Quotations: Volume 56

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

(Disclaimer: quotations are often taken out of context and may not accurately reflect the way they were originally intended)

"You two need to stop traveling, or I'm going to have to call you on it. (demonstrates basketball referee hand gesture for traveling)"
- Acting Professor, to Big Show & Two-Shots-Up, about not moving their feet to regain balance while they're passionately kissing in their Much Ado About Nothing scene

"Creativity will not be tolerated."
- Voice Professor, to the 1st-year class (as reported by them)

Angela: (to Voice Professor, after hearing about the "Creativity will not be tolerated" quotation) Did you really say that? That's not true. If you didn't allow for creativity, we wouldn't have the sentence, 'I like Thai guys'. (a sample sentence for the "aI" vowel created by Two-Shots-Up)
Voice Professor: If you had [1st-year JaS] and [1st-year TS] in the same class, you would understand the trouble with creativity.

Voice Professor: Where did [O.D.] go?
Angela: He's like Waldo, remember? (silly voice) Where's Waldo?
D-Train: No, because Waldo's always hiding in plain sight.

"[Iceman], I love what you're doing, you drunken sod."
- Acting Professoressa, to Iceman about his drunken jailer character in Two Noble Kinsmen

Acting Professoressa: Tell me to look out the window.
Wifey: Look out the window.
Acting Professoressa: HA!

"If she tells me to eat pickles, I'll pull out a swordfish."
- Acting Professoressa, demonstrating how Petruchio (Iceman) says he'll solve each problem that he might have with Kate

Acting Professoressa: Do you know what I'm saying, [Thrill]?
Thrill: Yeah, the problem is just that I don't know how to ask a question. My life is over.

Angela: (hugs Voice Professor) [Voice Professor], it's our last ever day of Voice class.
Voice Professor: I know. It's exciting!
Angela: It's sad!
Voice Professor: I have never had a class that was more ready to move on than this one is.

(after the Taming of the Shrew scene)
Acting Professoressa: [Wifey], did you pinch his nipple?
Wifey: I did.
Acting Professoressa: I liked it. I liked it.


Friday, April 23

No Voice class today, due to the Movement showing.

The showing went really well.

D-Train started things off with his Scapino character doing a bit.

Then Big Show and Newbie did their ballet/contact duet to "Fly Me to the Moon". It was super cute.

The 1st-years did their "simple tumbling" first, which was neat. They turned it into a whole choreographed thing. My favorite part was when a whole group of them did a move called "The Duck" in a V-formation. Pretty great. And at another part, it looked like girls in the class were "riding" boys as they did the combat crawl. Those boys are SO STRONG!

The 2nd-years did our Commedia stuff, and it went pretty well. At one point, I slipped and fell on a prop, which actually fits in perfectly to how I do Vittoria. :)

The 1st-years did their "complex acrobatics". Honestly, I couldn't see most of it, as I had a costume change, but what I saw was FANTASTIC!!! Oh man, they did some awesome things. So impressive. I'm super proud of them. (And in awe of them!)

Thrill & Two-Shots-Up did their ballet/contact duet to "In a Sentimental Mood". It was incredibly sexy.

We came out for a Restoration Salon, and then transitioned into our "Stuffed Turkey" monologues. I had to go first, and I was way more nervous than I've ever been before. I delivered the monologue to 1st-Year Acting Professor, who was sitting right in front of me. He seemed amused. The people who did monologues were me, Killer, Wifey, All-The-Way, & D-Train. Everyone's monologues went well. ESPECIALLY Wifey's, which I think was the best she's ever done it.

From there, we went into the Pavane. It went surprisingly well.

Then the 1st-years did a tumbling/dance routine to "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" (so appropriate for the end of the 1st-year!). It was great! Very cool, and very light-hearted.

So yay! Successful showing!

In the afternoon, the 1st-years had their final acting showing. They presented scenes from short stories by J.D. Salinger (last year, my class used short stories by Kurt Vonnegut). They did great work. They're such a great class, and I'm so excited to see them up on stage next year. They're going to light this place on fire. :)

So that's all she wrote.

