Here goes, day 3 of week 6 at the Ecole.
Lots of stretching and pushing the body, working the abs and training the arms, my shoulders feel like they might snap under my weight sometimes and I'm still carrying the knee niggle from week 1 so on several occasions I stop what I'm doing to stretch and massage the offending limb.
Oh and today I managed a few smiles through the exercises. Incredible!
Got to wonder what Laradana has in store for us tomorrow, I hope its more dancing, é consecutive days of punishment might snap my tendons and send my legs into a permanent cramp.
Speaking of cramp, at one point towards the end of the session she had us doing sit ups holding each others legs down, 20 normal followed by 15 to the left and 15 to the right.
My calves started to burn and suddenly seize up, all I could think wzs if the Rocky theme tune were playing I'd piss these sit ups.
It wasn't and I didn't.
Damn you lactic acid!
Yesterday Philippe had to go to hospital, garage day, old cars need to go to the garage, I asked him today what the mechanics had said. They say I am cured. The twinkle in his eye seemed to burn a bit brighter than normal. Me I smiled like I haven't done since le Jeu, and gave him a huge hug. The man is amazing, I'm totally in awe of him. Like most of his students, I think I'm in love with him.
Playing with the rhythm of Chloric acid and rodents.
Monsieur Gaulier explained that when he was a boy and the drains got blocked his mother wouldclear them with a tube of chloric acid, you put the cube on the plug, pour on water and hey presto, good riddance drainpipe gunk, sometimes, good riddance drainpipe too.
So in the mask we played with the violent fizzing of the chloric acid.
I got a 6 out of 10 for my epileptic chloric acid, which then had to come in looking for its glasses. Woo-hoo, I'm begining to find something, but what? That's the question.
High energy play, looking back on the session, moments of fixed point, darting up, down and around the stage in search for my elusive spectacles. There is something there for me, something.
I remember the moment before going on stage not thinking or worrying, sure there was a nervous energy of the unknown but not really any time to think. Could this be a part of what helps? Time to think is time to worry, no?
Other scenes Philippe worked with chloric acid; speaking about capitalism, a world peace convention and something else that I can't remember.
I should have left it there but sadly no, playing with the rhythm of a rodent turned out to be a total "catastroff", in fact baaaaaad, the scene was to come on and speak about the phone bill arriving tomorrow, no, awful. In fact he put me in a pooh coloured plastic bin as a result of how awful, not a nice metal bin, no the pooh coloured plastic one. Ah well, at least I wasn't alone.
After that a group played with the rodent rhythm but in a more dramatic scene, as if they had just been sentenced to the electric chair, Julia was good, but then again she is, can't wait to work with her on a scene, she gives a lot and I reckon it will be fun.
Philippe flagge dup that to play this scene but with a fast and erratic rhythm is intriguing, it was certainly incredibly watchable.
He pointed out that only Julia and Yang Yang managed to sustain the same rhythm in the scene that they had found on the floor in the mask.
The final group had to come on, again with the rat/squirrel/hamster rhythm as if they had been tortured and one of them ha dgiven the name of the leader under extreme circumstances.
Philippe said it was like a silent movie.
Me I say it was just pretty boring. Thats tough but also true, mind you it was the end of the session and I think they all sensed it before getting up. Neutral Mask is knackering.
So, me and Claude worked together on a idea yestaerday afternoon to present today.
I changed my costume last week from Obelix to a lifeguard, at the beginning Philippe didn't understand my costume but he could see that I was having more fun in it so said that I should keep it, anyway I had an idea for a number with something with this lifeguard costume. I bought a radio controlled car, cellotaped a cardboard, black felt-tip coloured sharks fin to the top and hey presto, the beginning of an number. The sharks fin was my killer gag, the one that would have them rolling in the aisles, in my head that was the case anyway.
Before class Claude comes up to me and says that he doesn't want to try the number today and that he feels we need more rehearsal, part of me agrees but the bigger part says "No, we should try it. The worst that can happen is that we sre bad." As I say this I keep thinking about the shark fin, it has to work, if not then I have to accept that my ideas are shit.
Bell rings for class, Claude and I agree to dit next to each other and chat over what we are going to do again.
Class starts we try and subtley go over the number again.
As we sit watching our friends try out there numbers Claude keeps spazzaming, " Or idee I feenk is too psychological" he's starting to panic a bit, me too but I don't want to show it fully,it's enough he can see it in my eyes;
We laugh at each other imagining the horrible death that awaits
"It's okay we'll just do it and see what happens".
" Okay okay I fink eez better if we try you come in wiv ze Chark;"
Claude is racking his brains for ways to improve our "idee".
"Let's just do what we did yesterday, if its shit hopefully he'll give us some advice how we can rework it."
"I said Let's just do what we did yesterday, and if its shit hopefully he'll give us some advice how we can rework it."
Let's just do what we did yesterday, if its shit hopefully he'll give us some ....."
"Next!" calls Philippe
Oh shit , oh shit oh shit.
Yes... We go.
Claude looks at me like a lost puppy.
We stand up and walk to the back of the stage.
I don't ever remember feeling so nervous, excited and wondering what will happen as I did standing back stage today.
We look at each other I see a terrified glint and a smile on Claude's face and he sees it on mine, 2 naughty boys about to go out to try and make the room laugh.
In the words of Monsieur G "Eez not a pees of caak"
Suddenly the music starts and........
Even though I know everyone in the audience we have some new tabs in the space which means you can't see the audience, they felt like a new audience, as they should every time we go out they are different, how will I play with this audience today.
This is the lesson from today not how good or bad the number is, this feeling of the unknown, this feeling of jumping out the side of the plane wondering if you packed your chute properly, those few moments when Claude and I stood backstage before the music trumpeted through the speakers, when our adrenalin was pumping and we signalled to each other that our hearts were beating fast, the not knowing if we were going to be funny or if they would love us or how we would find a way to play but at the same time putting ourselves out with nothing really but a cardboard shark fin cellotaped to a 12 Euro radio controlled car and the need to be ridiculous for the fun and for the pleasure, yes, this is the lesson I take home today.