About a week ago in acting, I did my second dream etude, where I did Yasha’s dream. It was not a success, but that’s not a bad thing. One of the first things we were told about this program is that sometimes your etudes will fail, and sometimes you learn more from the failed etudes than the successful ones. Today, that’s how it felt.
First of all, the idea was not very good, but that’s not important. The important thing was the execution of the idea was rushed. I get told very frequently in acting class not to rush. However, this time I figured out a reason as to maybe why I have a tendency to rush. Ilya said that he could tell I was watching the audience for their reactions. He was right about that. From an actor’s perspective, I think I need to stop thinking so much about what other people think of me, and just to live in the world of the play. After this day, I decided to try to take too much time and see what that feels like.
Cut forward to now, when I have done a few rounds of scene work, and he told me one time that I took too long. This was a win. You can always compress content, but extending it is more difficult.
Another thing that I have discovered about acting is the importance of specificity. I’ve always known that specificity is what makes a lot of theater good, but this program has just reaffirmed that belief. My scene partner and I have rehearsed our seagull scene for approximately 3 or 4 hours total, and we’ve only gotten about 90 seconds into the scene. The degree to which we are focusing on the specificity of focus and timing is new to me, but it’s so helpful. I’m sure I’ll talk more about this in a future post.