Can you believe that I've been in graduate school for two years? I've earned both the M and the F in "MFA". :)

I don't know what's going to happen to my blogging now. I'll try to update while I'm in London (OH MY GOD I LEAVE FOR LONDON ON MAY 5TH!!!), but probably not daily. And next year when I'm in rehearsals, I really don't know. As I learned this year, it's a lot harder to write daily posts about rehearsals than about classes. So I make no promises.

But I want to thank you all for taking the time to (even just occasionally) read about my journey. Thank you for sharing it with me.

One more year!

All good things,



Thursday, April 22

Our last day of Voice class. Ever. EVER!

I'm sad about it, but most of my classmates seem to be excited that we're coming to the end of our classes here.

I hugged Voice Professor.

We did a day of vocal production, including vocal extremes.

And at the end of class, we did our closing routine one last time. We sat with long spines, brought our hands together, and said "Namaste". *tear*

We rehearsed all of the Restoration whatnot for the showing. The Pavane is still sort of crazy.

My stuffed turkey monologue is actually really great, and I'm proud of it. Movement Professor complimented me on how graceful and elegant I've become.

We also did some Commedia. Things change every time we do it. I hope it turns out alright.


We had one last rehearsal before the showing, and here are my notes...

Richard III:
- use lower voice register
- don't have false start near the top
- after "Be brief" (mildly blow him off), don't look at Richard until his response
- on "handkerchief" speech, don't stop and start. Do it on one long cross, and get where you need to be

All's Well
- on "Will you not, my lord?", don't push Bertram

The showing went very well. And I'm relieved that it's over!

I'm going to miss Acting Professoressa, though. She's awesome. I hope to see her around a lot next year.


Wednesday, April 21

We did a vocal production day.

And then we did something exciting. For the first time ever, the entire class did "The Asolo Tremor" (which is an official destructuring position that was created at the Asolo Repertory Theatre). The tremor involves people putting their hands against the hands of others, and then having simultaneous arm tremors. We did it with the whole group in a circle. Very cool. The 1st-years have already been doing it for awhile, but Voice Professor held off on letting us do it until now. I'm glad we got the chance before leaving. (It sounds like there have been several classes that never learned it at all... it's not a typical tremoring position.)

We worked on Commedia stuff. I hope it all turns out okay.

I have to say, I'm in love with my Vittoria costume. I took a pale yellow skirt of mine and attached bright orange and yellow (fake) daisies around it. I have a pale pink and yellow corset top (acquired at a recent clothing swap). I have bright purple tights (and an extra pair of underwear that I'm going to wear OVER them, in case I flash the audience during acrobatics). I have a bright pink bead necklace. I have a grey cap that I put an orange daisy on. I have bright purple fingerless gloves. I have a ring that's an orange flower that's made out of a zipper. And I'm wearing my ballet shoes. And I have a yellow bandana as a prop, which I think I'm going to loop around one of my fingers, so that I don't have to carry it.

The joke I have for Vittoria is that she's bad at balancing. She's always about to fall down, and ends up in strange positions. She has a wobbly sort of walk. She faints a lot. And sometimes when she falls down, she needs help getting back up. It's a lot of fun.


My notes:
- In Measure for Measure, don't come on as servant until after Iceman says "How now, who's there?"
- don't face full-front out. Always try to stay at least a little bit off center. (General note)

Richard III:
- good momentum
- "And must she die for this?" - walk quickly
- "stone cold heart" - no sarcasm
- "lose their heads" - land
- "Be brief..." - get away with it
- "What, thou?" + "How canst thou woo her?" - voracious innocence. Make sure you understand him
- "Haply will she weep." - land
- Build was good!
- watch the cues
- "Write to me" - don't show anything. too much suffering

All's Well:
- ring sighting needs work
- very good scene; really coming along


Tuesday, April 20

Today was the Voice showing, so there was no Movement class.

I started the showing with a demonstration of a British RP dialect, using the monologue from The Importance of Being Earnest that all the ladies in my class worked on earlier in the year.

