I really liked this exercise – much more than the Space and You, and I think Wednesday was our best run. I really would like to turn it into a script or a short story. Maybe I’ll make that my next writing project 🙂
There were definitely a few times I hesitated or didn’t go with my instincts. The second time Julia and I interacted with each other, I almost dumped my “wine” on her but for some reason I didn’t. I was too nice. I know, we can’t be nice actors. We talked about that in my Scenes and Songs class, which is also an ensemble class, but for musical theater. For our first project we were at an art gallery showing (Putting it Together from Sunday in the Park With George) and we definitely got the note that we were all “cocktail party nice” and if we had backstories of tension or distaste or negativity at all with anyone, it wasn’t seen. We were all just a lot of polite people.
I’ll be honest, it didn’t even occur to me to kill Victor Olivie, which is ridiculous. That would have been a great thing to work out with Almanya, and have that be part of the conspiracy we were plotting. I was just so focused on Julia. I did have killing Brandi in mind. I figured it would be later in the scene, after the picture takes place. I know, we shouldn’t worry so much about the picture, but that was genuinely the reason I didn’t want to kill anyone. I also didn’t know how I’d signal to them that I just poisoned them or stabbed them. I guess I could have whispered it to them if you weren’t standing right there. Oh well. The alliance with Almanya was hard to coordinate, because she wanted scandal, but that wasn’t enough for me. Her desired reputation was already ruined. I wanted her to suffer. And then we were distracted by Edwin Brownback telling Julia (s)he loved her, right next to us.
When Lizzie had her line, revealing everyone’s truth, my instinct was to go to Adrian/Jen because we were friends, but that wouldn’t have had anything to do with my objective so I didn’t. I know, I know. BUT even though it was delayed, it did give me a reason to get into my picture pose, because she’s standing right over me. Wow, that actually worked out perfectly. I ended by Adrian who’s hurt and is my friend, sitting next to Almanya whom I was plotting with, and Brandi who’s my path to Julia. I had a line that felt like a pretty good “soap opera episode closer” and I wanted you to magically say freeze right after, but you didn’t. I wanted to get close to Brandi so I apologized to her for “getting heated” and that Julia and I would make amends. Almanya didn’t really follow where I was going, because she started questioning me about that, so I gave a pointed, secretive look towards Brandi (who wasn’t paying any attention) and said that the reasons for my motives were my own. I was planning to kill Brandi to get back at Julia. So that happened. In the beginning, it was so hard to get Ted away from Daphne and Raoul, so I ended up standing there, watching them argue, which felt pretty realistic in the moment.
Afterwards, when we were discussing it, the two points that stuck out to me was blending vs. give and take, and balancing out being greedy and generous. I’m a music theater major, so I am more used to those ensemble situations where you have the leads and then the ensemble that mills around and has fake conversations in the background really quietly so they’re the townspeople but they don’t distract, and then once in awhile someone will get a dance solo or a line or a vocal solo. In my my Scenes & Songs class, though, with that first project we talked about give and take and being able to know when and how to take or give focus, so taking these two classes at the same time has been working out pretty well so far!
As for the balancing being greedy and generous, that’s something I personally struggle with. I struggled with it in the palace/space exercise, because I wanted things for others and not for myself. Then in this one I didn’t follow some instincts because I felt like it was a problem that I wouldn’t be focusing on what I wanted, so that’s something I’m still trying to figure out through trial and error.
I really find myself being more receptive to others’ energy. I don’t know if I mentioned this in an earlier journal or not, but one of the first weeks I was walking down the street and walked by someone who had a really warm, attracting energy and I ALMOST saloon-doored them, but I caught myself. This morning I did that project for the TV department and we didn’t have much to work with – they’re contentless scenes – and I hadn’t worked with these people before, so I tried to focus and see if I could feel what their energies were like and try connecting to it. It didn’t work that well today, but sometimes it actually does!