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Week Twenty: 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 Permission of Paraphrase.
Start with the freedom of expression AND specificity found in your HEART MAP.
Add the pull of your TARGET.
Speak freely from your soul until your TARGET gets it.
Repeat the first three steps until the words of the Spoon River poem (written by Edgar Lee Masters) begin to show up - speaking your soul as truthfully, as effortlessly, as the words inspired by your HEART MAP.
Your work is complete when the permission of paraphrase gives way to you freely expressing your character’s soul within the words of Edgar Lee Masters Spoon River.
Next week … the opportunity of a deathtime.
I, born in Weimar
Of a mother who was French
And German father, a most learned professor,
Orphaned at fourteen years,
Became a dancer, known as Russian Sonia,
All up and down the boulevards of Paris,
Mistress betimes of sundry dukes and counts,
And later of poor artists and of poets.
At forty years, passée, I sought New York
And met old Patrick Hummer on the boat,
Red-faced and hale, though turned his sixtieth year,
Returning after having sold a ship-load
Of cattle in the German city, Hamburg.
He brought me to Spoon River and we lived here
For twenty years—they thought that we were married
This oak tree near me is the favorite haunt
Of blue jays chattering, chattering all the day.
And why not? for my very dust is laughing
For thinking of the humorous thing called life.
If the excursion train to Peoria
Had just been wrecked, I might have escaped with my life—
Certainly I should have escaped this place.
But as it was burned as well, they mistook me
For John Allen who was sent to the Hebrew Cemetery
And John for me, so I lie here.
It was bad enough to run a clothing store in this town,
But to be buried here—ach!
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 conclude our celebration of O. Henry’s short stories with Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen (2018) - from O. Henry’s Playhouse (an ITV production), directed by Frederick Stephani, starring Thomas Mitchell, Morey Amsterdam, Michael Pate, Florenz Ames, Russell Thorson, Michael Emmet and Bill Baucom.
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.