After that, we all did our New York dialect scenes from Play It Again, Sam in chronological order. Voice Professor said she's never had a group show New York before, so I think that was fun for the audience members (many of whom have seen several past showings).

Finally, Wifey & Big Show did their Irish dialect scene from Juno and the Paycock

Then we moved on to the 1st-years! They had an IPA-a-thon (which is a sort of relay race where the teams are trying to properly IPA words that have been pre-written on the chalkboard). They also did their Standard American monologues from The Wood Demon (ah, memories!). Finally, they worked with vocal extremes, shouting a scene from Cowboy Mouth. They did great work! Oh, I'm so proud.

There's so little time left before our Acting showing. It's kind of insane. But the scenes are going well. Tomorrow we're coming in early for "tech" (which is pretty much "lights up, lights down; music start, music stop").

General notes:
- Take the transition from Reality #1 to Reality #2 seriously. There is no magic formula. You are responsible for figuring out what works for you.
- KISSING 101: Don't make a tepee with your bodies; don't knock your partner off balance; don't have to keep moving/traveling

Richard III:
- "Cousins, indeed." - lower voice, feel outrage, don't use upper register
- "Well then..." - innocent
- "What were I best to say" - this was in the right ballpark today
- Build -- needs work

All's Well:
- Nice work from both
- work on seeing the ring
- rethink the skirt

I met with Movement Professor for a sort of end of the year conference. Here are the notes I took:

- maintain strength, always
- stretch properly, always
- keep working on awareness of form
- use a mirror when preparing for period work
- never let them see you sweat... have a good poker face
- keep doing ballet
- when dancing, focus on the knees up (my feet do the right thing, but my body is approximating)
- look at movement in 3D, not 2D (don't watch instruction in a mirror)
- work on kinesthetic sense and better visual sense
- Go home on day 1 of rehearsal and work on any specific physicality that the director asks for
- keep facial neutrality while receiving notes (otherwise it's distracting to the director, and makes them wonder what I'm thinking, as I have a very expressive face)
- turn body toward director during notes
- don't say "thank you" when getting notes; it makes some directors uncomfortable. Say "okay" instead.
- do meditative breathing
- do the Daily Dozen alignment exercises
- Try to enter a flow state.

I will have my next alignment lesson on Thursday, April 29 from 1:30pm-2:15pm (even though technically, the year will be over by then).

The 3rd-year students are doing a NYC showcase in a week. Yesterday, they did their showcase scenes for us! They're terrific, and I'm super proud of them. They're going to rock. :)


Quotations: Volume 55

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

(Disclaimer: quotations are often taken out of context and may not accurately reflect the way they were originally intended)

"Ruffiana is a sort of bizarre Mother Courage."
- Movement Professor, after our Commedia scenario changed so that Ruffiana became a hoarder

"By then, you'll have the fruit-boobs."
- Movement Professor, when our Commedia scenario was going to involve Pedrolino using fruit to dress in drag, and then Vittoria was going to take them away

"[Newbie], your car has leather seats. Your car is the Hussy Taurus."
- 1st-Year L.B., who also has a Taurus

"We had a student here many years ago who, when you gave him a note, he used to say, 'Right on.' [...] After he graduated, I hoped that I would never have to hear that phrase again."
- Acting Professoressa

"Don't be passive. Don't play Mister Cool... Remember that's a trap for you. You ARE cool, man."
- Acting Professoressa, to Big Show

"You are Captain Tostes... Testosterone."
- Acting Professoressa, to Iceman on playing Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew

"Don't forget: you're meeting the Gorgon, and no one has ever, ever come out alive."
- Acting Professoressa, to Iceman on playing Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew

"When you're dealing with her, think of yourself as a laser beam. Because a laser beam does not do this... (demonstrates a weak, indirect sort of hand motion.) A laser beam goes, 'Zap, you're dead, you're gone.'"
- Acting Professoressa, to Iceman on playing Angelo in Measure for Measure

"Just trust yourself. When you don't trust yourself, your Doings all get throw into a great big general bucket called 'loud'."
- Acting Professoressa

