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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Wednesday (7/25/12) 12:32am - ... wherein Peter attends week 3, day 2 of the iO Summer Intensive.

Here are my notes from week 4, day 2 of the iO Summer Intensive.  Our instructor for week four is Lindsay Hailey.

* Openings, again.
        * Again, remember to dig into the last thing said.
        * When you hit maximum heightening, EDIT.

* 2-hander, 2 minutes, 3 lines total.
        * That is, a 2-minute scene with a total of 3 lines of dialog.
        * Class suggests a location that characters can engage with, spacework-wise.
        * This lets you practice an economy of language.
                * Me: don't be cocky and burn off a line of dialog for fun.
                * Actually use every line of dialog to maximum effect.
                        * ... and only when necessary.
        * No pantomime!
                * Minimal dialog means minimal dialog.
                        * As opposed to playing some big goddamn game of charades.
        * You don't need any artifice in this exercise.
                * Let your real moods inform your work.
                * Don't feel like you have to add 'comedy'.
        * Maximize eye contact.
        * Again, try to establish multiple relationships between the two characters.
        * A tweak: you play this with no environment, and no suggestion.
        * Another tweak: no spacework at all.
                * Even more eye contact is useful here.

* Openings from soundscapes.
        * Feel free to contribute words/snippets of dialog in these openings.
                * But try to avoid contributing those too early.
                        * This can force the opening to be about something really specific.
                        * Or can force it to accommodate lots of disparate bits of dialog.
                                * (This turns 'extracting a theme' into something of a math problem.)
                * Words/snippets can be *good* later in the opening.
                        * Esp. if, say, 80% of the cast is on the same page w/r/t what's going on.
                                * "Ohhh, it's a *hospital*.  Got it."
                * Even when introducing dialog into the mix, you still want to always chase/develop the last offer.
* Heavy conversations.
        * Split into pairs.
                * Try to pair up with somebody you haven't worked with much.
        * Then, have a real-life conversation about something heavy going on in your life.
        * One by one, each conversation gets to 'solo'        
                * That is, it carries on while everybody else goes silent.
                * That conversation gets some collaborative spacework to do while they talk.
        * This has some heavy, heavy, heavy realism.
                * Carry that over to your scenework.
        * Also, everyone in the 2-person scenes listened very actively and respectfully.
                * Carry that over to your scenework.

* 2-person kitchen scenes:
        * You're two pepole in a kitchen.
        * Play characters in a close relationship.
                * Find it through eye contact.
        * Near-constant eye contact.
                * This can keep you from getting thinky.
                * This helps you listen.
        * This scene won't necessarily be funny.
                * ... though it needn't be a fight.
                * ... though in practice, it usually is.
        * Leave lots of space.
                * So you can really listen.
        * Remember to 'pull the trigger' on whatever horrible thing you're afraid to do.
                * This is how you usually dig into that 3/7/10 heightening.
        * Once the scene's heightening hits 10, that quickly gets you to the end of the scene.
                * Me: it feels like, if one performer wants to heighten their character to 10, the other performer has to 'resist', and give them something to work against.
                        * Either by heightening something themselves.
                        * Or by digging in their heels and refusing to give the other character what they want.
* General Notes:
        * The Armando:
                * Ideally, it trades in the same vulnerability as Austin Secrets.
                * Often, it's useful to do the *opposite* of what's in the monolog.
                        * i.e., "Disprove the monologist's theory."
                * Whatever you do, don't just re-enact the monolog.
        * Having physical business can let you *relax* and keep things simple.
* Notes for me:
        * My notes for myself:
                * I was disengaging from my scenes a lot.
                * I didn't accept other people's offers actively enough.
                * I had a lot of trouble finding POVs for my characters.

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