First things first, I've just found out Tom Waits new album Bad like me is out so if any readers want to get me a late birthday/ early christmas present then it doesn't take much imagination to guess what I would like.
If you don't yet know how good this man is listen to the glitter and doom concert here: http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=92916923&m=92921388
Now with that out the way, back to yesterdays flop, ay ay ay, cest un grande merde, the exercise was to pretend to be the head of B.P.
MOnsieur Marcel, the clown expert had said " Well my little one, if you want to play the head of B.P. it is not a piece of cake. Buty the head of B.P. he receives a lot of fax." and with this and our fantasy we had to enter the space to play him.
I entered the stage with a suitcase, looked at the audience, though I didn't really see them, breathed in, took a pretentious posture and exclaimed " I am the head of B.P.!"
"I have a briefcase full of faxes." I put the case on the floor, it fell over.
Little snigger from a generous classmate.
I picked the case up.
My brain is frantically scrabbling around for something, anything give me an idea please.
I look down at my bare chest, "I have forgotten my tie."
From the shaded auditoreum behing the round drum comes monsieurs voice, "My God. So funny. Hilarious, please stop him before I pee my trouser."
And in swoops the angel of death.
I take a breath in and make a big breath out.
"Ah ya," says Atilla the Clown from behind his drum shield, "That sound. Do it again."
I breathe out again.
"Ya, this is the sound of what you are doing." He imitates the sound of tumbleweed in the dust.
Don't I know it.
He turns to a classmate, " My god this is awful, no."
This is Philippes way of giving us an opportunity to do something to save the show, so far there have been some funny moments from the class at this point but not me, my fun is nowhere and as a consequence my clown has said "Fuck you" and gone away, leaving only half naked Mark in the space to crumble.
Wow, and what a big fall it was.
I look at Stephen, "It's really hard this isn't it?"
He empathises, "Yeah it is."
I have nothing now.
I cry out.
From the floor I hear a pitying "aww", I want to punch everyone of them, I want your laughs not your sympathy. I can't remember when I last felt this vulnerable, its not a comfortable feeling.
Philippe says something else and lifts the fear inducing drumstick.
"Waaiiiit, it was a stupid idea to use the suitcase as abriefcase. The tie thing was rubbish, I mean look at me."
A small laugh from the floor, my clown winks at me and then disappears into the ether.
Philippe asks Duncan to give me a fax, he comes over miming a piece of paper, I look at him and say there is nothing there.
Another big flop.
Philippe asks me to read what is on it.
I look up and open my mouth.
"Breeeeathe" I make the tumbleweed sound.
Another mighty flop.
"Non, it does not say that"
I've lost the will to live.
"Oh no, it says leeeeave."
"Yeees" from monsieur G.
Later in class after a flop from Andres Philippe turns to me and says "you were bad in the same way as him. Do you want me to show you what I mean?"
He gats us both on stage, the two mighty floppers together at last.
I'm broken, he gets us both to say "I am the head of B.P. with this feeling.
There is some kind of response from the floor.
Apparently what we did the first time was conventional.
We did what any ordinary person would do if they tried to play the boss of a large company, puff the chest out, raise the head, walk forward in a confident manner, as I write it now these are all such cliches and he was right to bang us off.
The clown is a special soul and he has a special way of doing things.
When will I be able to put this into practice?
And so on to today.
working with the chorus.
1 male 1 female, Philippe played a song for each chorus, to give them a rhythm. I think the point here is that on stage as actors we have to be aware of the rhythm of the other actors and play in contrast to them, he explained later with another exercise that if the text is one thing then we have to find ways to contrast it, for example, a scene at a funeral if we then play the scene in the conventional rhythm we are basically saying the same thing twice and this is boring and predicatable for the audience. I'm still trying to understand what Philippe's approach to theatre is, in my head it is beautiful, playful, fun and funny, it is a gift to the audience, it lifts them out of their day to day monotany and transports them to imaginary worlds filled with light and surprises.
Sounds good eh?
It doesn't preach, doesn't pretend to hold the anwsers, no, rather it is a trip into the rich unknown.
I want to make this, don't you?
Lets go together, to places untravelled, come with us and together we will discover something.
Now all we need are the stories to do this.
Come on Thalia help me find my funny fantasies on stage with the audience.
But funny when I leave the stage and get slightly sexual.