been loud enough in my etudes (which is so funny to me, as I'm always loud enough once I'm on stage). My professor said that he thinks I'm speaking softly too much in my everyday life, and that's why I'm not always on-voice in scene work. He thinks it would be a good idea for me to start speaking louder on a regular basis.

Today's class was all about harmony. We did flocking exercises (in which we move as a group, and there's a rotation in leadership) to "Fanfare for the Common Man" (which I will forever and always mentally associate with the Olympics). I think we listened to it about 8,000 times. Luckily, we get a few days before having to hear it again. :)

We also tossed handballs around for awhile.

My Voice Professor said I had a breakthrough with my breathing today, but I have no idea what she was talking about. She says that my body is no longer confused, and that it'll communicate that to my head soon. I hope she's right.

Right now, it feels weird to breathe in the way that we're learning. It involves "swinging" the ribs, and opening the back of the mouth wide. Most of the time, I either get light-headed, or I get an attack of yawning instead of being able to speak. I'm sure it'll click into place soon enough, but at the moment it's just weird.

We started trying to use text with our Rib Swings. Our professor says we're going to work up to the entirety of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". Today, we were only allowed to use "star", "how", and "wonder".

I had a really great release with the Standing tremor today. When I was done, my rib cage felt completely different. I felt like I was breathing more openly. So woo-hoo for that.

I'm kind of jealous of my classmates who end up having emotional releases during destructuring as well as physical ones. Some have laughed hysterically. Some have wept. I get nothing. I feel like I'm being cheated somehow (which I know is ridiculous, but that's how I feel).

We started off with a discussion which I found rather upsetting.

My class has had our problems coming together in the first couple of months, but I think we've had a great deal of improvement. Especially in the last few weeks. And I'm not just saying that. Something really started to gel. We're on the right track, we're positive, and we're supportive of one another. But people still treat us like we're the same way we were before. I can't tell you how angry that makes me. It's frustrating to work as hard as you can, make progress, and have no one notice.

We moved on to our Scene Etudes. And they were AWESOME today! People are growing by leaps and bounds. They're taking chances. They're following impulses. They're living on stage. And it's GLORIOUS! It's so fascinating to watch the scenes. And it's so wonderful to be able to observe the progressions of each of my classmates. I'm so very, very proud of them. Of us.

We've had a hard road. And we've suffered a lot, both at our own hands and at the hands of others. But now I know that we're going to be ready for whatever gets thrown at us. I look forward to being able to show the other classes what we can do. Maybe someday they'll be as proud of us as we are of them.

Off to tech!



Thursday, November 20

We started off by doing some ballet-esque combinations across the space, which then transformed into waltzing. Most of us aren't great at things on our first try, but get the hang of it eventually.

I think we completed learning our alignment series today. The boys were wincing in pain throughout, as that trainer kicked their butts yesterday.

We did an exercise with what my professor calls "the muscles of shush" (the psoas major, the psoas minor, and the transverse), which are the muscles you're supposed to use when making a "sh" sound.

We worked more with the Standing Tremor, and I did a lousy job of spotting Killer. His weight is a lot further back than mine is on that one, and I kept thinking he was about to fall when he was actually completely fine. Oh well. Luckily, O.D. was able to take over spotting duties for me.

Today was a total off day for me. I don't really know why. Just everything I did seemed wrong.

First I brought in an observation. I've been observing a person, and I'm supposed to try to capture her "essence", as opposed to her physical and vocal identity. I chose a woman who is actually rather idiosyncratic, which is making it tricky. The goal right now is to sit in a chair and to THINK as the subject, not portray them. We're supposed to build the character from the inside out, but I'm worried that I'm getting hooked into the outside, so I keep preventing myself from giving in to my actions.

My scene with D-Train was the first to go today, even though it's chronologically at the end of the play. I think we were both a bit thrown off by that, as yesterday we watched all the other scenes first and had a lot built up in us already. Today just felt... off.

And then at the end of class, I did my scene with Thrill. All-The-Way pointed out that I was completely off-voice for it, and my professor said that I didn't fully yield to an automatic movement (I was jostling my leg) and let it affect me (he thinks I wanted to stand up at that point).

It's so frustrating to feel like you perfectly understand everything one day, and the next day be unable to apply it to the level that you know you can.

We discussed From Up Here, which is a brand new play. It was just produced for the first time in May, and I don't think it has even been published yet. I haven't made up my mind as to whether I like it. I think we're sort of being groomed out of making that decision. Rather, we're supposed to answer whether the play achieves what it sets out to do. And I think, with this play, that it does.


Wednesday, November 19

Today, the males and females of the class were separated. The males went off to work with some trainer for agility training or something... I'm unclear on it. And the women? (Warning: Brace yourself, boys.) We learned stretches and exercises that will help alleviate the pain of cramps. No, I'm not kidding.

I noticed today that I'm not fully giving over to the Standing Tremor, and that I'm very aware of what my body is doing. I have a need to correct my own balance (hence why I don't really need a spotter). I checked with my voice professor, and she says that's perfectly alright, as I'm getting the release that I need anyway. Excellent.

We have officially been assigned scenes for our showing. We'll be doing the scenes in quite the same way that we've been doing text etudes (recording neutrally, deleting, and then following impulses) instead of doing them as scenes are normally done (with blocking, memorizing, and rehearsing). We're using 8 scenes from Late: A Cowboy Song by Sarah Ruhl (which you can find in this anthology). In ALL of the scenes, the male is playing Crick and the female is playing Mary.

Our scene pairings are (note: numbers do not coincide with ACTUAL scene numbers, but rather are our order):

1: O.D. & Two-Shots Up
2: Thrill & Me
2A: Wifey (she's doing a 1-person etude)
3: Killer & All-The-Way
4: Iceman & Two-Shots-Up
5: Big Show & All-the-Way
6: The Pro & Wifey
7: D-Train & Me

The reason that Wifey is doing a 1-person etude is so that things are more "even", as all the other females are doing 2 scenes. But since all the males are doing 1 scene, is that really "even"?

