Friday, July 13, 2012

rain


Rain & alchemy. On the seventh day it rained all day. All day the water washed the collective mind we inhabit.

A chair & a mirror were assembled & the space creaked a little more open as a blind, bowl & sheet shone. Simple utilitarian items that together make living less harsh.

The day before we had traced a path to Choisy-le-Roi where hung from an enormous ivy entwined tree two aluminum sculptured pieces by Louise Bourgeois. At first they resembled beehives but on closer examination were two bodies wrapped around each other. Or were they mouths being gagged? Named "The Welcome" they identified the newly married, especially emigrants from all around the world: "... are you welcome. Or are you foreigners we want to get rid of?" The streets were relatively empty and plums fell from sidewalk trees.

In the evening a huge embrace from Robert Bresson's nephew followed by beer & cheese and talk ranging from renowned French geographer, writer and anarchist Jacques Élisée Reclus to the process experienced during work with Ludwig Flaszen when the world stops. His darting eyes and gestures of an aesthete could not deter his generous spirit. A raconteur thirsty for stories.

The day before that we stood in line at Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord to sit on pillows in the aisle of the first balcony for the comic ballet The Bourgeois Gentleman by Moliere and music by Lully. The theatre a rustic jewel reopened by Peter Brook that has only strayed slightly from its founding policies of 1974 spoke of a rich traditional culture both in decay and renewal.

Marmot asked what was missing?

I felt the incongruities between the Japanese choreography of Kaori Ito and the musical form played so eloquently by The Baroque Ensemble of Limoges created a tension if not dramatically perhaps stylistically.

Marmot dismissed the idea.

We have burrowed & meandered on the border zones where daily routine blends with the sweat & spiritual "eternal return of the eternal" dimension. The life laboratory will always find the lavatory nearby.

:: Note :: ... a week in Paris ...

Monday, July 09, 2012

Siene

Summer afternoon by the Siene.

Once you've seen Cezanne apples you can't look at apples the same way again. Really? She tells me she doesn't have a plan. There is worry on her face and she jokingly corrects herself.

When you walk the streets of an old world city do you feel the ghosts of history oppressing the space within? Why do we want to capture ourselves in the picture of Notre Dame?

A child plays the Play Me I'm Yours piano in Hopital Hotel Dieu as we seek solace from the unknowable. Bandages and silent corridors of people murmuring in black provide relief.

But when the sky opens on the Pont au Change bridge the Seine flows through the radiance of the panorama of the city with it's golden domes and white stone walls and the talk on the spirit of place, how objects or closed spaces contain the past, dissolves. How deep is the Siene?

Pass the backside where you dare not walk at night trying to identify the year of the blue doored building, its splendid sliver of light precious beyond beliefs.

We be at the place we now call home though we have but shared the attic for three brief nights. Enough time to clean the floor and grow accustomed to the carpeted then bare wooden stairs, all four flights.

Baguette & rice-cake before the deep sleep. Imagine a crumbling cobblestone way, a starry pavement & an invisible handrail. Without a path we go everywhere. The forests are ancient. Older than all of us. Our acts should cross out the world like an empty barge gliding on the grey waters. Push the chair under the open window which looks out on the street to watch the Siene float away. Our survival we owe, just barely, to perpetual birth. Close the window.

Tell me your Sunday.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Monet

Viewing Monet's Nymphéas series at the The Musée de l'Orangerie, In the Tuileries gardens, Paris is a deep meditation of a sustained practice on the presence of light ...

... the Water Lilies panels change moment by moment under the natural light filtering in through the daylight sky ... the serene movement of the eight curved walls (Morning, The Clouds, Green Reflections, Morning with Willows & four others) within the two white elliptical rooms is broken only by the awkward jerky humans walking through the Gallery

... an education of the eye ...

Look to where the light reflects.
Look with peripheral vision.
Move slowly & enter the color.
Be still & breathe with every movement.
Adjust the gaze & release.
When you are empty smile.


::Note:: ... we immerse ourselves for two hours bathing in the "decompression space" ...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

crumbs of memory


... The Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Woolf Conference yielded two open parts to their program. A play & poetry reading: Angel in the House by Eureka at Greystone Theatre presented by the University of Saskatchewan Drama Department & poet Louise Halfe/Skydancer reading at the Mendel Art Gallery ...

