Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Chapter Twosville

So last night was another fine Jennings Level 3 class. We warmed up with some wacky games, one of which was rather difficult, but it didn't have that "ha-ha! we fooled you, you screwed up, and you're OUT!" feeling that my experience with some other warmups has given me. Basically, the whole thing seemed more light-hearted, and more like a warmup than a competition. The game in question was "George", which involves a series of odd cooperative handclaps in a circle, followed by calling out your own name and somebody else's name. That was hard enough to coordinate and do in something resembling rhythm, but then people would move to take other people's positions, and assume their name, which made it more complicated. Fun, though, due to the way it was presented and the lighthearted atmosphere.

We did some two person, three line scenes again, just like last week, and then let them extend into longer scenes, keeping up the character dynamics, eye contact, etc. Then we learned the concept of the second beat (well, *I* learned it; I'm sure everybody else was quite familiar with it), where the same characters returned, and Jennings timeshifted us by an amount he chose. That went well, and felt really good. The whole eye contact thing has struck a chord with me, as I try and read what my scene partner wants out of the scene. I've always been one to watch somebody's mouth instead of their eyes, but now I do more eye-watching, trying to get the complete picture.

I've also gotten a lot out of the concept of coming into the scene without preconceived notions of where it should go, just playing the moment and going with the flow as I share with my scene partner. Jennings had us all reach out to one side or behind us or whatnot during our scene, and grab something without knowing what it was. This was supposed to reinforce the notion of no preconception, and it really resonated with me and helped me out. For instance, in one scene, Lisa was my wife and had been in a bad accident, and I reached over to grab something for her. I grabbed it as if it were a cylinder, but in my mind it became snowshoes (for some ungodly reason), but Lisa saw it as rollerskates, which was totally cool.

Jason and I seemed to click well when we did a scene involving two "somebodys", one of which was a slick jock and the other a self-deprecating fellow. They quickly became monkeys when I reached up to pick a nit out of Jason's hair and eat it. This got a great reaction from my fellow students, and Jennings later remarked that it was a good way to show the audience who the characters were without coming out and saying "we're monkeys." That made me feel good.

Later on, Jason and I weren't on the same page when we timeshifted and I failed to pick up the hints that he was 50 years in the past, while I was a year in the future. Whoops! Well, Jennings didn't make me feel like a complete idiot, which I totally appreciate, and I learned from my blindness. That's the way it should be.

Jason and Kit had a great scene where they were complimenting each other, but really hated each other. The first beat had an awesome extended handshake, with Jason squeezing the hell out of Kit's hand, and Kit's neck was so tense, veins were poppin' out all over. It ruled. I love violence.

Oh, and we learned edits.

Okay, Blogger just lost the second half of this post, twice, so let's just stop here.

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