A Letter

Dear Lorna,

Today, I risked sounding like you. I ended up throwing in every one of your catch phrases in my motivational opening speech to my fresh cast of 25. And…I think they got it or at least are on their way to understanding the work ahead of them (I often used “Do the work” as my reference catch phrase). I tried to impart upon them the importance of building an environment where risk-taking is the norm. Here, the culture is one of being friendly but mostly guarded and secure. I didn’t want to scare them but I did want to push their comfort zones so they begin to start trusting each other. So, in my first rehearsal, I saw a lot of crazy things from a few acting exercises. I paired my students up to do the negative space exercise which is very up close and personal for the first day. Yes, there were the giggles but I saw some people really take some creative risks. One pair (neither of them speak very good English, if at all) was doing continual fluid motion with levels and angles, twisting bodies, and dead-on concentration. I just couldn’t even believe it. The movement they did looked like it was based in tai chi which is a very common sight to see on campus as both a method of relaxation and exercise. I’d like to see the whole cast at that level…then again, those were lamp posts number three and four.

-Ryan

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