... what I love about conferences, though I was not a participant, is the research aura that surrounds these events ... a celebration of research ... both events ultimately revealed treasures of knowledge ... 

... just some simple notes afterwards ...

... who was Bloomsbury? Eureka? ... the play was partly "an exploration of the gender and sexual politics of Bloomsbury, her intellectual/artistic circle ... Bloomsbury's interdisciplinary nature ... Woolf's friends, family members, and colleagues suggest how a combination of academic work, artistic production, and political analysis can articulate itself through public engagement." ... " a veteran member of New York's Ridiculous Theatre company" ...

... listening to Louise Halfe reading ... refreshingly passionate and playful ... always teaching and learning ... She introduced herself first in Cree then in English ... shared wihtikow, wisahkecahk, and e-kweskit ... couldn't catch the first name ... as Halfe couldn't remember e-kweskit till the end half jokingly saying not time to share I guess ... guess it's not time for me to remember ...  

... she read with such joyful rhythm accelerating to thoughtful silences ... gesturing to the skies and horizons ... peering at us over the top of her glasses to make sure we were not lost ... her words rose from her flaming red dress and silver hair like the glowing heated stones and smoke of a healing lodge ... that's what it was ... not a poetry reading but a prayer of oral storytelling ... disguised as good gossip ... 

... she answered questions exhuberently ... concluded  wanting to know where everyone was from and was excited to hear the names of Nebraska, Idaho, Italy as well as Scotland and England ... 



:: Note :: ... leaving crumbs of memory ...

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Impulse WS


Workshop Impulse concluded

Awkwardly first described as Towards Action (from impulse through association to elements of inaction) the ten day sessions ultimately examined the practice and vocabulary of Joe Chaikin and the creative actor.

"I felt a terrific longing for a kind of ensemble," Mr. Chaikin told author William Goldman, for the book, "The Season." "I wanted to play with actors, actors who felt a sensitivity for one another... In order to come to a vocabulary, we had to teach each other: we had no ambitions other than to meet and play around... " (Playbill)

The days submerged into seven investigations: space, place, territory, emblem, sphere & zone, occupation & inhabit. 

The individual body & voice training exercises moved subtly into acts of mapping and connection forming constellations.

Words flowed from reflective actors lips: spontaneity, silence, source, partner, community, ether and beacon.

Fragments from Kassandra in the Anne Carson translation of Aiskhylos Agamemnon and Samuel Beckett Stories and texts for nothing (4, 8 & 9) were found, given, voiced & shared.

Chaikin Open Theater workshop, 1966. 

The improvisations were wondrous raids on the inarticulate. The studies were intense
I hear breathing. . . . I listen to it and feel it. It is regular and hypnotic. It turns into a drone, and I drone too. . . . I can hear it all around me; I am within it. I match myself to it. I don't want to alter it but to let it alter me. - A book on the Open Theatre - Robert Pasolli (32)
There was a murder. 

There was a mask.

A manifesto.


What is an impulse?
Calling Impulse from a far. 
Impulse is our root teacher.
Impulse is a very personal matter.
Impulse is the practice that enables us to mature.
An impulse bestows the empowerment to transmit a text. 

One can meet many impulses but experience no change.


:: Note :: ... deepest gratitude to Stefan, Kristen, Andrew and Jared ... when asked what they had taken away they responded ... a letting go of holding all mental attachment to ideas, allowing a free access to wholeness, an awareness for nothing, not to be an emerging artist but simply the artist ... thanks for the openness ...


Friday, June 01, 2012

WS Notes

Workshop:
Towards Action 
(from Impulse through association to elements of inaction)
Participants: Stefan, Kristen, Jared & Andrew
Monday, May 21 - Friday June 1 @ The Temple 7 - 9 pm.