"Everyone falls in love differently. Would you agree to that? Sometimes you're friends for years, and then it's, 'Ohhhhh... You...' Other times, it hits you like a lightning bolt."
- Acting Professoressa

"If next year you see your friends aren't Landing, just go over and give them a little reminder. Because without Landing, man, you're just stewing in your own juice."
- Acting Professoressa

"If he says you're gonna play jacks, say, 'Fine, I can play jacks. I'm gonna beat your a**.'"
- Acting Professoressa, to Angela on how Elizabeth responds to Richard in Richard III

(after the cast tried to put up the set pieces for Two Noble Kinsmen, which has the most complicated set of all our scenes)
Acting Professoressa: Is this good, [Thrill]?
Thrill: Yeah.
Acting Professoressa: Alright, let's spike the mother...

Acting Professoressa: This coffee is like crap.
Big Show: Greenroom-brand coffee is not doing it for ya today?
Acting Professoressa: It's like dirty water.
Big Show: With caffeine.
Acting Professoressa: There you go.

(after O.D. said not to put something on the blog, a discussion began about his girlfriend)
Angela: Wait, does she read my blog?
O.D.: Probably She's an info-sponge. She should work for the CIA.

"By the time you graduate, I want you to prove that you are the most precise class I have ever had, and the most creative class I have ever had, which you most certainly are."
- Movement Professor


Friday, April 16

This is the first day all week with all three of our normal classes. And it's the 2nd-to-last time (or "penultimate", for the fancy folk out there) that this will happen. Weird.

We went over all the things we'll be doing for the Voice showing (which will be on Tuesday, from 10:00am-11:00am in the Allen Studio. The things the 2nd-years will be doing:

- I will be doing the monologue from The Importance of Being Earnest that all the ladies worked on for our British RP dialect unit.
- The whole class will be doing scenes from Play It Again, Sam that we worked on in our New York dialect unit
- Big Show & Wifey will be doing a scene from Juno and the Paycock that we worked on in our Irish dialect unit

It's been awhile since we've done RP, so I'm slightly rusty on the monologue, but Voice Professor thinks I'm going to be just fine. I got 100% on both of my RP exams, so she has faith in me.

We started a new scenario for Commedia that is based off of some of the stuff that worked the last time we did Commedia.

It is HARD. There are so many times when other parts of the scene are active instead of mine, so I have to stay frozen. But my type, Vittoria, stands on one leg, or in positions that appear unbalanced. It's REALLY HARD to keep those positions for 5 minutes at a time while Movement Professor works with other people. At one point, I had to be frozen in a semi-upside-down state with my legs in the air, and I got so dizzy that I had to stop and lay down. Oh man. My limbs are going to be hurting tomorrow.

We did as much of a run as we could of the scenes, although All-The-Way, Killer, and Wifey were out sick.

General notes:
- pick up cues!!!
- the antidote for list-making = internal Landing
- Organize backstage area with Wifey on Tuesday
- footwear is important. Shoes make a profound difference in getting your subconscious to play along with you.

Richard III notes:
- showing too much on face. Especially at "praying nuns" and "beauteous princely daughter"
- Link 1st 2 lines
- "Life" is apex of the list "comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life!"
- "Be brief, lest that..." -- link
- move head less
- "Well then, who dost thou mean shall be her king" -- link
- "Ay, and for her sake" -- monosyllabic
- work on Stillness
- "What were I best to say?" -- quieter
- "Too deep and dead, too deep and dead, poor infants..." -- don't breathe, keep building
- Don't grind on "Harp on it still shall I till heartstrings break"
- faster cue on "Yet thou didst kill my children"

All's Well That Ends Well notes:
- sit on the line "Mine honor's such a ring."
- "When midnight comes..." - pick up cue
- Go SL instead of SR on "My mother told me..."

Acting Professoressa wants Big Show and I to get together over the weekend and rehearse our Richard III scene while doing some sort of ballroom dancing.

I have to brush up my RP dialect, and re-memorize my New York dialect scene. And also print out copies of both, just in case.

I have to try to write down as much as possible of what I remember of Commedia. (Which will end with me getting more things for Ruffiana's stew, and missing Flavio entirely).

