Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Missed a (Dietz) Post and I Hate My Life.

But now that that's out of my system....

First, I want to talk about Portrait.  I kind of went not knowing what to expect, and feeling sick, not wanting to be at a play (which is feeling pretty crappy, if you think about it... holding you back from wanting to experience all that is the theatre).

I was significantly less miserable the moment the show started.
I loved:
-The cast.  Iris and Mozart!  Yay! (Now if Bowman could just concentrate as hard on our scene for Truss's class...) And I'm a huge fan of Richard's, dating back to Summer People... for obvious reasons... and Alice was impeccable.  Playing younger characters is always fun, but (to me, at least) having to act an older character is TERRIFYING, especially one as ballsy as Alice.  I was really impressed.  (And Whoot!  I heart Avital Bisk, people.)
-The writing.  Andy wrote a whole post kissing the ground that Jenny walks upon, so I feel that I can state, without sounding like a kiss ass, that the show was beautifully written.  The humor was really clever, and while we credit that a lot of times to the actors and their interpretation and pacing, the good stuff has got to be written before anyone can perform it.  So yay.
-The blank canvases.  We talked about this in class, but the canvases being blank gave sooooooo much to the show.  It let the audience imagine Alice's art, her personality, for themselves, and kept them zoned in on the actions and relationships of the characters.  I was a fan.
-The design of the set.  Having the couch in that corner was perfect for hiding the male nuddie booty, and with the back to the audience, it made the room real.  One of my pet peeves is when a set is set up to so obviously play to the fourth wall.  Urg.  It's like "Come one, please be more original."  It was balanced well by having the heavily used liquor table on the other side, with 'doors' that also balanced out and a middle space that allowed for a dynamic range of spatial relationship variations.  It was all so feng shui.  My chi and aura were thoroughly centered throughout the entire performance because of this.
-I also loved the way clothes were hanging/lying all around the set.  It kind of gave more insight to the characters, and made me feel like they felt nothing was all that permanent.

(Keep in mind that these are VERY nit picky, but) I didn't like:
-Some of the acting choices.  I felt like, when in doubt, any given character poured drinks.  And there were moments when I felt like Nancy slipped into Iris mode, and instead of playing an innocent young woman in love, she played an innocent child, just plain...well, childlike.  But I adore her and her abilities, so please, no one take that the wrong way.
-The fact that the images of Richard being beaten as a child were left to the imagination.  I know that this is really third grade of me, but I wanted to see the pictures really bad.  I'm not saying that a big slide projector should display them when they become known to the audience or anything like that, but, if you think about it, it's kind of comparable to images of say, the Holocaust.  You know that they are horrible, and you'll probably cry and be completely shocked and horrified looking at them, but you still are enthralled, intrigued, wanting to take in this moment and be educated about this subject.  Maybe that's just me.  Plus, I don't think I've ever seen a drawing or someone being beaten- I've not encountered many action sketches.
-Other than that, I can't really think of anything all that negative to say.  I enjoyed it immensely.

Alright.  On vignettes.

Index cards are my new favorite thing.  Not only are they convenient in Acting and Vocal Rep where we write ENDLESS critique sheets for everyone in the entire world, but doing this vignette exercise really helped me focus on ACTION.  I get ideas, and kind of have them build into "Oh, okay, and then she'll do this, and he'll think this, so he'll do that," and RARELY are the actions of my outlines clear, concise, and (unfortunately) visibly achievable.  Ridding my events of fluffy feelings and focusing on the actual action made it SO much easier to just sit down and write.  It's kind of ridiculous how one change can have such a huge impact.

And, since I'm late and suck at life, I'll talk about today's class, too. 

Every single cutting rule that we learned today has been written on all of my previously handed in work.  I have a big problem with having my character state his or her feelings rather than showing them.  I'm too controlling.  I want everyone to clearly know my intent, and don't want to leave it to the actor to portray, because, you know, what if they don't?  It's the same with stage directions, writing a novel so that all the director has to do is get things together.  I guess we all just have to have some faith that others will take our work and do with it way they may with some respect.  It's something I've got to come to terms with.

Cutting out colloquial speech was getting me, too.  I thought, "But this is how the character talks, he talks just like the dude sitting next to me.  This is real."  Real can suck, though.  I'm learning this.

Anyway, everyone have an excellent weekend, and I hope we're totally inspired to write the best seven page scenes ever in the entire world and galaxies beyond and such and what not.

Julia :)

1 comment:

  1. Don't hate your life.

    Great post, Julia -- I'm glad the flashcard exercise is proving useful. Some people will, undoubtedly, find it more frustrating than anything, but as with all of our different exercises, if it helps a few of you, it's worth our time.

    Sorry we didn't show you the pictures -- you'd have seen my scrawling, terrible attempt at a drawing. But there are reproductions of one of the pictures in a book I have on Alice, if you're curious.

    Good luck with those plays!