Day 1:  Space:  Introduce Centering, The Plastiques, Cat and Voice
             fundamentals of breath, chant & body connection. Vigil.
(Stefan, Kristen, Jared & Andrew)

Day 2:  Place: Centering multiple times with movement together. Floor work.
            Establishing place & enter with exchange.
(Stefan, Kristen, Jared & Andrew)

Day 3: Territory: Searching connection/ contact. Weight & Balance.
             The inner dance & the solo. Dancingness. Silence.
(Stefan, Kristen, Jared & Andrew)

Day 4: Emblem:  Entering the space one at a time.  Breath and Vibration to
            word. Singingness. Improvisation. 
(Stefan, Kristen, Jared & Andrew)

Day 5: Occupy: Circles & Revolutions in place.Wearing the place and
            watching the Shadow.
(Stefan & Kristen)


______________  Sat. & Sun. break ________________


Day 6: Improvisation: Kristen leads the work repeating previous session for
            Andrew. Improv. around Kassandra text.
(Stefan, Kristen, & Andrew)

Day 7: Zones & Spheres around place.
(Stefan, Kristen, Jared  Andrew)

Day 8: Inhabit: Each place is occupied. Add materials. Fabric and stick.
(Stefan, Kristen, Jared & Andrew)

Day 9: Individual Etudes. Power Position in Place. Follow Breath, Body,
            Voice and Text. Kristen guides Stefan, Stefan guides Jared, Jared
             guides Andrew. Repeat Etude.    
             Repeat Etude one after the other. 
            False ending.
            Stefan. Jared & Andrew repeat and then shape etude. 
            The Murder & Mourning
(Stefan, Kristen, Jared & Andrew)

Day 10: Crescents & whirling. Hanging & twisting. Drone. Mask.
(Stefan, Kristen, Jared & Andrew)

:: Note :: ... just a bunch of code words for documentary purposes ... 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ensemble


Plato said the human soul is composed of reason, will and desire. 

Throughout all my experiences in theatre-making it has been the ensemble which is the backbone of the process & paradoxically the most neglected and unrecognized aspect of  the "work".  

In my mid-twenties in Vienna, as a member of AMoK, Zbigniew Cynkutis, founding member of the now legendary Jerzy Grotowski’s Laboratory Theatre, chastised us in broken english, "You don't know your places. Listen to each other. Acknowledge each others role within the group and you will be more creatively strong." 

These thoughts surfaced reflecting on the latest incarnation of Skit Skit  following their seventh show Skit Skit Unplugged.

They are a sketch comedy ensemble working together now for four years and for this show were five: 1. Big, brash, bold & egocentric, 2. Lively, fun, relaxed & selfless, 3. Studied, sharp, smart & driven, 4. Intense, fall guy, outsider & empathetic, 5. Energetic, crafty, lovable & appeasing.

A powerfully creative mix full of huge potential.

Ensembles rise and fall. They flatline and need ... well challenges. What challenge will Skit Skit accept as they face the future?

:: Note :: ... wishing you the best & hope for more soon ...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

SoulWork defined

It has become a part of a way of looking at playing the play. Developed over the years & seems time now to open and share.

SoulWork: An Associology experiment on the play Grass Tomb by Oh Tae-sok. A Drama 119 class experience at "The Temple" (studio in Saskatoon) conducted by Raymon Montalbetti with music AeRan Jeong.






Text

Actors encounter a play. Read the playwrights text. Follow stage directions. Research the setting, the time & the place. Prepare to build a character. Create a role. Listen to the vision of their co-workers. Uncover emotional landscapes. Imagine a life.

All this is known. It is the skin and bones, the tissue and muscles, the senses and thoughts and the heart and breath of a play and playing.

What about the soul. I mean the soul of the play. Everything unknown beyond the play boundries. If a play has a soul how ...

Peter Brook writes in the Empty Space: "In the theatre 'if' is an experiment."

SoulWork is a noetic experiment to touch the soul of the play.

A play comes into your life at a specific moment.
Gather & then select all that lies around.

SoulWork is a collection of associations woven together in a particular time&space.
Impulses are generated and followed as if in a dream.

SoulWork is a window into the one shaping the action.
Territories are carved by impulses.

SoulWork is an experiment to keep the contact with the mystery which lies at the heart of playing the play.


:: Note :: ... have posted on SoulWork / SleepWork but never attempted a definition ...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A project


The end of term brings final presentations.  A Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) group chose to play with the tool blacklight. They told a story of the creation of the medicine wheel.

Mixing a natural animal soundscape with Electric Powwow The Creator: 4 Medicines  a piece of disarming simplicity emerged to reveal untold depth. There was no narration just movement, sound & image. They affectionately called the music "dubstep powwow". The presentation ended with members of the class making a medicine wheel which glowed in the blacklight as seen in the photo.