Part of me thinks the girls are being over-worked, or that the boys are being gypped. But then I remembered that in most theatrical works, the ratios are quite the opposite (with men having to play many roles while women don't get enough to do). I guess having a situation with things going the opposite way for once won't hurt anyone.

I'm actually really excited about both of the scenes I'm doing. The one I have with Thrill is where Mary tells Crick that she thinks she's pregnant, and he says they should get married. The scene I have with D-Train is where Crick threatens Mary with a baseball bat, and she ends up taking their child and leaving him. I'm pretty excited about them. I'm also glad to have been paired with Thrill & D-Train, as I've worked a lot with both of them in etudes, and I feel comfortable with each of them in this sort of exercise.


This is the last week of Wilder! Wilder! Wilder!. Our strike is on Sunday. And then Tuesday is the first day of rehearsals for both The Imaginary Invalid (in which I'm understudying Béline) and The Winter's Tale (in which I'm understudying Paulina). It's all coming so fast!

Also, after Thanksgiving, we start having our "showings", which are like open classes that our professors, peers, and donors are all invited to attend. It's incredibly intimidating. Especially because our Acting showing (which we're doing these Scene Etudes for) is also counting as our Final Exam. YIKES!

I can't believe we're this close to the end of the semester already. It feels like everything in life has been moving at warp speed over the last several weeks. I hope I can continue to move with it for just a little while longer.



Tuesday, November 18

We did our movement monologues to a piece of "romantic music". It was interesting, but I just keep realizing how this movement experimentation is messing with my favored methods of text memorization. I know all the lines in my piece, but because we're trying not to assign meaning to them, I can't remember the order that they go in for the life of me. *sigh*

We used our handballs for more activities today. I'm not entirely certain as to what we're learning with them at this point, to be honest. I just keep trucking along and hope that it'll all make sense to me later.

We did some more of our alignment work, and it turns out I've been doing one of our things completely wrong in my home study. So now I have something new to work on.

Our voice professor gave us some notes about our Acting test from last week. She made some comments that applied to the whole group about breathing, sending and landing lines, and not falling off voice. Individually, my notes were that I was off-voice for my entire first etude with Two-Shots-Up, and that I did a great job in my etude with Thrill (except for the line "let me see", which she thinks was mostly because I didn't know what to do with the line).

We did more of the standing tremor. My professor has recommended that I modify it because of my history with back issues. So I will never go into a full standing tremor (which requires that your arms be raised above your head and causes your back to arch).

Something awesomely exciting happened for the first time in my acting class today...

We read from scripts!

I know, I know. It seems strange that I've been here for 3 months and this is the first time we're dealing with scripts. But I'm glad we've done everything that we've done. And now having a script to work with seems somehow liberating. Real given circumstances! Text that means something! Characters! It's all so exciting!!!

I think there are 6 scenes in total, all of which are between one man and one woman. Since my class is currently 7 men and 4 women, one of the scenes will be done twice, and 3 of the women will have to do more than one scene.

I'm actually kinda hoping that I end up being the female who only does one scene, just because rehearsals for BOTH of the plays I'm understudying start on Tuesday. I haven't started memorizing lines for one of them, and I've made very little headway on the other... So only having to memorize one scene for Acting class instead of two would be a blessing to me right now. We'll see what happens.

Analysis class was canceled (because of how awesomely we nailed Anna Christie on Thursday), so my group met to work on our stuff with Something You Did. One of our group members hadn't had time to read it yet, so we ended up reading it aloud so that she could discuss it with the rest of us. We're not really sure how we're supposed to present it, but luckily another group is going Thursday. Hopefully, we'll be able to gauge what we should do based on what they do, and we'll have it all figured out by Tuesday.

Three (3!) of the props I'm in charge of broke tonight during Wilder! Wilder! Wilder! Seriously, what are the odds of that?

One of them technically broke on Saturday, which is an embroidery hoop. We replaced it with a new hoop on Sunday, but it's much larger and problematic as a result. Today before the scene, the hoop popped off the embroidery. I managed to get it back on backstage by myself (note: those things are REALLY FREAKING HARD to put on!). But despite my best efforts, it came apart in the actress' hands on stage at the very end of the scene. DRAT!

Then there's a suitcase where the hinge somehow broke (I examined it, and I'm pretty sure that we can repair it with a hammer... the stage manager said she'd have people take care of it).

Lastly, there's a large stick that holds a piece of chalk, which the "stage manager" (a character that Thornton Wilder includes in some of his plays) uses to draw the outline of a room on the stage. I replaced the chalk today, as the last stick was getting low. But when I was putting it back into storage after the show, it was clear that the chalk had broken into several pieces somehow during the show. Hopefully it didn't cause any problems tonight. I'll just have to replace it again before tomorrow.


Quotations: Volume 12

Here are some of the educational, inspirational, and humorous quotations from my classes this week:

"I never really get resistance to 'find yourselves lying down.' Like, 'I will NOT!'" - Voice Professor

Voice Professor: These never don't hurt. It's just to varying degrees.
Two-Shots-Up: These never don't hurt?
The Pro: And she's our speech teacher.
Voice Professor: But I'm not your grammar teacher. I did say 'don-t', didn't I?

"Don't punch your larynx. You might be doing it for the right reasons, but it's never a good thing to do." - Voice Professor

"My president is black!" - Thrill, in an etude

"The character doesn't know stuff about themselves. And when they learn, they will change." - Acting Professor

Analysis Professor: Men of Tortuga is a political thriller.
(D-Train laughs)
Analysis Professor: What?
D-Train: I just think that's funny... A political thriller.
Analysis Professor: Did you drink your lunch again?

