Having some down time between the just-completed Movement workshop with Andy Massingham, and the stage debut of the MY SUMMER CRUSH Performance Ensemble, so figgered I’d take this opportunity (hurray for laptops!) To yammer a bit about OMG ANDY MASSINGHAM MOVEMENT WORKSHOP!! Andy Massingham is a local actor/creator/everything else about town, whose most recent credit is directing the smash ARMS AND THE MAN for Odyssey Theatre, just wrapping up its run in Strathcona Park. He knows his shit.
I had done a movement workshop a couple of years back, courtesy of Andy’s superhuman partner Alix Sideris, so I had an inkling of what to expect…it would be amazing, I’d sweat, and there would be wonderful, beautiful pain. It was a bit of a wonky turnout, in that it was entirely dudes…Myself, Leslie (I know, but he’s a guy, trust me), Dave Brown, Andrew, Adam, Travis, and Ryan. I’d done workshops of one stripe or another with all these fellas before, so it was a close-knit group. Andy showed up predictably full of smiles and energy, and teeming with wondrous ideas of how to teach and abuse us hapless lot. First up was a sort of trust exercize involving chairs, a lot of running, and a lot of leaps (or rather, sits) of faith as we scampered about the stage, randomly sitting down and hoping someone else would run up behind us with a chair to sit on. It was the first of many astoundingly simple but wonderfully terrifying adventures of the day.
We worked with what Andy calls Impulses, in scenework that was very reminiscent of something I did with Boss Barry Karp back in my OSSD days. He’s run us through a simple scene, with 6 main beats, or ‘impulses’. Then replay it, only faster. Then faster. Then FASTER. Then please kill me, but the point got across. And introduction to the wonders of gravity followed, with an intro by Andy to the ‘point of no return’, and just how much work it takes NOT to fall down after the tipping point.
Eventually we got there…falling. Lots and lots of falling. Andy, having once performed in a show that was pretty much 45 minutes of falling with some text here and there (the lovely BIFURCATE ME, by the way), knows him some falling down, and he ran us through a good round of pratfalling. We started with the classic spin-drop, adding in a bit of a trip once we’d all had a chance to hurt ourselves in fun ways. Then came the joy/horror of a Buster Keaton inspired fall and roll off a chair, which I’m still smarting from. I didn’t know it was possible to hurt your throat from falling down, but I managed.
Might have to rearrange the furniture in my apartment, so I can perfect that sucker (with apologies in advance to my downstairs neighbours). Kind of annoyed at myself for how much I was resisting the fall, like I really had to force myself into it. But then, I never said I wasn’t a chickenshit.
All in all, bruise for bruise, this was as cool a workshop as I’d expected it would be. And since I’m about to have Andy as one of my full-time instructors at the Ottawa Theatre School, I’m well aware that there’s more of this to come in my life. Fucking YIKES. This is a short entry for now, a bit of a bumper before I get the mighty BAD DOG DAY roundup going. It was pretty epic, gang. In the meantime, there’s plenty of MY SUMMER CRUSH left in this final week, with the regular Crush Improv workshops and performances, plus workshops and shows from awesome guest-stars MONTREAL IMPROV and UNCALLED FOR. Be there, unless you enjoy missing some of the best times and biggest laughs in town. Which is just weird…stop being weird. Peace, love and soul,
Kevin Reid, the Visitor (and Winston)
PS: sorry again Adam, for that one time I was late with the chair!! You owe me one.