Week Fourteen: Essential Beauty / 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 + April’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
This month we’re setting our sights on the deepest core of character connection.
Expressing the essential beauty of your character’s soul.
Earning the opportunity of a … deathtime.
It all begins with, The Dance of Undeath.
What if your Spoon River character had the chance to come back to life?
To speak to anyone you wanted and make them hear everything you hunger to say?
What would you give for that opportunity? That reunited love? That lust for revenge?
All it takes … is finding a way to make the case.
Earning that chance.
Let’s get to work.
This week we’re hunting for The Dance of Undeath.
One dance/movement piece that captures an almost complete taste of why it is essential for your character to get the chance to live again.
Embracing The Dance … let’s ignite our hunger to be more specific.
We are never satisfied with getting close. With finding a taste that almost completely captures the (mighty) importance of coming back to life.
Let’s plug those holes. Fill those gaps. Capture those missing ingredients.
Specify two tastes not captured in The Dance of Undeath.
Find a dance/movement piece to fully capture one of the missing tastes.
Find another dance/movement piece to fully capture the other missing taste.
This week’s challenge is complete when you have The Dance of Undeath plus two additional dance/movement pieces that add two crucial, missing truths.
Three dance/movement pieces total.
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.
April’s Mainstage Project
This month, we’re reaching into the soul of your O. Henry character to capture the most important prayer you have for any one person in your character’s life.
Find the person who you yearn to help the most.
Find the reason you believe they deserve help.
Find the words to make who’s listening feel your true heart.
Add a piece of Creative Communication so you can fill-in any missing pieces, tastes, knowings … to fully speak all of your soul.
Set-up a camera to record.
When you can feel the taste of who you’re praying to inside the camera lens … pray with all your heart, knowing if it’s true your prayer will be heard, believed, and granted.
Share your video - using your character’s name (and O. Henry story) as the title.
I was only eight years old;
And before I grew up and knew what it meant
I had no words for it, except
That I was frightened and told my
Mother; And that my Father got a pistol
And would have killed Charlie, who was a big boy,
Fifteen years old, except for his Mother.
Nevertheless the story clung to me.
But the man who married me, a widower of thirty-five,
Was a newcomer and never heard it
’Till two years after we were married.
Then he considered himself cheated,
And the village agreed that I was not really a virgin.
Well, he deserted me, and I died
The following winter.
I have studied many times
The marble which was chiseled for me—
A boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.
In truth it pictures not my destination
But my life.
For love was offered me and I shrank from its disillusionment;
Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.
Yet all the while I hungered for meaning in my life.
And now I know that we must lift the sail
And catch the winds of destiny
Wherever they drive the boat.
To put meaning in one’s life may end in madness,
But life without meaning is the torture
Of restlessness and vague desire—
It is a boat longing for the sea and yet afraid.
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.
Cinema Elysium Presents … The Saturday Matinee
Our celebration of O. Henry’s Full House (1952) continues with The Last Leaf - introduced by John Steinbeck (!) directed by Jean Negulesco and starring Anne Baxter, Jean Peters, and Gregory Ratoff.
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.