Monday, March 22, 2010

Trust in Breathing

First, I can't explain how ... honestly, I can't even find a word to describe how training is for me. What follows is a list of words that flows ... exciting, embodying, mind-blowing, tingling, absorbing, relaxing, releasing. I can't pick just one. To watch the actors of Magis accept everything in the space during training and to be able to let go for two hours and just follow my natural impulse was exactly what I needed on sunday.

I did have two words that kept flowing through my mind afterwards.

Trust. and Breath.

In college I felt very trusting and in tune with my body, breath, and voice. I could tap into my elbow and trust that it could lead me through a space or rehearsal, because touching base with my elbow was something I did on a weekly basis. Not having spent much time with my elbow, or ribs, or ears, I'm finding a disconnect that is intriguing.

There is one exercise that (each time) has allowed me fully connect all elements of body, breath and impulse. I don't know what it's called, but it's when one person pushes you and you have to allow your body to move in whatever responce it wants. I find that in the exercise there is a series of steps that must be followed by two parties in order for this to fully work. I will use my spin with Wendy as an example:

*Wendy looks up from her last spin.
*Wendy Sees me.
*Wendys' energy move her toward me.
*Wendy Makes eye contact.
*A dialoge is exchanged without either of us knowing it:
-W:can i push you?
-M:yes you can!
-W:I'm going to push you.
*Wendy pushes my right shoulder.
*My body reacts.

I find my energy is forced and unnatural when I am the person pushing. But when I am pushed my body takes over in a strong way and at the same time I'm heavy and light. It's really amazing. I see images as I move through the space. It's a trust in my whole being that I am enjoying. Something I haven't tapped into in years!

It's nice to feel my breath again. To see how it applies to all elements of the actor. Especially to trust.

When we had to take in air, hold in and then release it across the room, I was relieved to know that many people feel they are going to pass out. I almost didn't contiune the exercise because of that sensation and then George made the comment, "If you feel like your going to pass out tell your body your not going to die, and that it's only 20 seconds!" I would have never thought of doing this. But the next time we went through the exercise I started to get black spots again and I paused my thinking for a moment and said, "It's only 8 more seconds. Relax, trust your breathe!" And the spots went away, my lungs relaxed, and I felt very connected.

There are so many instances when I feel like I have to push for a responce or an impulse, or struggle through an exercise when all I really need to do is ask my body for 8 more seconds and trust that it will take over!

I'm still in my head for many of the drills that we do at training, but i'm hoping with time that I can allow myself to really begin to trust what will happen, will happen. Wether it be an amazing connect with my toes, or the feeling of nothingness, that I can accept that that's where I am that day and find a trust in it!

It's a long first post, but I felt like sharing!

-Stephanie

3 comments:

Erika said...

Stephanie, thanks for posting! I agree that when we really let go, training can be a transformative experience. Your comment about rushing through moments, not trusting your body, being afraid of not breathing, etc. is so indicative to me of what we are working to conquer in training. So often we don't trust ourselves enough to really experience a moment on stage (or in life!). Training can hopefully teach us that we are not going to fall apart, even if we fail. We are free to fail, to fall, and to get up again. To let someone push us to the ground knowing that someone -- even (and perhaps espcecially)if it's just you!-- will be there to pick us back up again.

Thoughts said...

Nice post! I don't act, but I find it useful to think about breathing and trust frequently... thanks for giving me a vivid image of the exercise.

Colista said...

Awww Steph, so good to read your posts, I have some of the same experiences during training!
I really enjoy having the space to move my body in a free and 'unscripted' way! I feel as though, I spend so much of my day in a confined space and/or position. Squeezing through crowds on the streets and in the subways, sitting at a desk all day, lounging in my teeeny tiny apartment. It's so refreshing to be able to stretch out and let my body explore space!
I know just what you mean about the breathing exercise (Sipping into the chambers!!!) It's funny, in HS I was a competitive swimmer and we did underwater drills ALL the time! I could swim down the pool and halfway back just fine, but somehow in training I get dizzy, lol. Gotta find a way to recapture the mindset I have when I'm swimming.....