So after a lengthy, early spring break between semesters (or 1 week, however you want to count it) it was time to haul ass back to class at the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama. It’s level 3, kids, the end of the ‘Get Into the Act’ road. This time, it was promised we would cover monologues (about 1 week too late for ME, but whatevah) and scenes. At last, the meat of the theatrical matter! I had a hearty repast and zipped down to the school, somewhat lamenting the fact I would no longer enjoy my pre-class chats with Boss Barry Karp, who isn’t teaching a class this time around. But I WAS pleased to see our two-time sub from level 1 Mary Harvey (who I FINALLY remembered I saw on stage in Tototoo’s KILT last year) geting set for her Improv class. Very tempting now to take that next time around, she was a perfect delight.
Soon enough fellow returning classmates Catherine and Rachel showed up (our two other L3 peeps, Julie and Vanessa, were out for this week’s class, sadly), along with Big Cheese brie barker, and we settled right back into our usual space for some big-time acting lessonry. We sat down in a…let’s call it a ‘circle’, shall we? And Brie handed us our assignments.
Wait, time out. Assignments? On paper? Damn, this is starting to smell like SCHOOL after all this time. And sure enough, on each page was a short monologue that Brie had hand-picked for each of us. It was about 7:15. He smiled, and said he’d be back in one hour for our auditions. Yes, we had 1 hour to commit these pieces to memory as best we could (tho were WERE still allowed to reference the sheet at all times) and perform them. It was audition time. AGAIN.
FUCK. I only just got over my jitters from last week’s ACTUAL audition (scroll back a few posts for the harrowing tale, if you dare). But what the heck…I had to admit, I was pretty stoked to be getting another go at this. So I picked a corner, grabbed my sheet, and started speed-practicing.My monologue was from something called ODD JOBS by Frank Maher, and was about a drunken worker raging at the world. Brie knows me so well.
We were disturbingly quiet in that room as we ran our lines…something Brie had specifically warned us against, but shyness got the better of us. After an hour he returned, set up our viewing chairs/gauntlet of judgement, and we dove right into it. Catherine got tagged first, and did very nice with a piece from Sharon Pollock’s DOC. I was the middle man, and did my best with my bit…once again, I think I tried to be too demonstrative with my performance (did I learn NOTHING from Kenner G??), although I was TOTALLY almost off-book. Which made me a little proudsome. Rachel got the final call, and despite being kinda nervous (I relate, I relate) got through her piece, I think from a play called…nope, nope, I forget. It was fun, though.
We all just sat around after that, discussing pros and cons of how it went, just dissecting the experience. We all rather fully understood by the end of it how valuable it would have been to practice these things out loud, and I’ll sure try harder to do THAT next time. More homework after that (aww!), in the form of an assignment to track down and start working on a NEW monologue (or even the one we did that class) for NEXT class, with a few addendums. I spent the better part of today out and about, loading up on Canadian plays (one of the addendums was that it had to be a Canuck piece), and I think I’ve got a good selection to work from. Now to power-read for the next few days and make a choice. I thought of just using the one from class, or even the piece I did at last week’s audition, but no. It feels like more fun if I start from scratch.
So there’s level 1, off and running. An intimate class, to be sure, but that’s probably for the best given what we’re doing. I’m pretty excited for the next few weeks, you bet. Vanessa, Julie, Brie said he’d e-mail you the specs for the assignment, but if ya want any more info or help, gimme a shout! And FYI, the Rideau Chapters has a small but useful section of Canadian plays, with a very decent amount by women writers. So there’s that. And the library, I’m told, if you’re into that ‘socialism’ thing.
Awright, I’m out! Got plays to read, lines to run, and hair to tease. Peace, love and soul, fellow thespians,
The Visitor (and Winston)