Discover more from Acting Class Daily
Week Eight: The Elysium Etudes / The Tree (Part Two)
Happy Saturday, friends. Welcome to EA’s Rehearsal Playground. Each week we’ll celebrate our Mainstage material and capture graveyard echoes emanating from EA’s Spoon River.
All subscribers have a new Weekly Character Challenge + February’s Mainstage Rehearsal Project waiting below!
How It Works
Each Saturday delivers new weekly character rehearsal challenges straight to your inbox. Something dynamic, something experimental, something transformational. Something to push the boundaries of truth in character. This Spring … the world of EA’s Spoon River.
Your Weekly Character Challenge
What is an Etude?
Knowing comes from experience.
From having been there.
When you’ve sat on the edge of the pier watching the sunset and you’re asked what it was like … you can speak from the contours, the subtleties, the harmonies of the experience.
There isn’t a Daily Body need to describe it “correctly.”
You simply get to speak from what you know.
Etudes are a decision, a mentality, to spend time completely in character. No matter what the world around you tastes like or surprises you with … you remain “all-in.”
This month, we’re going to apply the power of the Etude to the development of your Spoon River character.
Up next, The Town Hall Etude.
Begin by finding an issue in your character’s “community” you’d most want to help affect change. Something you’d stand up for in the Town Hall.
You now have a unique perspective as a Spoon River character, having lived and died.
You now know what truly matters.
How your community can be better served.
Embrace the issue when it finds you. Sharpen with specificity by envisioning what success - what change - could feel like. Craft a scenario where you can make a real difference - affecting real change - while living fully, at all times, as your Spoon River character. Ensure your crafting has you interact with at least one other person, at some point during your Etude. Someone involved in affecting change. Someone who has no relationship with you, the actor, in life.
The Etude begins once you step outside. Remain fully in character throughout.
It should last for at least one hour. When it’s over, write down any questions/unknowns that shows up for 10 unfiltered and uninterrupted minutes, then “flip the page” and do the same for any knowings/discoveries now finding you.
Find a free-flow to the work of capturing your discoveries/challenges. Anything that shows up is crucial to capture. Let it all pour out onto the page.
There is no such thing as a right or wrong discovery or challenge. Capture them all.
Etude work is the essence of living freely within form.
The instance your Etude begins, any preparation, including these parameters I’m sending your way, should immediately give way to the priority of living freely.
Always accept what is happening as more than enough.
How It Works
On the first Saturday of the month, our Mainstage Rehearsal Project gets posted for subscribers to play with all month long. Each project builds out an array of rehearsal tools, applying them to work you’ll remember forever. The stuff that makes acting worth investing in. Worth believing in. This Winter … we begin with The Tree.
February’s Mainstage Project
This month, Creatively Communicate what only you can taste of what it will be like to be you at your oldest, wisest creative self.
Find an image to ignite that taste.
Find a song to ignite that taste.
Find an object (one you can actually touch vs. discover online or see behind glass in a museum) to ignite that taste.
Find a poem to ignite that taste.
Create an original piece of Creative Communication to ignite that taste - expanding on the forms of expression listed above.
From Bindle’s opera house in the village
To Broadway is a great step.
But I tried to take it, my ambition fired
When sixteen years of age,
Seeing “East Lynne,” played here in the village
By Ralph Barrett, the coming
Romantic actor, who enthralled my soul.
True, I trailed back home, a broken failure,
When Ralph disappeared in New York,
Leaving me alone in the city—
But life broke him also.
In all this place of silence
There are no kindred spirits.
How I wish Duse could stand amid the pathos
Of these quiet fields
And read these words.
Father, thou canst never know
The anguish that smote my heart
For my disobedience, the moment I felt
The remorseless wheel of the engine
Sink into the crying flesh of my leg.
As they carried me to the home of widow Morris
I could see the school-house in the valley
To which I played truant to steal rides upon the trains.
I prayed to live until I could ask your forgiveness—
And then your tears, your broken words of comfort!
From the solace of that hour I have gained infinite happiness.
Thou wert wise to chisel for me:
“Taken from the evil to come.”
Play Along With Your Own Spring Character …
Read Edgar Lee Master’s Spoon River (click here).
Choose your Spoon River character or work with one of the echoes above.
Invest in your character over the Spring with our weekly work.
Share your discoveries and challenges. (click here).
Cinema Elysium Presents … The Saturday Matinee
ALL MONTH ON SUBSTACK
I’ll be providing feedback for paid members posted work and available as a teammate for the discoveries and challenges inspired as you explore.