Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils

Yesterday was the first day of classes.
Bear with me - some of this stuff might be hard to explain but I will do my best!
In the morning we had movement class with Claudia. We began by playing a name/movement game so that she could get to know all of us better. Then we began walking around the room, and we had to find the easiest way to the floor. A lot of yesterdays class was spent figuring out the easiest most natural way to do things. (Reminded me a lot of neutral mask work I did as an apprentice at Great River). We also worked with partners and did exercises where we had to sit down and stand up back to back with each other, without using our hands and without commuicating. We then did groups of three, groups of four, and then all nine of us did it with our shoulders touching just using our legs and feet as bases and using our core to help pull us up. We also did exercises where we would start back to back, and then one person would lean foward and the other person would bend back on their back, their feet off the ground and kicking in the air. Like I said, this stuff is hard to explain... - basically it was a lot of fundamental/basic movement exercises so that Claudia could figure out our bodies and so that we could be introduced to others in the class and refreshen our own body as well. Even though a lot of it was basic, we all were dripping sweat at the end. She's going to kick our ass this semester.
After movement, we had philosophy of Art. This class is so badass I can't even tell you. Our teacher, Scott, is AWESOME. He totally speaks my language. I've taken philosophy classes in the past and I've always loved them, but he is out of control good. We talked about a ton of different things, so i won't bore you with the details, but one of the main discussions was about how fragmented our society has gotten. Basically just that America has a huge attention deficit disorder; the way we are with our Ipods is the way we are with everything in life. When we don't feel like listening to that particular song, we switch it. In coversations with friends, we change topics. We flip through tv channels. We browse the internet. It didn't used to be this way.
Quote from class:

We'll teach you that your process of thinking
instead of being like eating and drinking,
spontaneous,instantaneous, free,
must proceed by one and two and three.
Our though-machine, as I assume,
Is in fact like a master-weaver's loom:
One thrust of his foot, and a thousand threads
Invisibly shift, and hither and thither
the shuttles dart - just once he treads
and a thousand strands all twine together,
In comes your philosopher and proves
It must happen by distinct logical moves:
The first is this the second is that,
and the third and fourth then follow pat;
if you leave out one or you leave out two,
then neither three nor four can be true.
The students applaud; they all say, "just so"
but how to be weavers they still don't know.
When scholars study a thing, they strive
to kill it first if it's alive.
Then they have the parts and they've lost the whole
for hte link that's missing was the living soul.


Basically it's saying that thinking logically leads you to only have parts of the whole - - in order to understand something fully, the soul must be present.

Man. I could go on about this class forever...but I won't. I can't even begin to tell you how pumped I am for it though. Philosophy is one of the best things in the world.
Finally after philosophy, I had voice (my last class of the day). Once again, our teacher is the bomb diggity. My movement teacher is an acrobat from Germany and my voice teacher is from the UK and taught at Trinity college in Ireland for nine years. I swear, foreign professors know what the deal is. In class, we started out by building laughter. I was laughing so hard with other people laughing, that it was hard to do it on my own! haha but by the end I was crying from laughing so hard. It was hysterical. My favorite exercise from the day, though, was we had to pretend that a little ball was either inside of us or on us, and we had to track the journey of the ball letting it influence our bodies and subsequently our voices. It was so interesting to see the different ways people went with it: some people HATED the ball, and others found it soothing and comfortable - - and all of this was found through the way people moved their bodies and their vocal chords. So good. Also, because there are only 9 people in the theatre track, it's so nice because we get lots of individual attention. Kevin was working with this girl Morgan in class for probably 15 minutes and it was GREAT. You learn so much from just observing.
This place is incredible. I was just happy to be in Italy, but the work that they do at this school is so inspiring and I know that it will be great training for me and for the others involved in the programs. I feel very thankful and lucky to be here. It really is something else - - and all the hard work it took to get here is definitely paying off, without a doubt.
After class, Kadie (roomie) and I went for a run. Don't ask me why or how. We were already sore..but we did it! 3 miles in about 20 minutes - mostly uphill! Not bad at all.
This Thursday, we have a cabaret. There are I think four throughout the entire semester. The first one we are allowed to do whatever we want, and then the second one will be more related to classwork, the third gets more specific, and then the fourth is the most specific. I wasn't sure if I was going to do anything because I didn't know what to do, but Louise (a grad student here from the UK) is doing a scene with two others and she invited me to take part in it, so now I'm doing a scene! We worked on it last night for a while, and I was going to blog, but I was so exhausted that I had to go to sleep!
I've already had movement this morning and my body is probably the most sore it's ever been in my life....but it's good. It means they are working us hard.
I'll write about movement and the rest of the day later.

Ciao! Hope you are all well.
Miss you!


  1. It sounds amazing. I'm so happy that it's everything you've hoped for!


  2. this sounds just fantastic!!! I'm so happy for you!!!