Week Four: Life Story / The Tree (Part One)
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 + January’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
Utilizing the muscles we’ve shaped over this month’s three character challenges …
Find the music, the painting or image, and the object that ignites the experience of your character’s death.
What it actually felt like to die.
When we think back on our deaths we cannot expect to remember. We cannot expect to taste it, to know it in the same way we do our lives.
Death is the great unknown.
Beginning with wonder & curiosity and tasting from within the soul of your character, discover a song and then a painting/image that does the work all on its own of igniting the experience you felt when dying.
Finally, allow yourself to be led to the most meaningful, final taste of touch you felt as you died. Then our hunt continues into the world around you, searching for something you can hold with eyes closed, something you can touch in the world today, that fully and freely feels the same as that final taste of touch.
Allow this to be a hunt … an adventurous search to get closer and closer to The Song, The Painting/Image, The Object by scratching and clawing until one gives you The Click.
You are there when you have no work to do … when what you have found harmonizes with how it felt to lose your Spoon River life. No carefulness needed.
3 tastes total. Maybe they’re obvious. Maybe they’re surprising.
If it does the work to easily and always bring alive the experience, it’s more than right.
It’s meant to be.
What you’re left with are tastes that do the work of igniting and carrying you through the tastes and memories of your Spoon River Death.
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.
January’s Mainstage Project
This month, Creatively Communicate what only you can taste of what it was like to be you at five years old.
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.
I am Minerva, the village poetess,
Hooted at, jeered at by the Yahoos of the street
For my heavy body, cock-eye, and rolling walk,
And all the more when “Butch” Weldy
Captured me after a brutal hunt.
He left me to my fate with Doctor Meyers;
And I sank into death, growing numb from the feet up,
Like one stepping deeper and deeper into a stream of ice.
Will some one go to the village newspaper,
And gather into a book the verses I wrote?—
I thirsted so for love
I hungered so for life!
You would not believe, would you
That I came from good Welsh stock?
That I was purer blooded than the white trash here?
And of more direct lineage than the
New Englanders And Virginians of Spoon River?
You would not believe that I had been to school
And read some books.
You saw me only as a run-down man
With matted hair and beard
And ragged clothes.
Sometimes a man’s life turns into a cancer
From being bruised and continually bruised,
And swells into a purplish mass
Like growths on stalks of corn.
Here was I, a carpenter, mired in a bog of life
Into which I walked, thinking it was a meadow,
With a slattern for a wife, and poor Minerva, my daughter,
Whom you tormented and drove to death.
So I crept, crept, like a snail through the days
Of my life.
No more you hear my footsteps in the morning,
Resounding on the hollow sidewalk
Going to the grocery store for a little corn meal
And a nickel’s worth of bacon.
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.