Hey guys! So sorry it's taking me so long to turn these posts out. Let's talk about weeks Eight and Nine of the program. This is the time honestly when I was the most exhausted. We had been doing 15 hour days everyday except Mondays, which was the one night a week that I could work, so I would work at a restaurant until 11:30 at the earliest. I am by no means complaining about this at all, just speaking about my experience.
Rehearsals were ending for All's Well That Ends Well and we were opening previews, which was thrilling to say the least! Performing outside to the crowds that came was exhilarating! More on this later!
Weeks seven and eight had us working extra hard in our Voice and Movement classes. We knew that the program was coming to an end, and that we would be needing to fit all the rest of our lessons in the remaining class time we had together.
In Movement, we prepared a "devised" piece, something I have never done before. We began by going through several of Shakespeare's cannon plays and writing down the central themes from them on our white board. Themes like love, betrayal, trickery, insanity, sickness, and jealousy showed up. We then voted on which theme we were most interested in (Trickery) and began to discuss ways to wordlessly depict this theme in a 10-20 minute movement piece for an audience. I was lucky to be elected the "team leader," and I recorded every idea that we threw out there. We used all of our Movement training with Yo-El to create a funhouse and explore Honesty versus Trickery. Our final performance was organic, and inspiring to me. Yo-El has changed my physicality definitely for the better, I feel more connected to my core, and his Breakfast Warm-Up is something that I will be taking with me throughout my career.
Our Voice class had us going through the resonators of the face! This week actually helped me the most in terms of vocal work. I found that the articulators that I normally thought were easy for me to access were not at all. I also found myself a little frustrated that I wasn't "getting it" at first. This probably has a lot to do with my exhaustion, and part to do with me not allowing myself to be opened to the discoveries of the exercises we were doing. Once I realized this, with the help of Christine, I was able to move forward and gain a lot of information about myself as an actor.
In Week Nine, we were fortunate to work closer with some of the actors from All's Well That Ends Well. We worked with Larry Cohen (Lavache in AWTEW) on two days of Improv classes! I had never had someone explain and elaborate on the origins of Improv and the Art of saying YES in improv! Each game we played was that much more fullfilling for the actors and the audience when the improv-ers simply said YES each time and "offer" was made in the scene.
We then worked with Kersti Bryan (Helena) and Olivia D'Ambrosio (Marianna) talking about the business-side of our artistic careers. This was more than helpful. They acted as our mentors, sharing their different experiences in their journeys in the professional world and provided us with invaluable tips and great information about the life of a professional actor in New York City.
Lastly, we worked with Karen MacDonald (The Countess) on any monologue we wanted for an audition workshop. She gave us constructive criticism and helpful tips to ease our audition experiences and to help us prepare for an aspect of acting that will travel with us throughout our careers.
I only wish that we were able to spend more time with these amazingly talented performers and teachers. I think it was a great addition to our program, these master classes and some of my most helpful teaching moments came from the classes, and also in the work we had done with Yo-El and Christine. Saying farewell and acknowledging our amazing experiences at the end of the week was bittersweet, but I know that I have grown so much from them, and I will always be grateful.
P.S. Stay tuned for a post on All's Well That Ends Well and the final week of CSC Apprenticeship!