Week Nineteen: 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
This month we’re working our way towards The Portal.
Building towards an opportunity to come back to life and say anything we want to anyone we choose.
Seizing this opportunity of a deathtime.
This week’s challenge … The Target.
Wonder at who you hunger to confront if given the chance to return to life. It can be a person, group of people, animal, inanimate object … any type of target.
When wondering at your target, embrace the first, frozen image of it appearing in your portal. Nickname your portal.
Pick an inanimate object in the world around you. When you notice an aspect of the nickname in the object, own it by saying the nickname out-loud. Repeat by calling out as many tastes of the nickname you can discover.
Focus on that instant, pure, flash of a moment when your Target first sees you return but has yet to process it. That moment of unguarded realization. That look.
Discover a piece of music that speaks the “truth behind the eyes” of your Target. The unfiltered truth of what your Target is really saying to you with that look.
Your work is complete when you can find tastes of the nickname in any object or person in your real life surroundings + the music does the work of igniting that first taste of your Target … pulling your soul to speak.
Making you yearn to take advantage of this opportunity of a deathtime.
I could not run or play
In manhood I could only sip the cup,
Not drink—For scarlet-fever left my heart diseased.
Yet I lie here
Soothed by a secret none but Mary knows:
There is a garden of acacia,
Catalpa trees, and arbors sweet with vines—
There on that afternoon in June
By Mary’s side—
Kissing her with my soul upon my lips
It suddenly took flight.
If I could have lived another year
I could have finished my flying machine,
And become rich and famous.
Hence it is fitting the workman
Who tried to chisel a dove for me
Made it look more like a chicken.
For what is it all but being hatched,
And running about the yard,
To the day of the block?
Save that a man has an angel’s brain,
And sees the ax from the first!
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
We continue our celebration of O. Henry’s short stories with The Green Door (2018) - a Los Metates Studios production, directed by Matthew Evans, starring Jeremiah Hoppman and Bethany Paulsen.
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.