I have to buy glitter to stand in for Cayenne pepper.

I have to get props with my classmates on Sunday.

I have to work on the end of my Stuffed Turkey monologue.

I have to solidify all my costumes. For everything.


Thursday, April 15

Morning classes (Voice and Movement) were canceled to give the actors of The Game of Love and Chance a chance to rest after their opening night.

From here on out, we will only be working on our scenes for the Showing. The Showing will be next Thursday from 3:30pm-5:30pm in the Cook Theatre. The scenes will be:

- Julius Caesar (D-Train & O.D.)
- Much Ado About Nothing (Big Show & Two-Shots-Up)
- Measure for Measure (Iceman & Newbie; cameo by Angela)
- All's Well That Ends Well #1 (Two-Shots-Up & Wifey)
- Titus Andronicus (Thrill)
- Richard III (Angela & Big Show)
- Two Noble Kinsmen (O.D., Thrill, Newbie, & Two-Shots-Up; cameo by Iceman)
- Taming of the Shrew (Iceman & Newbie; cameos by Big Show & O.D.)
- All's Well That Ends Well #2 (Angela & D-Train)
- Comedy of Errors (All-The-Way & Killer)

All-The-Way & Killer might also each be doing a monologue... but we haven't timed the run yet, so we don't know if we'll be able to fit those in or not.

We spent most class spiking our set in the theatre, and figuring out how we're going to do all the set changes.

Here are the notes I got on Richard III:
- relax body... practice walking on stage by myself and figuring out how to cheat out without looking awkward (apparently right now I just look awkward)
- don't be afraid to play with Richard
- don't show him anything until the end when he seriously frightens her
- be innocent in all questions
- ask real questions, not rhetorical ones
- land lines, especially when ending with words like "brothers", "children", and "death"


Wednesday, April 14

No Acting class today, as the cast of The Game of Love and Chance had a final tech run before their opening night.

Another day of vocal production, for the benefit of the actors.

Movement Professor wrote a rough sketch out of a whole LONG 11-person Commedia scenario for our class, incorporating all the lazzis we came up with for our characters. We played around with it for awhile, and then eventually, it evolved into something completely different.

We started it over and tried again.

Lots of fun things happened. At one point, there were two Flavios (who is the man my type, Vittoria, fancies) because someone else had disguised himself as Flavio. And the Harlequino took both of their handkerchiefs, and then Vittoria thought that HE was Flavio. It was insane.

At one point, Columbina (Wifey) and I switched places, but then the three men took Ruffiana's love potion and had fallen in love with Columbina, and I revealed the switch to get away from them.

Very fun stuff, this Commedia. I wish we had more time to work on it before our showing.

Opening night!!!

I am so proud of my classmates. The show was completely hilarious, and they still found truth within it. They're awesome. I was laughing at all the wrong times, and apparently they could tell it was me... Haha. It's a lovely light show amongst the rest of our relatively dark season. If you get a chance, go see it and support them!


Tuesday, April 13

No Acting today, as the cast of The Game of Love and Chance (i.e. All-The-Way, D-Train, Iceman, Killer, O.D., and Two-Shots-Up) is in tech.

Now that our Irish dialect exam is over, the rest of the year is smooth sailing in Voice class. Today was a "vocal production day", in which we did a full warm-up, tremored, restructured, and worked on vocal extremes.

We spent the entire class period working on the Pavane. SO MUCH PAVANE.

The Pavane, as a reminder, is a Baroque period dance. Our version of the Pavane also includes some steps from the Menuet.

The Pavane isn't particularly difficult. The Pavane is just incredibly precise. And Movement Professor wants everything to be absolutely perfect, so we're often doing small things over again to get them right.


Quotations: Volume 54

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

(Disclaimer: quotations are often taken out of context and may not accurately reflect the way they were originally intended)

(after a discussion of how Voice Professor is looking for books on Dimidov to give Machinal Director)
Voice Professor: Can you tell me his full name?
All-The-Way: I don't know it. (beat) I think it might be Al...ex...an...dre...
Killer: Don't make stuff up.