"Morals be damned; the poor can't afford them." - Analysis Professor, on Heartbreak House

"Lunch breaks don't count as breaks. They're too short. I need my lunch break to be about a week and a half." - Big Show

Acting Professor: [Thrill] looks thoughtful today.
Thrill: I been thinking a lot, man.
Acting Professor: Really?
Thrill: Yeah. About acting and stuff.
Acting Professor: Thoughtful about acting?
Thrill: I know, man. Next thing you know, I'm-a start readin' or somethin'.

"He himself was not at all a handsome person." - Acting Professor, on Michael Chekov

"The nature of theatre is to share with the audience, not to hide from the audience." - Acting Professor

"How many of us have had a beautiful moment while practicing at home alone? Without an audience, is that acting? Let's face it; it's different. That scene was between you and God." - Acting Professor

"This is one need that really matters; why do I need to be an actor? If you can answer that, then everything else will fall into place." - Acting Professor

"Knowing the answer to this question and feeling the answer are two different things." - Acting Professor, on "Why do I need to be an actor?"

"Have you experienced this with professors who really know their subjects? They talk about Napoleonic war, and you think, 'Wow! Were you there?'" - Acting Professor

"Don't analyze; synthesize." - Acting Professor, on our observation projects

"Your job is not to succeed; your job is to fail and learn from it." - Acting Professor

"You need to let it grow inside you until it is ready. But instead of waiting the full nine months, sometimes people try to push it out after three. Neh-eh. It won't be pretty." - Acting Professor, on developing a character

"Talk to it. Check in with it. Do your sonogram. Whatever." - Acting Professor, on developing a character

Killer: I feel like my brain's being bruised.
Voice Professor: Too dramatic.

"My doctor said, 'Those are your ovaries,' and I said, 'Damn it! I thought it was my psoas!" - Voice Professor

Voice Professor: You can't feel the ovaries from the outside on most women, but I'm very slender in that area.
The Pro: That's like my gay nightmare!

"I have to touch them. They're my balls." - Voice Professor

Voice Professor: [Movement Professor] was my teacher.
All-The-Way: So you know.

"Alright. Any questions to the happy couple?" - Acting Professor, after All-The-Way and Big Show had an etude end in a couple's squabble

"I had an actor once who every time you asked him to repeat a scene would say, 'Okay, at the risk of tampering with perfection.'" - Acting Professor

(After D-Train and Killer did an etude)
Acting Professor: What is your relationship?
D-Train: I think he was gonna rub my feet. Also, I think he usually brings me wine.

"The jester always hates the king." - Acting Professor

"Are you telling me you thought that was a reference to marijuana? [D-Train], you are so f***ing young." - Analysis Professor, after D-Train mentioned he thought it was funny that the line "Put that in your pipe and smoke it" was in the play Anna Christie (written in 1930)

"Sailors... find a new girl in every port... Just a thought." - Wifey, in a discussion on Anna Christie

D-Train: Fallacious?
Big Show: Fallacious as in fallacy.
Wifey: Not as in fellatio.
D-Train: No, no, I know.

"Pull apart your threads of subjectivity. Don't just say, 'I can't read The Glass Menagerie because I hate my mother.'" - Analysis Professor

"You have all begun to learn something great; to enjoy your failures as well as your successes." - Movement Professor

"Also with this tremor comes the dreaded 'falling-off-my-body shirt'." - Voice Professor

"Let me tell you, when I'm driving, I have no trouble processing anger." - Voice Professor, on how she got herself past the anger she felt in the Bow tremor position

"It just made sense to me, from, you know, the acting ether." - O.D.

"Freedom is freedom, baby!" - Acting Professor


Friday, November 14

Today was a good day for me.

My Viewpoints group presented our text project, and I think it went pretty well. We'd been rehearsing indoors, but I think that things became more interesting once we were in the actual space (which was outside on an expanse of grass containing three flagpoles).

We learned some new stretches for our alignment work. By the time we get to winter break, we'll have a collection called "The Daily Dozen" (which, as it turns out, is a baker's dozen) that we'll have to add to our normal routines.

My standing tremor kicked in today! I was worried after nothing was happening yesterday. Now it's pretty jumpy, which is rather like my other tremors. D-Train and Killer look like they have similar ones. I can't get up all the way into standing yet (it starts with you being on your hands and knees, and you move into standing in a gradual process). Some of my classmates can get all the way into the position, where they have their arms raised over their heads. Others of my classmates are going to need "spotters" for awhile, to make sure they don't fall down.

We had our text etude exam today, and I think it went really well. My Movement Professor and Voice Professor attended the class and gave a bit of feedback as well.

My first set was with Two-Shots-Up. Our first run was... not great. I missed a ton of impulses (and didn't realize that I was missing them), and it just felt slow. Our second one felt pretty good to me. I was in love with her, and she realized that she was uncomfortable in a lesbian relationship (which isn't something that you would gather from the text), and left me confused and upset.

My second set was with Thrill. In our first run, I ended up going to a very strong, somewhat sexy, and manipulative character who was very much in control of the interaction. In our second run (of the same text), I was guilty and frightened. I felt really good about both runs. And I was glad that my classmates (and professors) got to see something out of me that they hadn't seen before.


Thursday, November 13

We sort of started doing waltz today. Not really, because it was more fake waltzing than real waltzing, but sort of. I guess we're going to do it for real next semester. I'm all for any sort of dancing where the other person is leading. :)

We started learning a new tremor today... The standing tremor! And it's really sort of weird. Instead of just being a position, like the others are, it's a whole multi-step process. At one point, I found a small tremor in one of my legs, but nothing major. I think it's going to take a lot of practice before this one takes hold.