Within the written documentation was a deeply personal statement. Shared with permission.


"A personal account that I had with a Sacred Eagle was last August. Last August my 18-year-old cousin was traveling from Saskatoon to North Battleford when a tire blew. They did a 180 and landed in a ditch. My cousin got out of his vehicle and noticed there was an Eagle sitting on a fence watching him. He immediately called his dad to let him know he was okay. The next day I awoke early August 3rd to go to work on bright sunny day, I was having a happy day that day when I went on my break at 11:30am for lunch. I had 11 missed calls and multiple text messages and voicemails. The night before, my cousin had went to a party out by Cochin and on their way back to North Battleford, my cousin became rowdy and upset so his cousins let him out to cool off on the high way and drove away to give him space. When they returned for him there was ambulance on scene. My cousin had been hit by a car and was killed instantly. Apparently he was standing in the middle of the road waiting when a car hit him. There was a four day wake that was attended where a member of the family was to sit with him by his casket for the four days while someone attended to a fire outside that was never to be allowed to go out. On the fourth day we buried my cousin which was one of the hardest days of my life; it was the day before my birthday, August 08, 2011. As the drum was playing in the background with sad songs and healing songs, my cousin was being buried. After they laid him to rest, I looked in the sky and soaring high above us on a clear sunny day was an Eagle, taking him home. It was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen. It’s been a hard year having first Christmases without him, his 19th birthday just passed and we’re all still coping on a daily bases. Today I am writing this on Easter Sunday and am having a difficult time writing this, but I feel it’s necessary to share my account with a sacred Eagle that took my cousin home 8 months ago. I dream of him often and whenever I see Eagles or traditional drum music I think of him.. My heart hurts for him still and I’m learning how to cope with it every day."

A powerful example of transforming painful life experiences into an act of creation.

:: Note :: ... not the first time this student had opened herself to the "work" required to play ... it is a high aim to persuade yourself that your studies and your life are one ... i call it "journey work" ... thanks to all students who take the journey...


Friday, March 16, 2012

Creative Drama Sessions


This past winter term I conducted nine two hour sessions, once a week, with a highly creative, enthusiastic & energetic group of twelve Grade Three to Grade Six youth.

Each session we explored materials and/or form: traditional (meaning rooted in the oral ways) storytelling, shadow plays, puppets, masks & fabric, hoop dancing, ribbons, creating a scene and playmaking.

For our last session we returned to the source. I invited each to bring a story. It is a sign of the times that the youngest brought her self composed story on an iPod. The most intriguing "story" was scratched on a six inch diameter round clay circle wrapped in tinfoil displaying the story through pictograph. She called it a badge. (The shape was similiar to the picture though her scratching was not a natural representation. This was an art/social studies school project. Kudos to her teacher!)

I was reminded of ancient Babylonia and the story of Gilgamish told in cuneiform.

It shared the story of Treaty Six.

"Treaty 6 is an agreement between the Canadian monarch and the Plain and Wood Cree Indians and other tribes of Indians at Fort Carlton, Fort Pitt and Battle River. The area agreed upon by the Plain and Wood Cree represents most of the central area of the current provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta." (Wikipedia)

As the session progressed. We acted out each story, directed by the author. Two of the participants had rather long, developed stories. We divided into groups working & sharing the stories. Finally we arrived at Treaty Six.

The characters were the sun, the river, the grasses, the axe, the First Nations & The Europeans. I narrated the story. The children chose roles and began to add dialogue. I was informed First Nations believed nature were spirits and thus could also talk as well as make sounds. They wanted to repeat the story over and over again, switching roles each time adding their own personal touches. Europeans spoke in English or German accents. "Tansi", the Cree greeting was introduced.  I slipped to the background when they took over the narration.

Although we moved on to another story they played out Treaty Six as the first parent arrived and wanted to do it again with the arrival of each parent.

Drawing depicting the Treaty Six signing site.

It was a remarkable completion of our time together. I rarely planned the sessions beyond bringing materials. I wanted them to explore and honor their own desires. This was not "school" but a time out of time for them to play. A time for me to listen to their creativity.