"Petruchio tells us at the beginning that he's gonna play a lot of roles. 'You want me to be the Great Santini? And saw a woman in half? I'll do it.'"
- Acting Professoressa

"If you start smiling like a chimpanzee, I'll be all over you like white on rice."
- Acting Professoressa

"I've paid my three dollars; now I expect sex."
- Acting Professoressa, on the mindset of the audience

"Oh... I think she needs a shave..."
- Acting Professoressa, mocking how awkward it looked for Killer to cup All-The-Way's face in his hand during a scene, as though he were examining her

(after discussing two possible choices she could make in a scene)
All-The-Way: I think I'm sort of straddling the two now, and I need to make a decision. Sorry, that sounded dirty.
Acting Professoressa: We didn't take it that way, [All-The-Way], I promise you. Only your dirty mind thought that.

"Next year, if you see people relapsing, just a little reminder. 'Dude, go back to your Doings, man!'"
- Acting Professoressa

"Do your Doings. That should be tattooed on you somewhere. Do your Doings."
- Acting Professoressa

"Baaaaaking a caaaaake can maaaake you laaaaate."
- Voice Professor, who made up a sentence for the "alien" vowel in Irish dialect when Angela was a few minutes late to class because she baked Iceman a birthday cake.

"Ask him. 'Where has my youth gone?' 'Where did I put those potatoes?' 'How do you get to Ringling Boulevard?' It's a real question. Ask him."
- Acting Professoressa, demonstrating how to ask a question instead of making it rhetorical

Acting Professoressa: Okay, now someone asks you a question, [O.D.]. What are your choices?
O.D.: (folds arms) Pout.

"'I WILL love her.' 'I've GOT to do it!' 'My gonads are bursting!' Make each one different."
- Acting Professoressa, on not letting declarations of love turn into a list


Friday, April 9

Happy Birthday, Two-Shots-Up!!!

Acting class was canceled again today.


We had our Irish Dialect exam, and I think it went well. I had both Iceman and Killer as partners, so I did the scene twice, but Voice Professor only graded my first time through. I hope I did alright. It sounded like most people did well.


Movement Professor says we're now ready to take on the next level of Commedia work. Instead of being focused on the story, we have to focus on digression. It's like when you have a dream that just keeps hopping from one thing to another instead of having a logical plot arc.

We started off by getting into our small Commedia groups, and then a few of us were sent to other groups to upset the balance of the scene, and throw it into digression.


Not long into it, all 11 of us were in one long, insane digression, with several plots evolving all over the room. It was hilarious and awesome.

We have to e-mail Movement Professor a list of our favorite 5 things that happened. Mine are:

- Zanni (Thrill) thought my finger was food and tried to eat it.
- Ruffiana (Newbie) put a wedding veil over my face, so I couldn't see anything and kept almost falling over
- When I saw Flavio (Big Show), I fainted, and then couldn't get back up
- Harlequina (Two-Shots-Up) took a ring that I was trying to give to Flavio. She kept switching directions and showing me the hand it wasn't on so I would think she didn't have it.
- Flavio and I spoke different grammelot "languages", and Ruffiana had to translate for us.

We also have to come up with a lazzo to show the class. Here are some I've tried:
- using a stick like a baton to twirl
- almost falling over one direction, then the other (like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz during "If I Only Had a Heart").
- falling down and being unable to get back up
- pretending to be Ruffiana


Thursday, April 8

Acting class was canceled today.

I practiced a ton last night (including going to the grocery store and keeping in dialect the whole time). I feel ready for this exam finally.

In class, for some reason, I started saying the word "leave" incorrectly in my scene, which I've never done before. The reason that's especially ridiculous? 'Leave' does not shift. It's exactly the same in Irish as in American. I'm just dumb sometimes.


We're continuing working with our small groups in Commedia stuff.

As it turns out, Pedrolino, Columbina, and Vittoria are not easy characters to incorporate into the same scene. The hardest part is that I'm still figuring out my OWN character, and I don't have a solid grasp on what the other characters are at all. I hope we figure it out better soon...