We just worked on etudes the whole time in order to prepare for our test tomorrow. My first set was with Thrill. Our professor said the first try was fine, but he had us do it again after recording more specific given circumstances. I think the second round went well.

My second set was with Killer. We did 3 rounds of it, and every time turned out pretty differently (which I always get a kick out of). The first time I cried, the second time I was angry, and the third time ended up with me in a fit of laughter kicking Killer playfully.

Some moments were more truthful than others, and there were definitely times when I fell. That said, I think I'm improving a lot in that class. I think I'm becoming more consistent and am trusting myself more than I used to. Let's hope I can do it again tomorrow.

We discussed Anna Christie by Eugene O'Neill, and the discussion went so well that our professor is canceling class on Tuesday and allowing us that time to work on our upcoming group presentations. Woo-hoo!


Wednesday, November 12

Two of the Viewpoints/Text groups presented today, and both of the performances were terrific. Seriously. It was intimidating. My group is going on Friday.

We spent part of class doing a variation on God/Creature that I like. But working with my text in this way is so jarring to me that it makes me completely mess up my monologue. I keep saying lines in the wrong order, or just forgetting completely comes next. I'm going to have to drill it next weekend.

I don't remember the last time my body was as confused as it was today in voice class. I can do a rib swing. I can use my lower abdominals properly to create sound. But when I try to put those steps together, my body will have none of it. I can't figure it out for the life of me. My Voice Professor told me not to work on it on my own, for fear that it might end up throwing me even farther off track. I hope it goes better tomorrow.

We spent a long period of time discussing our observation assignment. It was an interesting talk about finding the essence of the other person (not just physical tics), adding your essence to it, and coming up with a third thing. My professor said that in order to truly portray a character, you have to know what they would do in any situation, not just what you observe them doing (or, in the case of a play, not just what they do in the script).

Singing Tutorial
I totally had the day wrong and showed up late! But it worked out fine. I've officially chosen "Stranger to the Rain" from Children of Eden, and I'm really rather excited about it.

I had two rehearsals with my Viewpoints group. One at 8am, the other at 11pm. We're going to have a couple more run-throughs of what we've got before performing on Monday morning. *fingers crossed*


Tuesday, November 11

More stuff goes on in my day than I write here. For example, today I had class from 9:00-12:00, a meeting from 12:15-12:45, class from 1:00-5:30, a group meeting from 5:30-6:00, and tech stuff from 7:00-11:00. Then tomorrow morning I'm meeting with a group at 8:00am. Doesn't leave a ton of time to get things done like reading (I have to read Anna Christie by Eugene O'Neill for Thursday), writing (text assignment due Thursday), memorizing (my movement monologue is still only quasi-memorized), and the things I'm supposed to be doing daily (like destructuring, home study stretches, walking on a treadmill, and acting exercises). My car was ready to be picked up from the shop today, but I had to call and request to pick it up tomorrow because there just was not any feasible time to do it.

We worked on a new variation of God/Creature today in which the Text Creature has to imitate the Movement God while speaking. I worked with All-The-Way on it in the dressing room during Wilder! Wilder! Wilder! tonight, and I thought we did a pretty good job.

We tried to create a sound channel originating from our lower abdominals today. It took me a bit to get the hang of it, but now that my body understands, it's a piece of cake.

I did two rounds of an etude with Two-Shots-Up. The first round was a big old mess. The whole thing just felt wrong. Our professor explained that it was because there was no transformation involved, and that we had attempted to play the scene as ourselves, instead of letting it come out of our artistic centers.

Our second round was another story entirely. She broke down and started weeping before the text even came in. The text created a physical fight. I started to leave, and eventually I gave in to her and allowed her to come with me.

It was a big switch for both of us. In life, Two-Shots-Up is a nurturer, and I'm the one more likely to break down. And normally, I'm so empathetic that if someone else is crying, I start to cry, too. But the character that created herself in this etude was not willing to give in. I started off with the intention of being strong for 2SU, went into a place where I was angry that she was trying to put me through this again, and by the end realized that she needed me.

I don't know how the transitions happened in the scene, because we were all over the map, but it all made sense. I don't think that we forced any of it, and I didn't feel any missed impulses. As we reflected on it, some of our classmates thought that they saw a moment when we could (should?) have kissed... Man, if I had that impulse, I missed it COMPLETELY, because I have no recollection of that.

It's harder to gauge progress in Acting than it is in other classes, as our results aren't as tangible. But there is one thing that I know for certain I'm better at, which is the ability to ascertain how something went directly after it happened. It used to be that at the end of an etude I'd look at my Acting Professor to tell me how I did and how it went. But now? I know how it went. I don't always know why it went the way it did, but I at least know the difference between a good scene, a bad scene, and something in between.

We discussed character journeys of Ellie Dunn and Boss Mangan in Heartbreak House, but we didn't get to Lady Ariadne Utterword, which was the character I'd been assigned to (btw, how awesome/ridiculous are these character names? There's also a Captain Shotover, Mrs. Hesione Hushabye, and a man named Mazzini).

We got our assignments for the final project in this class. We all have to read all three of the new-ish plays (which we've been sent electronic copies of), and then we've been put into groups to present on each of the plays on a given day. The plays are:
- Men of Tortuga by Jason Wells
- From up Here by Liz Flahive
- Something You Did by Willy Holtzman

I'm in the group for Something You Did, along with D-Train, Two-Shots-Up, Wifey, and Director C. We're presenting on November 25th. Everyone has a paper due (on whichever play they've been assigned) on December 5th.

It's so weird that we're this far in the semester already. Three weeks to go? Seriously? I feel like I just got here! Grad school is moving at the speed of light.


