July 27, 2012

Today after our warm up, the participants began discussing the program and what it’s been like for them, which they do sometimes without my prompting them. This began by one of them bringing up that she never thought she would be able to memorize her pieces – but she has, and it’s proven to her that she can probably do all kinds of things she thought before that she couldn’t do. The other participants agreed that that has happened for them as well. We then worked with one of our Antonys. She is totally memorized, which is great. The other participants noted that she is using her hands much more, which they had asked her to try, and it’s working! One of them suggested that she broaden her pace to increase her power, and this also did wonders for her. One of them remarked that her “actions didn’t overspeak her words.”

Then we worked the Juliet/Nurse scene with a stand-in for the Nurse. This was the stand-in’s first time performing the scene, so the first run was kind of rough. We talked about bringing up the energy, even if she had to pause to find the lines. They tried this, and it worked much better – the others said that it was louder and more believable. Then Juliet adjusted some of the blocking to make it work better for her, and that third performance was the best yet.

We then worked Rosalind’s monologue for the first time in awhile.  For this piece, we are doing a drop in exercise in which another participant reads the lines before the actress speaks them. This caused Rosalind to drop her energy between lines, so I helped her figure out how to fix that. I encouraged her to push forward when she knows the lines and let the other participant catch up. There was a great improvement after this.

Next was the Duke Frederick/Rosalind/Celia scene with a stand-in for Celia. Rosalind has memorized her lines, so we ran it a few times with a focus on her getting comfortable doing the scene without her script. The acting is in and out, as it usually is right when someone gets off book, and she knows that she will have to keep working on it to bring it back, but she’s confident that she can do it.

Then we worked the King’s monologue. She was doing great until she started forgetting her lines and getting frustrated. The others noticed that she got quieter when that happened, and they encouraged her to push forward. They reminded her that there is so much going on in the piece that no one will notice if she skips little parts of it, which is what was happening. She shook it off and tried again, doing much better this time. She is fully committed, and it shows.

Last was one of our Emilias. Her first performance was great, except that at the end she looked at me before she was actually done. We talked about the need for follow through. Then she tried it again, treating Desdemona as if she were much younger as an experiment, and it actually deepened her performance. She was very pleased.

Molly will be taking over for me for the next two weeks. I’m very excited to see how they’re able to grow with her guidance in the meantime!