for some of you who are interested in some of the work im doing, here is a link to a rehearsal i did last sunday. my exam for this monologue is on wednesday so best of luck to me.
it’s from the play rabbit hole (2007) by david lindsay abbaire and it’s a pulizter prize winner. it focuses on a story of a young couple becca and howie corbett, who have recently had their 6 year old son killed in a car accident. around them they have family and friends trying to help them find peace and a “solution”, but the general theme of the story is not trying to find answers, but more so living and moving on when there aren’t any. it’s a beautiful piece.
now, in the middle of the play, young jason willete (17 years old, and the driver of the car who hit danny corbett) reaches out to mr and mrs corbett. he is struggling to come to terms with the enormity of what he’s done and is having some troubles with the guilt. this monologue is in the form of a letter he writes to them. it is his first appearance in the play.
hope you enjoy the work.
it’s difficult to describe what viewpoints is. it is more than just a class i have taken this semester. it is with an instructor who i think the world of. alexandra billings for me, has made this second semester invaluable. she told us on the first day, everyone would go their own path, and everyone would learn at different rates and in different ways. we wouldn’t always understand, but we’d get the most through trusting… and as she said “going towards that thing”.
the class develops instincts and trust, which for me is a huge thing as an actor often in his head. tasks as simple as walking around the room with PURPOSE. talking about our experiences and making them SPECIFC. being vulnerable and still going FORWARD. at the time, it didn’t make sense. even now, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. but as i begin to realise the end result of weeks of tears, mental and physical exhaustion, there is this wonderful freedom in being able to surrender, and allowing things to happen.
friday, as one of our last exercises… we had to bring in an item of personal power and value. i brought in my copy of michael shurtleff’s “audition”… my acting bible. now, i didn’t realise the value the book had to me. but as i spoke of it, i began to cry uncontrollably, and i didn’t know why. i do now. it wasn’t just the book. it was what it represented. speaking of my journey into acting, and how much joy it has brought me, i realised that in it’s truest sense i was living a dream and goal.
you know what? you dont ever need to be told you did good work. if you have to ask, you probably didnt do that great. ive found that when you do really good work, you just know. i did poorly in my scene on monday, but did some solid work on my monologues in voice and speech. this was particularly important to me because the monologues have a bit of significance. they really required me to get past some obstacles that i’ve struggled with since i came to aada in september.
so what did i find? in alexander technique a few weeks ago we were given an article about how changing breathing can help you identify with a characters emotion. bullshit. but for some reason i decided to try it on monday. i looked at my character, and how he would have been feeling… reaching out to the parents of a boy he’d killed by accident. that kind of nervous, guilty, helplessness breathing pattern. as i did my piece, i focused on what i wanted (to meet with the parents in real life as opposed to letters), and let go. i have never felt so connected. and i killed that monologue. wednesday will be interesting when i take it on again.
secondly… prep… up until now, preparing for my moment before has been all about prep, prep, prep : JUMP INTO THE SCENE! for me, this has never worked. for some reason i end up just thinking about the music i was just listening, or the photograph i had in my head, or the substitution i was using. either way the scene would go to hell. so i did something ms.bohannon once suggested, let go and trust that the work you’ve done is there. id done a LOT of work on this piece, and so this time i changed my prep. prep, prep, prep… let breath out, let go… JUMP INTO THE SCENE! and then this time, for some reason, my mind was clearer than it’d ever been.
acting ive found can be likened to playing darts. when you first try it, its tricky and your darts go everywhere. you may get the occasional bullseye… but not often. when you DO, you suddenly think you have it figured out, and you try and replicate it… normally with disasterous results.
as you do it more, and get training, you begin to get tips. suddenly your technique gets better. suddenly those darts spraying all over the board and off it, dont happen so much. it doesnt mean you can hit the bullseye every time, but it does mean it happens more often. these two blocks above have helped my process hugely.
im getting better.
not quite chile. not quite haiti. not quite hiroshima. the earthquake this morning was a 4.4 on the richter scale. not enough to do any damage, but enough to be noticable.
i woke up at 4am this morning… (any chinese person reading this would be somewhat apprehensive of the repeating of the number 4… as it is in chinese an extremely unlucky number…) to find my room shaking. in my half sleepy state i immediately jumped to the conclusion that the people upstairs were doing P90X and exercising. well fuck them right? then i looked at the time, and i slowly started to wake up and realised it was an earthquake. so what did i do? first of all, i stayed very still and figured if i stayed still it would go away. then secondly, as i realised the danger was gone, i updated my facebook, got a drink of water and went back to sleep.
as i said. not quite haiti.
no it’s not friday 13th. yes it’s a new theme.
people always talk about friday 13th being a bad day. but for me, the worst days of the year, are always the days where the clocks go back or forward as a result of daylight savings. and the bitch of it is, it never has to do with time. i’ll remember to turn the clocks back or forward, but everything else will go wrong. i have believed this wholeheartedly for a number of years.
it’s not 334pm, and nothing’s gone wrong just yet. i do have a pile of homework that i’m working through.
a man pulls up into big carls burger joint in a black panel van behind my bus stop. i am sitting listening to my mp3 player waiting for my bus. it is 10pm at night. he parks in the handicap spaces and appears to be looking at me. our eyes meet. (fuck)
he is bald, 50, wearing flannelette, both ears pierced, overweight, thick rimmed glasses, and a filthy creepy smile that just screams rapist. i continue to sit, albeit completely aware of my surroundings. like a deer. so still. so ready to bolt.
“waiting for the bus?” *smile*
“is it coming?” *bigger smile*
“i was hoping to get together with you…”
thank you bus 704 for being on time.
i mean seriously what does this guy expect?
“sure man, i’d love to get into your black panel van and drive somewhere with you. in fact, there’s NOTHING else i’d rather do.”
really though. i wanted to ask him how well this setup is working for him.
perhaps i should consider investing in pepper spray. or just stop hanging around gay bus stops.