Monday, November 10

Wilder! Wilder! Wilder! went rather well this weekend. After the Saturday performance, the actors did a talk-back with the audience. I love attending talk-backs. Getting different perspectives on a piece, both from the audience and the cast, enriches the entire experience. And I'm a big fan of this production anyway, but that talk-back made me love it even more. I'm proud to be a part of it, even if it's only in a small way.

Today was our dark day for the show, and I didn't have class. That meant it was the day to get everything else done.

I met with Iceman in the morning to work on things for Movement class. We started with partner stretches. I was a little worried at first about how they'd work, as Iceman is about 8 feet tall, and I'm used to stretching with people my own size. But luckily, it went off without a hitch (i.e. neither of us fell down). After that, we used our Movement monologues in God/Creature. Iceman is a really great partner, both to play God and Creature to, with either text or movement. I think my favorite is being the Movement Creature to his Text God. And miraculously, no further damage was done to my hip in that process.

In case you're curious, the text I'm using is from a monologue called "Mother, Mother" by Florence Gibson. My chunk is as follows:

How should I know who you're going to talk to? That's not my job, I mean, she comes in here, eleventh hour, all blood and f***ed and a coma and it's time to talk? I mean we controlled the bleeding as far as I'm concerned - and this is why I went into surgery in the first place, so you guys could do the talking. She's crazy, she's neurotic, and I'm supposed to fix that, fix her like you fix the damn cat? I'm fighting her, I'm holding her down and all she can say is, "I f***ed up so bad, with my kids, with my life." And I'm supposed to talk about this? Talk while I'm ramming a tube down her throat? And then, from the chief, "Have I got kids?" Well no, sir, no, sorry, but I don't, my mother had enough for them for both of us. You think I don't know how far from that park bench I'd be if I was running around crazy after kids? She's nuts, she's psych, she grabs me by the stethoscope and says, "You wear this instead of a necklace?"

The full piece is like 4 pages long. I don't love the cutting, but I think it's going to work for the assignment.

Today, I started with my daily 30 minutes of walking on the treadmill (or, as I called it when talking with Iceman, "the walking machine"). It was kind of boring. I had my iPod with me, which helped. But as I'm not supposed to go too fast, and I'm not supposed to have any resistance, it's kind of blah. I'd almost rather be jogging. Almost.

I've had a couple of meetings this weekend with my new Viewpoints group (Me, Killer, and O.D., under the guidance of Director A.). Today's meeting yielded some cool stuff, but we're not confident that we'll be ready to perform on Wednesday morning. :-/

This assignment involves using text along with Viewpoints. The text we're working with is A Number by Caryl Churchill. It's a play about a man, his son, and clones of his son. It seems to be a good piece for what we're doing. The assignment also involves working outdoors.

In rehearsal today, Killer bloodied up his foot in a nasty fashion. He didn't seem to mind working despite his gashes, but the rest of us did (his foot was covered with blood... it was hard not to be concerned).

Hopefully we'll be able to figure it out well in rehearsal tomorrow night at 11:15pm, after Wilder (it's the only time we can meet).

Off to finish my homework assignment on Heartbreak House.



Quotations: Volume 11

Here are some of the educational, inspirational, and humorous quotations from my classes this week:

"Light! Light. What you do on your own time is your business, but in here, it's light tapping." - Voice Professor, when we were tapping on our sternums

"Improvisation without truth won't do. It's useless. Nobody can believe in it." - Acting Professor

"The calculator is doing its job, but the calculator can only tell you that two plus two is four. But in art, two plus two is not always four. It's often anything but four. It can be four as well, of course." - Acting Professor

"[Acting Professor], I think your class should be called 'The Creative Subconscious Takes Revenge.'" - D-Train

"You're having a beautiful moment, baby, but no one can see it. Step in the light." - Acting Professor

"This is not a competition. Nobody here is training for an Oscar. You know what I mean? Take ten." - Acting Professor

"Everything on stage should be absolutely real. It is so fake that it cannot be otherwise." - Acting Professor.

Thrill: Thank you, guys. That was the first time we have ever been an ensemble. We all stood there with the same look on our faces. Every single person.
Me: It was the will of the group to be as confused as f***.

"Did God send you on an errand?" - Acting Professor to O.D., after he was a few minutes late to class.

"With the help of that God that has been sending [O.D.] places lately..." - Acting Professor

"Talent is labor." - Acting Professor

"Your instrument is not just your body and your voice. It's your soul; your inner-technique." - Acting Professor

"I paid my twenty bucks, I want to see skin." - Acting Professor to Iceman, after he started taking his shirt off in an etude and then stopped the impulse.

(After an etude with D-Train and All-The-Way)
Acting Professor: You know what I think... I think you didn't allow her in.
D-Train: Oh. Maybe not... Yeah. You're right!

"There was a sigh, which was very [D-Train]. And some people might say, 'get rid of that sigh.' Bulls***." - Acting Professor

"One of those jobs... probably working for the government." - Acting Professor, when Thrill didn't try to add imaginary props to his desk in an etude, but just sat there bored)

"You're a swimmer. You're a fish. Do you want to spend the rest of your life on the shore?" - Acting Professor

Analysis Professor: What does Shaw mean here... [D-Train]?
D-Train: S***, I eyelocked you.
Analysis Professor: You should never have looked up.

Analysis Professor: What is the romantic delusion in the second example?
The Pro: That if someone goes through a divorce, then you can date them?
(class laughter)
The Pro: (in earnest) Oh, I wasn't even trying to be funny there.

"The brain is the major sex organ in this play. The brain is the major sex organ for every Shavian play. (points to head) This is the genetalia, right here." - Analysis Professor

Analysis Professor: It's important that you read this like a hawk. [...] [D-Train], did you have something to say?
D-Train: I was going to make a smart-ass comment that hawks can't read.

Wifey: I like how you popped up to correct our Italian.
Me: It's a habit of mine. I don't care what's being said until people are wrong.

