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Week Twenty One: The Portal / O. Henry
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 + May’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.
We’ve done so much good work these last four months.
You’ve taken a character that once belonged to a writer and by doing things … you have made it personal and real to you.
You have made this character your own.
Now it’s time to turn our attention to who we’re coming back for.
To pinpoint our target and know, in our soul, its taste, its pull, its truth.
Your Weekly Character Challenge
You’ve been chosen to walk through The Portal.
A once in a deathtime opportunity to say anything you want to anyone you choose.
One chance. Forevermore.
This week’s opportunity … The Portal.
Choose the space you’d like to work in - and delineate a “threshold” that separates being in (or out) of the space.
Allow an aspect of the room to reveal itself as your TARGET.
Exit the space.
Begin your once in a deathtime opportunity by walking towards your threshold. Once you take your first step you cannot stop or turn back! Each step towards your threshold commits your entire being to going for it.
Cross the threshold. Taste your TARGET. Release the truth of your soul within the words of the Spoon River poem (written by Edgar Lee Masters).
Make sure to experience your words landing on (and affecting) your TARGET. Taste how the TARGET gets it by the truth revealed “in its eyes.”
Once your final words are uttered, turn your back on your TARGET and exit the space, leaving life - and Spoon River - behind forevermore.
Almost the shell of a woman after the surgeon’s knife
And almost a year to creep back into strength,
Till the dawn of our wedding decennial
Found me my seeming self again.
We walked the forest together,
By a path of soundless moss and turf.
But I could not look in your eyes,
And you could not look in my eyes,
For such sorrow was ours—the beginning of gray in your hair.
And I but a shell of myself.
And what did we talk of?—sky and water,
Anything, ’most, to hide our thoughts.
And then your gift of wild roses,
Set on the table to grace our dinner.
Poor heart, how bravely you struggled
To imagine and live a remembered rapture!
Then my spirit drooped as the night came on,
And you left me alone in my room for a while,
As you did when I was a bride, poor heart.
And I looked in the mirror and something said:
“One should be all dead when one is half-dead—”
Nor ever mock life, nor ever cheat love.”
And I did it looking there in the mirror—
Dear, have you ever understood?
Mrs. George Reece
To this generation I would say:
Memorize some bit of verse of truth or beauty.
It may serve a turn in your life.
My husband had nothing to do
With the fall of the bank—he was only cashier.
The wreck was due to the president, Thomas Rhodes,
And his vain, unscrupulous son.
Yet my husband was sent to prison,
And I was left with the children,
To feed and clothe and school them.
And I did it, and sent them forth
Into the world all clean and strong,
And all through the wisdom of Pope, the poet:
“Act well your part, there all the honor lies.”
Play Along With Your Own Spring Character …
Read Edgar Lee Master’s Spoon River.
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.
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 believing in.
This Spring we’re delving into the works of O. Henry … unlocking deep truths, forging character connection, and working from the depths of artistic beauty and creative love.
May’s Mainstage Project
The Essential Beauty
This month we’re bringing to life the essential beauty of your character in a 2 minute performance - building off your textured, character access of previous monthly projects.
First, imagine a world in which your character was never born.
What would be lost?
That taste (of what you know would be missing) ...
That taste (of what you know to be essential, beautiful) …
That is what we all want to taste, to experience, through your creative expression.
Pinpoint the essential beauty of your character.
Devise a way to bring it to life in performance/creative expression.
Utilize Creative Communication to fully speak your soul.
Set-up a camera to record.
Remember to work from the raw heart, forgiving any need to be careful, clear, or considerate of us (the camera(. Risk creatively from your soul connection to your character.
Share your video - using your character’s name (and O. Henry story) as the title.
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.