Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rape and Opera

Performance debrief. I barely moved on stage. I walked to one area and stood then another area and stood but mostly I sat in a chair. And I said my lines in the most natural way possible while making eye contact with the audience. Which feels next to impossible when you're doing something SO unnatural like performing in front of an audience. About rape! I laughed too much, I know that for sure. And I missed lines. But other than that, I think I did an ok job for this new style of performing. It's hard to know when it's so different from the joking, more animated, way more physical style of my last pieces. But my director told me that, for now, I needed to go to this extreme in order to get the other style out of my body. I couldn't even more my hands! They remained in my lap the whole time. Afterwards a couple people came up and gave me what felt like sympathetic looks and said, "thank you for sharing your story." Totes annoying! But I can see why this bare storytelling style would provoke one to say these kinds of things. I could very well have been in a therapy session talking to my therapist! I snuck into the audience after I finished to watch the following act. Everyone's eyes popped out of their sockets as this overweight guy came on stage and started operatically belting out about being fat. Epic fail to whoever came up with the order!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rehearsal success

Rehearsed a bunch with my director for my upcoming show. She's been making me do all my lines in different voices, then while I'm moving about the room doing different movements, then back to my normal voice. Just a ton of awkwardness doing this in front of my director who I project is judging me and thinking how much I suck. I know it's not true but it's what's going in my head at the moment. Well, I did really suck a lot of the time. But we cracked up about it and I started over again. At the end of the rehearsal, I got it. I said my lines and my director was really impressed. I wish I knew what I had done to make myself perform the way I had! I wasn't even aware I was doing it! My director said my face looked really soft, my cheeks were warm, and my voice had a liquid quality to it. Now if I can just capture this essence for next week?! I definitely improv-ed some of my lines which is not allowed. We'll see how next week goes. Bah! In the meantime, it's memorizing in the car while commuting to work, on walks, in bed, while cleaning. I have no life!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Memorizing hell

Six months ago I was asked to perform at a local SF venue by Thao Nyugen, a friend of Martha Rynberg's. So yeah, those six months are up. I have two weeks. Mwd knows about the performance and said she would help me prep for it. Last week I read her the material from the hospital rape examination. She stopped me and said, "That's it. That's the section you should memorize for your show." So that is what I have been begrudgingly, bemoaningly doing. I have not had to memorize lines since college drama 101. My other rape related performance's were loosely memorized and blocked but my director said that my piece had to be word for word. It's awful. Like, the equivalent of memorizing facts for your absolute least favorite subject. And when I practice out loud I sound like a robot or a wooden log because I don't have the words memorized well enough for the piece to just flow naturally out of me.
In terms of the whole piece, I'm at a point in the writing process with my director that I now have a ton of material. So now the task is to read through it all and keep only the parts that I like.
Teaching is keeping me on my toes. I'm almost two months in and I think the kids and I have solidly established a teacher/student authority and relationship. Thank god for another one of Martha's friends, Maura Shannon, who generously agreed to mentor me in music teaching. Her lesson plans, classroom management tips, and general overall knowledge of this profession have been invaluable to me! I'm working three jobs right now: music teacher and nanny by day/artist by night.