There was chaos & anarchy, at least from my perspective, though they always seemed to know what was going on and they mostly followed my interjections quite happily even when it curbed their excitement.

I developed a listening and shaped the "moments" of reflection. I believe we had incredible fun. I did.

I wish to thank all, especially Tara who assisted me with an intuitive sense of play and wisdom. She was involved in high school productions I supervised, was a first year student in my drama in education class, is now in my acting class at the drama department and will be completing her internship next year. The future of education cannot be in more capable hands.

:: Note :: ... it has been two years for these community association sessions ... they have taught me much ... many thanks to the parents, organizers and school caretaker for their support ... just a reminder I was promised some of the stories would be sent to me ...





Saturday, February 04, 2012

Almighty Voice and His Wife in Saskatoon



There are rare times in the world of theatre when one feels honored to be present at a performance. Where a profound shared experience is being carved into living memory and at the same time a deeply personal response shutters through the body articulating, "I am here bearing witness to an important event."  


Peter Brook wrote in The Empty Space: 
Repetition, representation, assistance. These words sum up the three elements, each of which is needed for the event to come to life. But the essence is still lacking, because any three words are static, any formula is inevitably an attempt to capture a truth for all time. Truth in the theatre is always on the move.
And so the truth of what I felt, what I experienced, what so deeply touched the core of what it means to be human is on the move and fleeting. The light of the moon, that shone so powerfully during Almighty Voice and His Wife, so liberating, challenging and joyous - will that moon remain steady, long & true? The moon plays and illuminates the next night & the night after that & the day after till ... will I still hear that song of the faces of the moon ... the old lady ... the young girl ... the dark side?

I so desperately needed to capture the essence. It wasn't the "what" I had seen that requested reflection it was the "why". Why had the performance released such force. I knew what I had seen but could I describe the necessary elements or conditions that create the ebb and flow of living theatre? The tide that washes through?

Daniel David Moses claims in his Artist's statement, "Someday I will be a storyteller". Yet he is truly a gifted and acclaimed playwright of today. In his essay How My Ghosts Got Pale Faces (Pursued by a Bear, Talks, Monologues and Tales, Exile Editions, 2005) he describes, while working in the fall of 1978 as a researcher at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, encountering the story of the young Cree warrior Kisse-Manitou-Wayou who lived & was killed in Saskatchewan in 1897.
"I knew as soon as I came across the story that I would someday do something with it, write something about it.  I made a photocopy, started a file." 
Almighty Voice and His Wife was penned in 1991. The play is as simple as any act of brutal colonialism, that culture clash which occurs at contact.  And it is as complex as the struggle for Truth and Reconciliation

Act I shares with disarming dialogue, gentle poetics and rich humor a tragic love story. A clear, relentless narrative articulated in linear scenic form which hardly prepares the way for Act II, a wild confounding minstrel show performed in vaudeville whiteface shattering, mocking and exaggerating every possible stereotypical racist behavior. It is an exocism. It is cartharsis.  Daniel David Moses is a magnificent writer devoted to language and place. Almighty Voice and His Wife is a masterpiece finding its place easily beside Shakespeare.

Native Earth Performing Arts (NEPA) was founded in 1982 making it the oldest professional Aboriginal performing arts company in Canada, creating plays that are the seminal works of Canadian drama and forging a central place for development of major Native theatre artists. A history and tradition unwavering from their
 "seven traditional principles which inform decisions in all undertakings. It is our belief that these tenets not only honour Aboriginal values, but are universal to all cultures in various manifestations: Courage, Generosity, Tolerance, Strength of Character, Patience, Humility, Wisdom."


Approaching thirty years of survival NEPA has crafted an ensemble of workers dedicated to performance and pedagogy.
The present artistic director Tara Beagan has eloquently documented this intimate process in "Elder up! : A Mentor/Mentee Memoir". (Canadian Theatre Review Vol. 147 Summer 2011).

