• Tuesday, January 24, 2012
  • Spring 2012

    I’m not even going to bother apologizing for not posting, because seriously, why do people do that? Also, the only other person who reads this blog is Megan, and she knows everything about my life already.

    This is a very important semester. I have my New Works II production happening in April- a workshop production by the USC School of Theatre of one of my scripts, helmed by a professional director and dramaturg, and with undergrad theatre students in the cast and crew. The auditions went well, I’m very excited about the cast we got, thrilled with my director and dramaturg, and feeling a lot less anxious about my script than I was two months ago.

    Even though I still haven’t technically written the ending. But more on that later.

    Another reason this semester is very important is that we finally get to have class with the amazing Luis Alfaro. In addition to being a great artist and teacher, he radiates such joy and good humour that it’s simply a gift to be in his presence.

    Yesterday he spoke a lot about the development of characters- and questions and prompts to ask ourselves in order to get our characters talking.

    Stuff to remember-

    Characters should never talk unless agitated.

    Prompt: Put two characters together and have one start the conversation with “There’s so much you don’t know about me.”- I’m going to find this really useful.

    Consider the character questions from Joseph Chaikin’s “The Presence of the Actor”

    • Whom do you see when you look at me?
    • Whom do you think I see when I look at you?
    • Who or what is it that you think cannot be seen by anyone – is it still you?
    • What bits of information would be used to publicly describe you?
    • Does each piece of information have a value attached to it?
    • What system of perceiving and assessing determines that value?
    • Would you say that there are parts of yourself which have not lived yet?
    • What would bring forth the life of those parts?

    Notes to myself as I worked on getting better at comedy-

    • Think about the stakes of the scene
    • Focus on the emotional reality of the characters.
    • Work on what happens before the comedy starts. What happens during the build-up? Try avoiding the obvious laughs and focus on what happens just before.

    And another mantra I’ll need to repeat to myself, in an effort to get over my incredible laziness-

    Always have more than you need.

    Let’s see how it goes.