Friday, July 11, 2008

Sound advice: Don't use your teeth as a vice.

For my acting class, a Meisner class, we were asked to complete a task to be completed while doing the "repetition exercise." In that exercise, you're repeating whatever your scene partner says until something happens. And if that sounds vague, it should. To those of us Type A personalities who analyze, adhere to logic and yearn to go back and edit ourselves, the repetition exercise is designed to break us of our somewhat compulsive habits and teach us to live moment to moment and put 100% of our focus on everything besides us, mostly our scene partner. For example, if my scene partner says my flip flops look sloppy, I would say "Fuck you," and then he or she would say, "Someone is testy today." The point is, each line makes progress; we don't stay focused on my sloppy-ass flip flops. You know, like a real live conversation - it moves.

This week, we added a task. I decided to bring in an Erector Set. I have little patience for tiny, tiny pieces and hate doing things that need to be precise because I rarely get it right on the first try. I was told there was nothing at stake in building a thingie from an Erector set, but I honestly think I learned that it's very hard to focus on something intricate while trying to acknowledge someone else in the scene. And I also am insistent when it comes to finishing a task with a clear result. I was seriously considering leaving the room once I was done to finish what I started, but alas, my incompleted project still sits in the box at home.

Anyway, one of the more frustrating things was using what I had in front of me and nothing else. So I used my front teeth as a vice. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I'm not as damaged as Jim Carrey's famous chip above, but it's sharp and annoying, and I will have to get my big English teeth fixed. It's subtle, I don't think I'll need a cap, but still. Stupid.

Other than that, acting is fun. And I'm more resourceful than I thought.

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