The Backstage is a relatively small box theatre. Seats, I speculate, around 200 and on Jan. 27 was filled to capacity. The majority of the audience were First Nation and predominantly under forty. They embraced the action whole heartedly. They reacted to each and every detail with a generous emotional response. They brought an active interest and life to the watching. Did they know the story? Was it theirs? They certainly knew of Duck Lake and Regina and the Queen. They understood the spoken Cree and other more subtle references I certainly missed. They laughed and laughed and were still. They allowed the storytelling to totally envelope and inhabit the moment with no actor/spectator separation. They had this overwhelming desire to live the moment clearly and intensely. In fact, sitting across from me, at the final movement of what I experienced as a dance of redemption with a cry/song so ancient and so tomorrow that penetrated the heart, a man wearing a large black stetson sobbed. Not sentimental tears but deep sobs of remembered pain and hope. His partner stroked his back.

The actors Paula-Jean Prudat and Derek Garza gave of themselves fully. Derek Garza as Almighty Voice played within his vast vocal and physical range with a huge confidence. A confidence which allowed a gentle direct contact with the only child in the audience. He addressed specific lines to the young ears and later flirted and teased a young women with charm and elegance. A confidence that allowed, what Globe and Mail critic Kelly Nestruck describes, "emotional arcs" sweep through his well trained  presence from and towards the creative source. A confidence that somehow allowed Paula-Jean Prudat  dare stretch to her limits. 

She pushed and risked what felt like every fiber of her being taking us dangerously close to the edge-point of performance. Standing in the audience aisle she hurled vindictive hate towards the ghost of Almighty Voice with uncontrollable venom and it was all I could do to restrain from reaching out and holding her hand to comfort and calm her ...  this ... this farcically dressed Mountie Women/ whiteface White Girl / Wife of Almighty Voice / Metis of Meadow Lake. She is quoted in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, “When I first read the story it really did terrify me and yet I was hugely compelled and intrigued by it. The beauty and poetry of Daniel David Moses’ script is superb.” More tellingly she states, “It’s definitely a homecoming in that way. Telling the story where it originated and honouring the people from that area is hugely important.” An echo of the Artistic Director's program notes.
Former Native Earth Artistic Director Yvette Nolan (co-hosting at Hardly Art) brings the show she programmed while at NEPA - a show that cannot be stopped - to her current prairie home base. As demand for the show leads it to home soil, this play solidifies its place in our theatrical canon at the age of twenty-one, just as Almighty Voice himself secured a claim to infamy at twenty-one. We offer you our work - work we present with pride - as thanks to all of the caretakers of the lands wherein we play.
Do I now grasp the essence? Know the conditions that create great theatre? Seems possible. Devotion, Dedication, Desire, Danger. All were present that evening. All intermingled woven together. Stitched together by all. 

Eugenio Barba writes in The Paper Canoe,  "Theatre is men and women who do it ... a way of thinking and dreaming of the theatre, of materializing it and transmitting it through the centuries."  

And they do it again and again and again. Practice.  

The essence is, In the end, to give thanks. To recognize the moment and to be responsible to the "lands wherein we play."

:: Note ::  ... go see it wherever it plays ... returning to school, beginning a new term, taking attendance the first name of the student in my GFA (Grade 9 General Fine Arts) class was Almightyvoice, Danielle ... she was shy and didn't want to share what she knew about the story of Almighty Voice ... but she said she knew ... Hoka Hey! ...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

the invisible actor


There once was a woman who spent a long time backstage. She had no reason for doing this, other than she was weary, and sadly she was  even more weary backstage, which is dark and consists mainly of scenic flats and props made to look real but are illusions. 

One day she noticed a spotlight in the corner and decided to plug it in.  A beam of gold light shot across the stage. A group of actors flinched and shielded their eyes, a director shouted, a stage manager came running and stage hands appeared as if from nowhere thrashing about in the dark as if a fire alarm had sounded and they were seeking the exit. All stopped in front of the light.

Dust particles danced in the beam and a moth wildly fluttered trapped eventually exploding nearing the heat of the light. Someone pulled the plug and backstage returned to its weary dark illusions.

She thought about crying or maybe screaming but was too weary and besides she found herself onstage only no one could see her. It was as if she were a ghost. No, not a ghost because some people claim to see ghosts and she was invisible. 

She had always known that things backstage were expected to be invisible until they were on stage when they were expected to visibly perform their function. Now she was onstage and she concluded her function was to be invisible. 