(After an etude with Two-Shots-Up and O.D. in which Two-Shots-Up removed her sweater and belt.)
All-The-Way: When you started taking your clothes off, I thought you were a hoo-er.
Two-Shots-Up: A what?
All-The-Way: A hoo-er
Two-Shots-Up: A whore?
Acting Professor: A member of the only profession that is older than ours.

(Acting Professor calls on Wifey to do an etude with Big Show when she was the only person not volunteering.)
Wifey: Oh, I'm up? I didn't even raise my hand.
Big Show: (imitating her voice) 'But, I didn't want to work with [Big Show].'
Me: Yes, [Big Show]. That's exactly what she didn't say.

"What are you smuggling? Are you smuggling a piece of crap, or are you smuggling Cuban cigars, best in the world?" - Acting Professor, on what you're bringing to your scene partner

(O.D. goes off into long, circuitous explanation on something)
Me: Sorry, [O.D.]. I just fell off your train.
O.D.: That's okay, so did I.
Acting Professor: So long as we're on the same page.

"His male partner is oak, and his female partner is a birch tree." - Acting Professor, on a movie in which Michael Chekov was acting opposite some wooden actors

Wifey: [The Pro], I never knew you could laugh like that.
The Pro: It came from my boy place.

"It was a beforeplay." - Acting Professor, referring to foreplay.


Friday, November 7

We worked more with our handball tossing today, and it was more successful than yesterday (thank goodness).

We continued working a game called "Master/Slave" (which she sometimes calls "God/Creature") in conjunction with the texts of our "movement monologues". At first, Master (God) was saying the words in such a way that they could control the movements of the Slave (Creature). By the end it switched so that the Master was doing movements to change how the slave said their words. It was really neat. And it's our homework for the weekend to continue work with that.

We continued working with Rib Swing in partner pairs. Once I raise my soft palate, it's so easy now. The biggest thing I struggle with is staying relaxed in my shoulders while expanding my rib cage, but I'm getting better at it.

Movement Tutorial
My walk has gotten significantly better since the last time we taped it, even with my present injuries. My homework assignments are:

- Learn to lead with my left leg instead of my right.
- Step out further with my left leg to prevent my gait from getting too narrow on one side.
- Keep my head free, forward, and up.
- Allow sacroilleatic articulation (no clue how to spell that, but I know what it means).
- Connect my psoas muscles through the body.
- Remember to allow my arms to move even when I'm concentrating on 5 other things.

The tendonitis in my right hip socket got pretty bad today after God/Creature, and now it's painful to walk. It's especially painful to drive. Something's wrong with my illeacus (again, no clue how to spell that, but I know where it is... and it's not pleasant).

My movement professor wants me to start walking 20-30 minutes every day (on a treadmill or otherwise) from now until January 1st in order to strengthen my legs. She wants me to be less prone to injury by the time we start tumbling next semester. She says she's going to have me sit out from several activities in the next couple of weeks, which I find incredibly frustrating. And I know that some of my classmates hate it when I sit out, and point to it as me not being a part of the ensemble, which upsets me more than I can say.

We discussed how our worst fear has to be damaging our relationship with a partner onstage. You are only as good as your partner. If you bring your partner to where they need to be, then you will have a good performance. If you attempt to act in spite of them, then you will not look any better than they do.

We did text etudes for the remainder of class, and they went really well.

Big Show & Wifey had a really intense etude involving divorce that left both of them in tears and me completely breathless. They really gave themselves over to it, and it created something beautiful.

I did three rounds with The Pro on a piece of text, and all three times it rang out REALLY differently. And I was really happy with how it went. I think that it's safe to say I'm on the road to recovery where my bravery is concerned, and I couldn't be happier about that.

Well, I must be off. Wilder! Wilder! Wilder! calls!



Thursday, November 6

We've all had to bring one-minute monologues to class that we'll be using in a "movement monologue" piece over the next several weeks. We're using pieces of the text of the monologue in our Viewpoints work now, and have started applying the qualities from our Michael Chekov work (flowing, flying, molding, and radiating) to them.

I'm not sure how I feel about my monologue. It's a surgical intern who is trying to save a patient who attempted suicide. I was looking for something a little different from things that I would normally be cast in, so it's not like any monologue I've worked on before. The monologue is actually 4 pages long, so I'm just taking a paragraph from the third page. I think it's interesting, but I'm a little concerned that it starts at a heightened place where the stakes are already high, and there's very little context to go off of. But my professor likes it and my roommates (who have done this project before) think it's going to work out well, so hopefully it'll work out.

The class ended with the whole group trying to toss balls down two parallel lines in zig-zags. Our professor changed the way she phrased the task since our last trial, and everyone ended up being incredibly confused as a result. But as my classmate Thrill pointed out, it was one of the first times that we have truly had a group impulse and acted as an ensemble; we all looked at our professor with a look of utter confusion and bewilderment. I guess it's positive in a small way.

I think Folded Leaf is my new favorite rest position (previously it was one that our professor called "Man in China Resting under a Tree after Tai Chi Practice", or something equally ridiculous).

We started doing a new stretch that was previously nameless. Wifey has coined the term "Rib Reach" for it, which is the perfect name.

Honestly, I don't remember what else happened in Voice today. I lost my notebook, and I feel completely discombobulated without it. I remember that the classroom was cold. And that's pretty much it. *shrugs*

Our professor told a story involving a violin maker who spent more time sharpening his tools than anything else, so that he could be prepared to make a great instrument whenever an order came in. He sharpened his tools far more than he used them. Our professor says this is the way that we have to treat our abilities. We must constantly be sharpening our skills so that when we need them, we can use them.

