A good mixture of acting stuff and web stuff this week.
Monday I spent most of the day analysing the character of Astrov in Uncle Vanya and polishing my learning of the lines for the first three-or-so pages. The analysis involves reading through, noting down everything Astrov says about himself, everything he says about the other characters, and everything they say about him. Not all of which is necessarily true of course. And then looking more closely at this one scene, at his “wants” in it, and how to make those feel more immediate to me. I did all this sat in the cafe at Theatre Deli which, obviously, almost gave me the illusion of being an actual actor.
Tuesday morning I went to a drop-in class and my partner and I ran through the Vanya scene off-book for the first time (having read through it the previous week). I haven’t done much work using text — we did none at LISPA — and I love the challenge of trying to behave “naturally” (not quite the correct word) and spontaneously when you know exactly what you’re about to say. As Dom, the teacher, put it, “you know you’ve got a monologue to deliver; the character doesn’t”. Using Meisner much of this is in focusing on your partner and reacting to what they’re doing or how they’re feeling, which helps a lot with getting out of your own head.
Wednesday morning was the regular Stage 2 Meisner class, improvising around relationships. In this one, currently, I and my other partner are brother and sister, and I am being beaten up by my wife (yet to be cast/seen). Who knows what will happen over the next three Wednesdays as the plots get increasingly soap-opera.
Then I spent a day or so working on my mum’s website adding a new section that’s not quite there yet.
And finally, I filled the time around all of that with nudging work on my own website re-build slowly, slowly forward. Well, backward a little here and there, and then forward again. It’s all working and pretty much ready to go except for the front-end. I decided I couldn’t, professionally, bring myself to have my own website styled with Bootstrap, no matter how useful and robust it is. So I’m now remembering how slow it is (for me) to do design. Spend ages nudging one page forward in a good direction, then realise that design won’t work for this other style of page, so take it back a bit, re-adjust, re-work, get them both OK… but now it looks a bit inconsistent, so go back to an overview and tweak things again… etc. etc. All of which is quite aside from the challenge of realising what’s in one’s head in the medium of HTML and CSS. In some ways it should be easier these days — browsers seem more consistent and things like flexbox help (once one’s head is around it) — but I think one’s ambition advances, always one step ahead of the technology. Maybe we’ll be there by Christmas. Maybe even this one.
Have a good week!
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