She crossed upstage to downstage. She liked being invisible. I mean wouldn't you if you could have the chance, at least for a short time. She began to follow an actor. A particularly older person who had no lines and was silently involved in the scene. This actor was inaudible and she was invisible. She was the invisible actor and she thought, " Now what?"

In any event she was no longer weary.

:: Note :: ... 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

after anti-acting


"After Stanislavsky, acting was changed; after Meyerhold, directing; after Brecht, playwriting. But after Grotowski?" - Richard Schechner


Life is acting. Do we understand that? Do we want to understand that.

But what, in us, questions life is acting? What disputes that, despite everything?

That we think thought is life. The most important thing is that our experiences reveal we are acting all the time. That when we feel we do not act we do not live. That we want nothing more than to live.

We act. But we do not know that we act. We do not live. But we do not know that we do not live.

Actors train to act. Actors keep the life of wanting to act. Of wanting to be in the living action.

But how do we act? And why do we care about acting?

Somehow, we have a real relationship to questions on acting, of living. Somehow, those questions mean something to all of us.

We do not know what acting means.We experience not acting but the impossibility of acting. Not living, but the impossibility of living. We experience acting in the possibility of the experience of the impossibility of the living action. Not living, but the impossibility of the experience of the impossibility of non living. 

:: Note :: ... what is that ...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

occupy anti-acting


There once was an actor who was different from all other actors. Unlike them, there wasn't a consciousness of acting. The character thing-in-itself was as unknowable on stage as it was unknowable in the phenomenal world.
The moment other actors entered the contours of a character it was as though they would test a possession and leave the limits of empirical knowing. Then when they exited they would return to a state of self consciousness as though they were who they lived to occupy.
But this particular actor had no awareness of a playing self-possession, no awareness of a living presence, of exiting and entering and Instead would play each and every moment in a single life occupying stream.
So for a long time when entering the character everything would simply move in a stronger current, and then, in what seemed like the next moment, would return to a slower flow with little idea of what had happened other than this intense sense of dispossession and unknowing because of course there was no way of knowing what was an actor, and who could act, and what was an action, and that this was how the self=thing-in-itself which had come to be what it was: a naturalist assuming the posture of being the spirit and “carrier” of culture who is nothing but “represents” almost everything, playing and “substituting”.
:: Note :: ... just too much fun in making non sense ... as always there is a template ... check out helicopter by Michael Barrish who i am so glad is blogging again ... 

Saturday, January 07, 2012

North of Sleep

North of Sleep

At night, 
my body is a compass
swinging to every direction:

past borderlands, 
the ruins of unknown, 
empty streets 
en route 
to elsewhere,

slipping into rooms 
where bearings 
jolt me to a 
wakefulness of frigid air
and dormant train tracks 
wait to halt traffic 
twice a day.

By morning, 
I approach nausea,
relentless calls 
to speak some truth,
a light with no shadow 
but a heaviness. 
The howl, dragged 
from northern lights
I couldn’t even understand.

I stop, let my soul 
go on ahead.
Show me.
(Shouting now.)
Show me.
(Frightened now.)
The flaked ceiling points 
to a bitten fingernail scratch  
throwing grief across the back
as a one perfect window 
diffuses time.

Noodles & coffee: 
in a fractal tell a 
haunting dirty knot 
of restless 
grime & eyes 
bleeding in dreams 
of forest.
Rise blind.
Reset automatically
to metabolism 
& panic.
A syncopated 
hallucination.



:: Note :: ... watched lightening over water ... wondered on krapps last tape ... wanted to remember lear ... was the face of my mother ... 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 ... the year of the black dragon ... canada post stamp ...

Friday, January 06, 2012

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Jim Thompson

:: Note :: ... a  gentle soul was my uncle ... a thoughtful, caring individual who seemed to always be of service to the other ... my last image was of him talking to my son on a visit to Ottawa ... he had discovered Stefan's passion for history and listened to this teenager with attentiveness and respect ... before we left he gifted a book from his library ... other than his intense compassion & devotion to his family this was his deepest love - books: reading, researching, contemplating, collecting, challenging & most importantly sharing ... he was a bit of what I imagined 'a man of letters' and  wrote letters to my mother which she treasured more than any jewlery ... she will miss those words in meticulous handwriting ... we will miss his gentle caring soul ... in our thoughts we will receive his letters as he writes them from another place than the place of actuality ...