visitorium

Seventh Class, Level 2 – the Perch at Picton Place

In OSSD Acting Class on March 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm

We’re lurching madly towards the end of level 2 classes, and things are getting exponentially more interesting and scary.  I creaked my way on in, still mighty tender following the Hot Sauciness of Alix Sideris and her movement workshop on the weekend.  I felt a slight twinge of shameful glee that Barry Karp wasn’t teaching this semester…he likes to push the physical side of theatre, and I didn’t think my battered frame could take it this day.  I DID run into him, and Brie Barker, outside, trying to figure out which one of them had the keys to open up…the whole OSSD building was shut down for March Break.  I was just about ready to call dibs on the rooftop for an outdoor class, when Brie managed to get us inside.  That would do too, I suppose.

Catherine was still away on vacation (Boo!), and Andrea and Justin were likewise un-present, so that left myself, Rachel, Stefan, Julie, Vanessa, Daria and Sasha for today’s installment.  Brie nearly killed us all right off the bat with his ridiculously funny Euro-dance instructor character, taking the roll.  Dude be knowing some funny, yo.

After settling down and warming up with a quick round of soccer (why not?), and then segued into a long standing wish of mine…we were finally going to play questions!  For those of you not in the know, THIS is what Questions looks like:

Or at least, that’s what Questions looks like when competent people engage in it.  Apparently when I do it, it looks rather like watching a tall, gangly dork stammer for five seconds and then slink away in utter defeat without uttering a single.  Fucking.  Question.

TWICE.

I was rather mortified.  So long I’d been wanting to try this out, and it turns out I’m a talentless schmuck.  And yes, welcome to my first crisis of faith in acting class.  I expect it will be the first of many.  Brie sent us out of the room for a moment to set some things up, and let me wallow in my failure (a specialty of mine…although I DID get over it, actually).  When we came back in, Brie made us pick something out of a bag…a little something for the characters we’ve been building over the semester.  Once we did, he put us in position around out little makeshift set he’d arranged, and made the announcement…it was time to start playing.

Our ‘set’ was a rooftop bar called the Perch, in a condo called Picton Place.  Some of us were tenants there, some of us work there.  And it’s where we’re going to be for the remainder of our classes, working up our characters, interacting, and getting socially dynamic and all.  We got directed through a few diff’rent scenes with diff’rent combinations of characters, Brie encouraging us to write down everything we learned about not only OUR characters, but the ones we interacted with.  With that in mind, here’s the lowdown on my own contribution:
Peter Crowley is the head bartender at the Perch, lives out in Orleans and has been in Ottawa for 5 years now.  Before that he spent 5 years in Cape Breton, and before that was in Toronto.  He has served in the military, and has distinctly left-leaning political views.  Works for Debra, the property manager, and thinks Carol the Doorwoman has a very logical way of thinking.  Some guests he has interacted with are Emma, a Californian who lives in a unit on the 7th floor, enjoys red wine and shares his disdain for the Bush family.  Annabelle, another tenant, has a favourite drink (Cranberry, sparkling water, and lime on ice), which another tenant, a mr. Johnny Parsons, also seems to enjoy.  It’s a great bar, he loves his job, and would like to move a little closer (he even wouldn’t mind a unit in the condo itself, if he could afford it)

We sat around and kibbitzed about what we learned afterwards, what challenged us, and I think we were all feeling pretty pumped/scared.  I’m very much looking forward to getting to know Peter a little better, interacting more with the staff and tenants, and maybe getting out from behind that bar of mine from time to time.  But, hey, duty calls, right?
Oh, and I’m TOTALLY up for a rematch of Questions.  I WILL be avenged.  Peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

PS  I totally haven’t yet mentioned the OTTAWA THEATRE CONFIDENTIAL PODCAST, but now that they’ve gone and mentioned me, I feel bad for letting them beat me to the punch.  So, give’er a listen, because Tania Levy, Heather-Marie and Tweedy old Snowdon know themselves some stuffs about their theatre goings-on, a lot more than yours truly.  And check out ep 4 for an embarrassing story about me.  Yay. 🙂

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