Monday, March 12, 2012

Practical Application

I've been finding the work of the company creaping into my daily life. Thoughts of training follow me into the subway. I'm aware of the atmosphere in the station and how people move and adjust to one another. I hear the quiet conversations on the train, both physical and verbal. I'm pouring wine at my serving job with a sense of beauty and ease. I teach my classes with an open heart, and I'm slowly letting go of many reservations I have about acting.

I've taken many classes and workshops trying to become a better actor, thinking that the answers would appear in a three hour class with twenty participants. Over these past months, I've learned that diligence and committment to the work is where real progress lives. I find it fascintating that in a Michael Chekhov exercise called Staccato/Legato, we first fully committ to one direction, sending all of our energy out to that direction, first, and then collect energy back. We let go of energy to make room for something new to come in. I've done this exercise for years, but recently I have found myself doing the exercise before auditions or before my day job or at night before I go to sleep. Because being an actor means being present, in your work, in your space, and in your life.

Today, in the audition room I chose material I had spoken this past week in training. Words I knew well and felt passionate about. Words that didn't need performance or tricks. And I don't think I've ever felt more comfortable in a space or in myself.

Sometimes you have to fully committ to one direction and let all your energy go in that direction, and then be open to whatever energy you collect back.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Michael Chekhov Technique - How does it work on you?

I have been leading the company in Michael Chekhov Technique for the last few months, and I would be really glad to hear reactions from the company. I am constantly discovering my voice as a teacher, and I have to be honest, it feels wonderful to be rooted in a technique, to know I have a specialty of sorts. That idea pushes me to get better at it - understanding the technique, teaching the technique, and ultimately applying the technique.

I would love to hear some reflections about your experiences with the work. Also, what questions do you have about applying the technique? Obviously, we are not only working with the MC Technique, so we don't get a lot of time to explore it necessarily. But what I think is wonderful is that it is so transferable and applicable in all that we do as a company. What are some connections that you are making between Chekhov and the Robert Taylor work, say? Or the vocal work that we do? Personally, for me, applying the principle of radiating to the Text Circle has been shapely for me. By simultaneously collecting and sending a connecting energy to the participants in the middle, by opening my New Eyes and sending energy back to the outer circle when I am in the middle - I have to say I have been consistently feeling a power that was previously fleeting. It's a grounding force that has allowed me to be open and supple when putting text on impulse.

So what about you? Please feel free to be candid. This blog is in place so that we can do just that, reflect, ask questions, and consider and share what we do as a company. Let's hear about it...

Taylor V