Bit of a different reflection this one though still very much related to my time at school.
I have just finished teaching a 2 day play and clown workshop for friends and colleagues of Louise, somehow we managed to get access to a metal works factory.
Plenty big enough and tres froid.
Normally I plan my lessons on paper as I like to have a structure to what I'm teaching, but seeing as though I'm trying to learn to become a freer actor why not do the same for my teaching?
I remember reading in Clive Barkers book that he only ever planned what the first game of a session was going to be and everything else he just followed his nose.
I'm not quite there yet but instead of planning what exercise followed what instead I worked with the principles I wanted to explore, predominantly play and complicity so that was essentially what we did yesterday. Game after game after game.
Mr. Hit, skipping, slapsies, exploring the liars voice, dancing searching for the pleasure, Grandma's footsteps.
A couple of moments of uncertainty throughout the day but that can only be good. I used to have uncertain moments when I planned my lessons so this is no different with the exception that the safety net of the correctly filled in lesson plan is missing.
All in all it was pretty good I thought. a bit scrappy in parts but for a first outing unplanned, not too bad.
What I have noticed over these last 2 days is that my eye is getting a bit keener, my understanding has definitely developed and I felt more able to work with the students in front of me, particularly in the clown session this afternoon.
I didn't want to be too tough on them, we did only have 2 days, but I felt that if I were working with them longer I could challenge them more than I could have done in the past because thanks to being here I feel I have a better understanding of what I am looking for. Beginning to see what buttons to push, how I can help different people to find out what's funny about them, this is surely what a clown teacher has to do no? How can I help you discover what is funny about yu? How can I help you to discover your pleasure?
The real test of this will be in Jan when I'm hoping to run a longer workshop.
I didn't talk yet about Fridays neutral mask, Oh la la how good was this?
We worked in 2 chorus for the session, 1 chorus talking to another, the chorypheas and chorus' carried both by an element and the song of a classmate; different rhythms, different heights, different voices, different languages.
These strange rhythmic clashes and the melange of languages gave it a dream like quality, at times staggeringly beautiful?
Imagine a 5ft 2 inch young man from Singapore speaking Malay with the voice of a King or a blonde, beautiful teenage girl playing hopskotch and singing the text "The Death of Hektor" to the tune of ring a ring a roses, or a chorus crawling on its belly and shouting at the other chorus who seemingly burst into laughter for no reason at, if you can imagine it then you are some way to seeing what we saw in class on Friday and I can tell you the effect is strange, eerie and stunningly beautiful.
The lesson from this session has not quite become conscious yet, yes it was all the above to do with rhythm space, taking the road less obvious etc but I have the feeling that something more than this has sunk much deeper than first appears, maybe it will rise to the surface further down the line.
Certainly the way I feel thinking back on the session takes me to an almost mystical place in my imagination, once again the power of theatre and creativity rears its beautiful head and makes me glad I am here.
When Philippe talks of the theatre and actors in the theatre he talks of images being imprinted in the mind, on the heart, stamped on the imaginations of the spectators so that they are not the same when they leave the theatre and today we got a little taste of that.
We are the music-makers
and we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
and sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers
on whom the pale moon gleams
Yet we are the movers and shakers
of the world, forever it seems.
With wonderful deathless ditties,
we build up the world's great cities
And out of a fabulous story,
we fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
shall go forth and conquer a crown
And three, with a new song's measure,
shall trample an empire down.
We, in the ages, lying
in the buried past of the earth
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
and Babel itself with our mirth,
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
to the old, of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying
or one that is coming to birth.
A breath of our inspiration
is the life of each generation;
A wondrous thing of our dreaming,
Unearthly, impossible seeming-
The soldier, the king and the peasant
are working together in one,
Till our dream shall become their present
and their work in this world shall be done.
They had no vision amazing
of the goodly house they are raising;
They had no divine foreshowing
of the land to which they are going,
But on one man's soul it hath broken
a light that doth not depart
And his look or a word he hath spoken
wrought flame in another man's heart.
And therefore to-day is thrilling
with a past day's late fulfilling;
And the multitudes are enlisted
in the faith that their fathers resisted
And, scorning the dreams of tomorrow,
and bringing to pass, as they may,
To the world for its joy or its sorrow
the dream that was scorned yesterday.
But we, with our dreaming and singing,
Ceaseless and sorrowless we!
The glory about us clinging
of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing,
O man, it must ever be
That we dwell,in our dreaming and singing,
a little apart from ye.
For we are afar with the dawning
and the suns that are not yet high,
And our of the infinite morning,
Intrepid you hear us cry-
How, spite of your human scorning,
once more God's future draws nigh,
And already goes forth the warning
that ye of the past must die.
Great hail! we cry to the comers
from the dazzling unknown shore;
Give us hither your suns and your summers
and renew our world as of yore;
You shall teach us your songs new numbers,
and things that we dreamed not before:
Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers
and a singer who sings no more.