Our professor says that you should work for 15 minutes every day outside of class. He says it's not about the amount of time, but rather how frequently you practice. I've been practicing on my own, but I'm always concerned that I'm doing the wrong things, or that it isn't enough. I'm having a lot of trouble with the quality of radiating, so that's what I decided to focus on tonight with my homework. But for all I know, I'm doing it wrong and screwing myself up even more as a result. *sigh* Oh well. I'll just keep working and hope for the best.

I did an etude with Thrill that apparently went well, although I'm not sure why. I'm not sure I did anything differently than I normally do.

Killer and The Pro had a really interesting one that they attempted a few times in which Killer had lost $800 in cash, and The Pro seemed to be the only one who could have taken it. By the third time they did it, The Pro seemed to have finally accepted that he was the one who did it, and there was a sort of evil about him. It ended up being creepy and intense.

Our professor reminded us that, under certain circumstances, ANYONE would steal. There is a thief in everyone. Actors have to know that, and be able to find the thieves within themselves. But audiences don't have to know that. It's a secret about human nature that they can deny when they watch us explore it, thinking to themselves, "Oh, I would never steal," when the reality is that they certainly would if they needed to.

We've been reading Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw. It's completely different from everything else we've read, as Shaw was very much against Naturalism. The play is sort of an allegory on social classes during World War I.

For next class, we've been assigned specific characters to track throughout the play, making note of their intentions, the movement in thought, and what changes that causes them to move forward.

Now that the show is open, it's difficult for me to gauge how any specific performance went. I'm not allowed to be anywhere that I would be able to see it, and in the second act I'm not allowed anyplace that I might be able to hear it, either. So I would say that it was a good run, but that's just for my rather insignificant slice of it, so I don't know, really.


Wednesday, November 5

I thought Movement was a blast today. We did some group work with Viewpoints in which we were able to incorporate text. My group chose the lyrics from "Hey Jude" as our text. The other groups chose "Jack and Jill Went up the Hill" and "This Little Piggy Went to Market". It was a lot of fun.

We also discussed how the qualities we've been working with in Acting class (flying, flowing, molding, and radiating) fit into Viewpoints, and did an exercise at the end of class in which we tried to use both simultaneously. It was confusing and complicated, but I'm excited to experiment with it more tomorrow.

We got our notes back from our consonant exams, and I did pretty well. My t/liquid-u combos are still splashy (can't you, won't you, don't you). I missed the ending of the word "ghosts". And on "did you" my second "d" was apparently too close to a "t". But great progress, I think, considering that I was once referred to as "the consonant disaster".

Group Therapy
Part of me likes that we have therapy, but I always feel so lousy after we get out of it. It brings all the issues to the surface, and then we have a ten-minute break before Acting class. It's just... ill-timed.

My professor gave a really great analogy about a calculator and a super-computer, but I'm too tired right now to try to recreate it. Just trust me that it was genius.

Tonight was the opening performance of Wilder! Wilder! Wilder!, and things went swimmingly. I'm so proud of the 2nd-year class. I think they've done a tremendous job working on this production, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it, if only in a minor way. Each of the actors plays more than one role, and I think it's really great to see how flexible they all are. I've been so impressed with them, and I'm so excited to watch more from them over the next two years.


Tuesday, November 4

The only class I had today was Voice, due to tech responsibilities.

We had our consonant exam. I'd been drilling all the things we were going to be tested on all week (particularly things that are tricky for me, like "Topeka bodega", "can't you, won't you, don't you" and "distinctly difficult"). I think it went well. *crosses fingers*

We then had rehearsal/final dress/preview for Wilder! Wilder! Wilder!. Things went really well. I'm excited for the opening tomorrow!


Monday, November 3

I have a day off today, and it's lovely.

Over the last several days, I've been working on tech stuff for the 2nd-Years' production of Wilder! Wilder! Wilder!, which is a series of five one-act plays by Thornton Wilder.

I actually really like Wilder. I've been in two productions of Our Town (Mrs. Webb in high school, Mrs. Soames in college), and I'd read a few of the one-acts from this show before I got here. I like that his stories unfold slowly and leave you (as an audience member) in a completely different state of mind in the end than you had at the beginning. I like how he finds both the comedy and tragedy in human existence and lets them play out the way they might in life.

The first year class all has tech duties, but they change for every show. Big Show is assistant stage manager, All-The-Way and The Pro are on costumes, Two-Shots-Up is on sound board, Iceman is on light board, and Thrill, D-Train, and I are on stage crew. Wifey, and Killer are on box office right now, and O.D. is house managing, so they haven't been around for tech for this show.

Stage crew (which people here have also referred to as "deck crew" or "props") doesn't have a ton to do on this show, as the set is minimalistic and the actors move a lot of the set and props themselves.

Here's what I do:
- Help with sweeping/mopping the stage.
- Prepare all the food props (refilling boxes of chocolates and marshmallows, refilling bags of potato chips and crushed pretzels, refilling the "whisky" with half iced tea and half water)
- Move some props on stage from their storage places
- During the 1st play, I move props, costume pieces, and wigs into the voms (hallways on the sides of the audience), and set up a table to put things on during the changes)
- In the 2nd play, I help with 2 quick-changes
- Between the 2nd and 3rd plays, I help with 2 quick-changes
- During the 3rd play, I dissemble the table and put away all props and costumes (this requires several trips)
- I go on stage and assist with moving set pieces during the intermission
- During intermission I empty the "whisky", and wash the container and the glass
- During the 4th play, I put away more props (I have to wait until the audience is seated because some of the storage closets are in the hallways that audience walks through)
- I move set in the scene change between the 4th and 5th plays
- I reset the rest of the hand props after the show ends

It actually seems like more when I write it out, but there's a lot of down time, (particularly during the 1st and 5th shows). When I'm not doing anything else, I'm usually watching from the voms. The five plays complement each other nicely and are fun to watch.