Wednesday, April 7

Happy birthday Iceman!!!

Practice, practice, practice. We'll be ready for our Irish exam before you know it.

We worked on the Pavane. We haven't done it in a while, so it wasn't particularly great. It's just not a terribly exciting dance to do, to be honest. I wouldn't mind if we never did it again.


More Shakespeare scenes...

Acting Professoressa has asked us to e-mail her with our preferences on which of our Shakespeare scenes we'd like to do in the showing. I can't believe the showings are coming up already. Time flies.


Tuesday, April 6

We went over our Irish scenes more.

Currently, the sound that troubles me the most is the vowel of words like "hut" that switches to the vowel of "wood". Luckily, Iceman and Killer are doing well, and they're my scene partners, so that helps me a lot.

The other hard shift sucks because of how often it comes up. The word "it" shifts to sounds like "ut". It comes up a lot more often than I thought it would. (As evidenced by the three instances in this paragraph.)

In my car when I'm listening to the radio, I try to recite the lyrics of pop songs making all the shifts of the Irish dialect. I have particularly enjoyed doing this to the song "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha (apparently the $ is pronounced like an S... I won't go into how much that bothers me). It helps me a lot, and makes me feel like I have a good handle on the dialect shifts.

We lifted weights at the top of class. I started this year with 3-pound weights. Then I started using both 3-pound weights in one hand for certain lifts (so, really 6-pounds). I recently switched to 5-pound weights, but they're not hard for me, since I was essentially working with 6-pounds before. So now I grab a 3 and a 5 with each hand, to give me make-shift 8-pound weights. :) It makes me feel strong.

We worked on our Commedia characters in small groups. My group is me (Vittoria), All-The-Way (Pedrolino), and Wifey (Columbina). Our homework is to come up with scenarios that involve those characters.

Newbie and I met with Acting Professoressa over our lunch break to work on Twelfth Night. We're adding an element into the scene: Newbie desperately wants to touch me, and I desperately want to avoid her touching me..., while still appearing polite.

So the big things I have to work on are:
- be polite, so that Olivia won't report to Orsino that I've been rude in any way.
- stop the touching... in a polite way
- be a BOY (I'm playing a character who is pretending to be a boy... and I have to get away with it.)

During class, I worked with D-Train on our All's Well That Ends Well scene. I think it's going pretty well. It's kind of a silly scene, but it's fun to work on.

We had our final performance of King John, and it went exceptionally well. I'm proud to have worked on this show. I wish we could do it again. :)


The 2nd Blogger of '11

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that one of my classmates has decided to start blogging about our upcoming abroad program.

"Wifey" (aka Lindsay) is now writing at Lindsay Sees London. So check her out!


Quotations: Volume 53

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

(Disclaimer: quotations are often taken out of context and may not accurately reflect the way they were originally intended)

"Touch not the goods."
- Acting Professoressa, to O.D. and Thrill during their Two Noble Kinsmen scene

"Is there going to be pot luck? I'm afraid of Jesus and pot luck."
- Voice Professor, about an upcoming event, after explaining that she couldn't sleep after watching a documentary about the Shroud of Turin

"That was in my goth days... I had a leather jacket and a studded bra."
- Voice Professor, on being in a Salem Witch Trials historic exhibit production

"Okay. Silence. You may begin...(silence) Cat sound! (awkwardly stifled laughter from group) Sorry, I couldn't resist."
- Acting Professoressa, right before Angela and Newbie restarted their All's Well That Ends Well scene, after she had explained that Sir Toby and Sir Andrew might cause a ruckus offstage including cat noises.

"I'm helping you with the hand... Noooooo."
- Voice Professor, after doing hand gestures to help Killer with the vowel-shift for the word "no" in Irish dialect

(after noticing that Two-Shots-Up was taking a picture of Angela with her purple/pink streaked April Fools Day hair next to a purple/pink box of tissues)
Voice Professor: Are you taking a picture because she matches the Kleenex box? How ridiculous.
D-Train: Says the woman with Jesus nightmares.
Voice Professor: (in Irish dialect) That's my subconscious, y' [jerk]!

