Friday, December 25, 2009

first scene

Merry Christmas everyone...instead of a generic xmas post, I'll just give a regular one today.

For my first scene, I did a scene from "Two for the Seesaw" by William Gibson. The play takes place in NYC in the 1950's. My character was Jerry Ryan, a lawyer from Nebraska who was recently separated from his wife. My scene partner is Gittel Mosca, a failed-dancer that owns a dance studio. The scene is when Jerry follows Gittel home when he sees her walking out with another guy, suspecting that they slept together. Gittel has just found out that Jerry is still talking with his ex-wife, and that he might still have feelings for her. The scene is mostly about Jerry coming to the realization that he doesn't give all of himself in the relationship, and Gittel finding out that she does mean a lot to Jerry.

There were several challenges to this scene that weren't in the first year:

1) We now worked with impediments/mannerisms that were required in the scene, while previously they were ignored for the most part.

2) We read the whole play in order to get a better sense of the entire character. When we did scenes before, the text was just used primarily as a vehicle for connecting with the other person, now we had to relate to our character and find out what his intentions and his goals were in order to find appropriate meanings for different parts of the scene.

3) In the first year, we did the scene however it came out of us. However, this year, we wanted to concentrate on developing an action for every moment in the scene. Not everything in a scene will be relatable to the actor, so for those parts we need to come up with particularizations. We need to come up with concrete actions that we are trying to accomplish with a line, so that our meaning becomes specific instead of general.

The scene itself was complex blocking wise. We had to pre-determine what actions we were going to perform to make the lines make sense in the scene, and at the same time have reasons for those actions. The challenge is having a worked out scenario where all of our actions have a distinct purpose and goal behind them, but living through it organically as if it were all happening spontaneously.

At the end of the scene work, I was a bit unsatisfied with how it turned out for our final run through, but it is what it is. I was unsuccessful in working with a Midwestern accent for the scene, it put me in my head while doing it. I also did not fully particularize my actions for the entire scene, which is why some of it felt flat at times.

I didn't feel fully emotionally connected to the circumstance. I don't know what it is, perhaps I'm not delving deep enough, because I know I would be going insane if a girlfriend of mine was cheating on me right in front of me. I'll have to experiment with different scenarios to try to tap into my rage (I know it's there somewhere, hiding).

Next scene will have to wait as we're doing a whole bunch of other stuff before that when the new year starts.


Esther said...

i dont think i even know what a midwestern accent sounds like

blee said...


badbanana said...

like how you're my favorite actor