It's really fun being a part of a production again. It's been so long since I've done tech work for anything (I think the last time was... March 2007, when I helped my roommate set lights for a show he was directing. But I really had very little to do with that, and wasn't there for the run of the show). I forgot how nice it is.

We're being let out of our afternoon classes tomorrow and are instead called for tech stuff at noon. There's a preview performance tomorrow night. It's really rather exciting. :)


Quotations: Volume 10

Here are some of the educational, inspirational, and humorous quotations from my classes this week:

"You have to be on your game there. Because rubles? What's that?" - Voice Professor, about understanding Russian when in Russia

"Yes. Lovely. Be luxurious. Who wouldn't want to be?" - Voice Professor, on spine stretches

"No stress, just work. Work and discipline with no stress." - Voice Professor

"If you know a different version, that's fine. Don't make up a version without "t"s, because I won't buy it." - Voice Professor, about variations on "What a to do to die today..."

"Good. As I suspected, it's tragically bad." - Voice Professor, after the group collectively attempted "sts" sounds

Acting Professor: When you woke up, what were you staring at on the ceiling?
D-Train: The sprinkler.
Acting Professor: And what did you want from it? What did you want it to do?
D-Train: I don't know. I wanted it to save me.

"The scene partner is saying, 'I'm better than a sprinkler. A sprinker is only good in one instance: fire. I'M GOOD. I can talk to you. I can cook. I am better.'" - Acting Professor, to D-Train

"Bummer-sauce. Sorry I robbed you." - D-Train, to Two-Shots-Up after the sprinkler exercise

"John Lithgow, and Dianne Weist... And Patrick Wilson, who, thank God, he took his shirt off." - Analysis Professor, about seeing the current Broadway production of All My Sons by Arthur Miller

"What? There's nothing wrong with a little male sex." - Analysis Professor

"So. Chekov. Oh, f*** it. Alright." - Analysis Professor

"I'm sorry, boys and girls, but this is the way people work. If they have the hots for someone, they'll cross all sorts of moralistic boundaries to get to them, and then argue that they've done nothing wrong." - Analysis Professor

All-The-Way: ...Oedi-... Oedipun?
Analysis Professor: Oedipal?
All-The-Way: Right! I can't speak today. My eloquence is all in my [Wild Duck] paper, not in my head.
Analysis Professor: Wasted it all, did you?

"They came in, and measured my neck, and were like, (British accent) 'that's perfect.'" - Iceman, on some people who observed our class

"You did that to me. You, [Wifey]. You made me double-yawn." - Voice Professor

Voice Professor: We don't want it from the middle of the tongue.
Killer: Or the sides.
Voice Professor: Or the less frequent problem of the sides.
Killer: It's freakish.
Voice Professor: No, no. It's rare.
Wifey: Rare like a bloody steak.

"You will lose if you don't drill. Speech is about repetition." - Voice Professor

Acting Professor: So which two children were left behind last time?
Killer: That'd be us. (points to self and O.D.)
Acting Professor: (slowly) No child left behind.

"[O.D.] makes me feel awkward sometimes." - Killer

(discussing an etude)
Acting Professor: But was he a stranger, or was he your friend [O.D.]?
Killer: Oh, I don't think it was [O.D.].
Wifey: But that's what you said after the exercise!
Killer: Huh?
Wifey: "[O.D.] makes me feel awkward sometimes."
Killer: Ah. Right. I did. Good catch.
Acting Professor: (to Wifey) Soon I'm going to have to share my salary.

"The lines were very funny to me when I was recording them... because they made me think of something a cartoon character would say and then die." - O.D., about an etude where the lines were about going outside to play

"A real actor makes a difference on screen or on the stage." - Acting Professor, on actors who do things like adopt children or go to foreign countries to fulfill their civil service instead of putting it into their performances

"We all wear masks. But this is the stage. It's safe. A mask will create itself." - Acting Professor

"Be an actor who is doing their own stuff. Let the directors deal with the 'performers.'" - Acting Professor

"What do you have if you don't know how to surrender?" - Acting Professor

"'I've wound myself up and I think that I am angry.' I'm not angry. I'm a case. I'm a psychiatric case." - Acting Professor

"Everybody's scary on a pumpkin. Come on, that's a known fact." - Voice Professor, when classmates were looking at a freaky picture of a Sarah Palin jackolantern

"Theatre was not a serious academic pursuit back then. It was for gypsies, tramps, and thieves. Well, we know that it still is." - Artistic Director

(NOTE: The Artistic Director has a strong Australian accent, and our Acting Professor has a strong Russian one.)
Artistic Director: You can tell from my accent that I'm from the Bronx. The southern part. Near Melbourne.
Acting Professor: I'm from the northern part.

"That's what good acting is to me: creating the effect that you've been typecast." - Artistic Director

"You may want to write this s*** down. I'm using s*** in the technical sense." - Artistic Director

"Just know that you're constantly being examined. Please don't stress about that." - Artistic Director

"No matter how successful you are in this business, you will always be tempted to trade self-worth for security. And you know what? Sometimes you have to give up the old self-worth." - Artistic Director

Artistic Director: Is that all you want? Security, love, self-worth, respect, and freedom?
Me: Well, if I had those...

(referring to A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams)
Artistic Director: What does Blanche need?
O.D.: Therapy?

"I don't give a hoot what he's wearing! But when he explodes, I'm with him." - Acting Professor, on how good acting will make an audience forget to notice technical aspects of a production

"Let's imagine that you have all been cast as Sónya, in separate, very strange productions of Uncle Vanya" - Analysis Professor

"Does anyone need potting soil? If we take a break, you could bring it outside and try to smoke it." - Tech Professor

"'I caught the bluebird. I've got to hold onto it.' We all do that on stage. But when you hold the bluebird, it has no choice but to die." - Acting Professor

"Acting is not understanding. Acting is compassion." - Acting Professor