"This is not such a literal moment. This is not 'the atomic weight of uranium is four-hundred-fifty-six.'"
- Acting Professoressa, to D-Train

(after Acting Professoressa said that D-Train had done something in the scene later than she thought he wanted to)
D-Train: (jokingly)So, I should follow my impulses?
Acting Professoressa: Oh, yeah. What a radical f***ing idea...

(when rehearsing Much Ado about Nothing, for which D-Train is stage manager)
D-Train: Take it from...
Angela: Take it from the kiss?
Newbie: Can we take it from the a** slap?
Acting Professoressa: (looks at the clock) Can we take it from the break?
(NOTE: Apparently, Newbie was quoting something that Machinal Stage Manager once said in rehearsal.)

"It smells like sex in here."
- Iceman, improving in character as the drunken jail-keeper in Two Noble Kinsmen


Friday, April 2

I finished reading through the Irish scene with both Killer and with Iceman. The dialect is definitely getting less intimidating as I go.

The hardest sound for me to consistently shift is the vowel in "hut", which shifts to the vowel in "wood". I know how to do it, but for some reason I don't always in the moment.

We continued exploring the space using our Commedia movement styles. We also worked on the evolution from our Commedia animals to our Commedia types.

We did a full group exploration/improv as the animals that our Commedia types are connected to, and then as the characters themselves. Eventually, we started playing games as the characters (like a variation of soccer, and a version of duck-duck-goose), speaking only in Grammelot.

The scenes that went today were Comedy of Errors and Two Noble Kinsmen.

The only notes I took down today:
- Finding a shared perverse sense of humor can be the difference between friends and best friends, or sometimes between best friends and lovers. (I think it was connected to a discussion about the Taming of the Shrew scene.)

Newbie and I will be working on Twelfth Night during tutorial time on Tuesday, and I believe D-Train and I will be doing All's Well That Ends Well Tuesday during class. We're supposed to be off-book for all scenes on Tuesday.


Thursday, April 1

I came in to class today with my hair dyed to have pink and purple streaks. And with bangs.

It was an April Fool's Day prank, of course. (Man, the theatre would have my hide if I did that to my hair! Especially without permission!) I didn't take my hair out until Acting class. So that was fun.

We started talking through our scenes. And guess what? I'm not doing NEARLY as badly as I thought I would! Irish is getting a little more intuitive, although it's still not easy. I'm encouraged by this. Which is good, because Voice Professor has decided to move up our exam by a few days.

As a side note... On Tuesday, we jumped rope for the first time in AGES, and I felt like I was in the zone. Five minutes of jumping rope barefoot, and I never once tripped or hit myself with the rope. I felt awesome. And five minutes? Didn't feel that bad. But now? My legs are killing me for it. So instead of jumping rope, I did the Daily Dozen alignment exercises.

We had a long discussion on the origins of Commedia, and what we're going to do with it.

Movement Professor says that there are three different forms of comedy: comedy of incongruity, comedy of meanness, and comedy of wit. Commedia is primarily comedy of incongruity (look! a car in the tree!), rarely comedy of meanness (mostly just Brighella), and never comedy of wit.

And we also talked for a while about London. Oh my word, we're going to London!!! AHHH!!!! May 5th cannot come soon enough. (Although that being said, I sure have a lot to do before we go!)

D-Train and I did our All's Well That Ends Well scene. Acting Professoressa didn't seem to love it our first time through, when we stuck close to the blocking that we'd done the previous time we'd worked. D-Train suggested that we do it as an etude, and not worry about any of the blocking. When we did, it was SO much more free and real, and so much easier to play the scene. But as a result, Acting Professoressa said that some of the stage pictures were bad, and some of the physical story-telling was being lost. So we're going to have to work to combine the two.

Other notes I got:
- in Diana's final monologue, be less knowing
- more men-vs.-women mentality
- justify behavior to the audience
- keep it fresh
- Diana is not a b****, and she wants the audience to know that
- Point-of-View on Bertram cannot be "You stupid jerk"