Week Six: 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 Body Etude.
Let’s find a deeper home within your character’s body by unlocking the memories, relationships, inside jokes, and lifelong companionship of something that’s been with your character from day one.
It begins by choosing a private space that offers visual privacy and where you won’t be interrupted. Please bring a mirror along with you for this work.
The Etude begins once you have removed all your clothes and are fully in the nude.
Allow each aspect of your body to lead you through a memory in your (character’s) life having to do with that same part, repeating for every distinct part of your body.
A toenail may remind you of a time you tried out that new nail polish … or when that box in the kitchen fell on it leaving it slightly cracked (and looking gross in that way) …
Perhaps it’s a moment someone caressed you on that particular spot … or a bruise that showed up in that area after a fight or a fall …
Move through your body part-by-part with each and every dot of your physical body getting a chance to remind you of a moment you shared together.
We are after the deep, personal, textured knowing of living life with your body.
Use the mirror to visually taste any areas you can’t reach with touch. Always make sure the body part is leading you into the memory vs. imposing a memory that seems right onto body parts.
After each and every piece of your entire body has inspired a personal memory, use a notebook to write down the questions/unknowns now showing up (for 10 unfiltered and uninterrupted minutes), then “flip the page” and repeat for the knowings/discoveries now finding you.
Find a free-flow to the work of writing down your discoveries/challenges. Anything that shows up is crucial to capture. There is no such thing as a wrong or right discovery or challenge. No filters. Let it all pour out onto the page. Capture it all.
Etude work is the essence of living freely within form.
The instance the Etude begins, any preparation, including these parameters I’m sending your way, should immediately give way to the priority of living.
And remember, our bodies hold mysteries, traumas, joys and many things our minds have long ago locked away. Always accept each memory - in whatever form - as more than enough.
This is the work of unlocking and unleashing what is, what was, and what always will be uniquely yours … the memories and personal knowings of living life in your body.
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.
Out of a cell into this darkened space—
The end at twenty-five!
My tongue could not speak what stirred within me,
And the village thought me a fool.
Yet at the start there was a clear vision,
A high and urgent purpose in my soul
Which drove me on trying to memorize
The Encyclopedia Britannica!
Do the boys and girls still go to Siever’s
For cider, after school, in late September?
Or gather hazel nuts among the thickets
On Aaron Hatfield’s farm when the frosts begin?
For many times with the laughing girls and boys
Played I along the road and over the hills
When the sun was low and the air was cool,
Stopping to club the walnut tree
Standing leafless against a flaming west.
Now, the smell of the autumn smoke,
And the dropping acorns,
And the echoes about the vales
Bring dreams of life.
They hover over me.
They question me:
Where are those laughing comrades?
How many are with me, how many
In the old orchards along the way to Siever’s,
And in the woods that overlook
The quiet water?
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.