visitorium

Fourth Class, Level 2 – Beat Yourself to Death

In OSSD Acting Class on February 18, 2011 at 4:53 am

I’d had a rough night of it the eve before class this week, I won’t lie.  Oh, the play I saw, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, was a god-damn delight, ’tis true.  But, as is often the case with borderline manic-depressives like myself, things took a dark turn by the time I got home, and I hadn’t really eaten, and the bottle of Jameson’s was right THERE…

It was a rough day, too.  And I was practically falling asleep when I realized I had to run out of the place to make it to class at OSSD on time (stopping for an emergency RedBull to wake up along the way), but I made it just the same.  Oh, I was woozy, scattered, fresh scars clearly visible (rough night, like I said), but acting class waits for no man.  And I’m…not…no man…that analogy fell apart.  Where was I..?

Right, class!  Big cheese Brie Barker greeted us (as I now presume to be the norm, but I’m not making any bets) in character, this time switching from his previous week’s tuxedoed gentleman to a British punk, impressing us with a taster of his new song, ‘Pope on a Rope’. He called the roll, asking each of us to reply with the name of our own punk song.  Mine was ‘beat yourself to death’, something I’ve given a peculiar amount of thought to recently.  Because that’s the kind of upbeat cat I am.

We turned a circle then for a quick game of ZIP (a sort of improv/acting version of dodgeball), then tried it while moving, which was a tricky challenge. Then Brie immediately had us all take on an animal…I chose cat, ’cause I have Winston on the brain.  Then, we did another.  Then ANOTHER.   All while moving around the room, sometimes interacting with our fellow ‘animals’…I had a tricky time as a fish, let me tell you.  Afterwards, Brie asked us where our ‘centers’ were…our head, chest, stomach, genitals (snickering in class) or anus (even more snickering).  I went two anus,one chest…where do cats and fish lead, if not from their butts?  I ask you.

We did a couple scenes each then, improv-stylee, one using a whole animal physicality from our previous excercizes, one only using a specific center.   I thought my monkey-physic Bathroom buddy take with Rachel was a winner, tho my Anus-driven pilot’s lounge scene with Catherine (my fav’rit partner, I’ll admit it) had me wondering…just how does one lead from one’s anus? Pffft.

We did a quick break (which was great, because as grotesquely hungover as I was, I think I was sweating through my wallet by this point in the evening), then back for some impromptu lottery action…we had to draw from a hat to pick a center for our continuously building ‘character’.  I picked genitals…and then, like, the next 5 people did too.  So, we had to do a few redraws just to ensure our whole class wasn’t genital-crazy…I ended up as ‘head’ centered, which was not quite as hilarious, but just as challenging.

We did another quick round of scenes with our new centers…me and Stefan did a try as Lifeguard and concerned Father, which started out fine and ended up in inappropriate laughter.  I blame myself.  We finished the class in a circle, giving our thoughts on the night’s lessons and feeding off one another, and it was just a good way to end.  I passed on a couple offers of rides home to do some walking, because I needed some cool night air to finally clear my head (also, the cheeseburger platter at the Carleton).  It was a good class.  And I can’t wait til next one.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

  1. Heya Visitor,
    I found that class difficult. Finding the centre isn’t easy. I can’t get it yet…
    It also isn’t easy to think of what to say and at the same time act from your centre.

    The scene where I had to act from the genitals was difficult as I didn’t want to overact and I felt like it was an unnatural scenario to act sexy with my kids’ teacher… If it were a different scene, maybe it would have been easier.
    Well, great learing experience and that’s why we’re there!!

    Brie is great with his different initial characters. We should all show up as a certain character one day and give him a surprise.

    And btw, I was clueless to your sloshy state! You acted well as I thought you were sober, sober, sober!

    Regarding the scene where you and Stefan did a try as Lifeguard and concerned Father. You mentioned that it started out fine and ended up in inappropriate laughter. You blamed yoursefl. No no no…. I think the laughter was when the lifeguard started making small talk with a dad while he was on duty is what made me laugh… the scene became a bit unreal…. fun to watch!!

    Well, I vote to go out for a drink after next class so we can chat about what we are all doing. No time to do that really during the class. I only have Stefan and maybe Rachel’s contact. How do we contact Catherine and the others?

    I’ll send a quick inquiry to see if people are interested in have a quick drink after the next class. Your thoughts?

    Later dude,
    V

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