THR221 Intermediate Acting
GeoAlaska: Theatre & Film
Spring 2003: Don Juan
ShowCases: 3 Sisters, Mikado, 12th Night, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dangerous Liaisons, Don Juan
Plot (or ACTION) takes place only in time and therefore HERO (your character) can exist only in TIME -- in your case (acting) the structure (Action, Hero, Idea) can't be separated from the texture principles: Language, Melody, Spectacle. In fact, the textural elements are the STRUCTURAL for actors!
And here again I have to return to The Book of Spectator
Somewhere in my "theory notes" I have several pages on "EVENT THEORY" -- but I fear that that the matter are getting so complex and I am to lose even my directors-readers. I thought that to help Stanislavsky and Meyerhold I should invite to the table their younger contemporary, Sergey Eisenstein, who built his cinematic language soly on TIME.
In my first class in Fundamentals we jump at Monologues right away (they are required to audition for the season on the weekend). The usual 5W's (Who, What, Where, Why and When?) The question you must answer and expess in your monologue's exposition. And here is a surprise -- the WHEN! The time!
When does it take place? Season, time of the day, week, period of history... Looks simple at first. Past, Present, Future -- but does your character relate to it -- REACT to "his" past, "his" present, "his" future!
Okay, let stay with the Oscar Wilde's scene and our little Cecily:
The past? Oh, Lord! She created HER own past (imaginary) with Algernon (Ernest). Her Present is full of Future! The scene is the marriage proposal. So, how does she REACT each of the times in her?
The past was invented, but the present is real... Really?
The plot is based on the old "comedy of errors" with the names! So, the present time is not fully real yet!
The future depends of it -- hers, his and everybody else!
I put the monologue on this page again, so we can do the TIME analysis for the character.
Use the Structuralism School of analysis; mark all the words related to time. I did it in italics.
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2004 & After
SummaryPast - Present -- Future : you must know from "where your character is coming" and "where does it go?"
One Act Fest
NotesI have to stop here; maybe I will continue this topic @ BM II, but most likely in Theatre Theory directory (Time).
Time is one of the world's deepest mysteries. No one can say exactly what it is. Yet, the ability to measure time makes our way of life possible. Most human activities involve groups of people acting together in the same place at the same time. People could not do this if they did not all measure time in the same way... World Book
[ Dear Dr. Faust, you shouldn't ask to stop time, but the powers to manipulate it. Okay, to control it. ]
Literary theory and film studies do use this term -- POV, Point of View. Actor should know that he or she is in charge of this machine, which switches POVs! Well, how do we create it?Do you see it? Let me collect it all together: last three months, it will be exactly three months on Thursday, ever since, On the 14th of February last, long struggle, The next day, always, always, always (3 times!), three times a week, and sometimes oftener, On the 22nd of last March, Today, once, before the week was out...
Remember, we talked about "addresses"? This is how you create directions; the spectator follows you. The moment he gets into the designed by you Characters's POV, he emerges into subjective time, emotional, dramatic time -- that is where he is supposed to be to experience the drama.
So, how does it work? The subjective time, I mean.
First, you can't manipulate time without doing it in space and through space. We do it through the changes in space-time (choronotope), i.e. MOTION.
There are several terms, which I borrowed from film theory to extend Meyerhold's concept of StageMetrix. Vectors and Axises (see Glossary).
There is a main axis: you (stage) and audience (house). There is a secondary axis: you and action (both are on stage).
I I -------X------- actor (secondary axis) I I v spectator (primary axis)
"X" is the focal point, the action. It doesn't have to be you, more so; if you are good, the space, or object or another character can be the center of your action! (They will attribute it to your "acting"!)
Remember, only when the public lives inside of this subjective axis, they experience the drama! It always should be pointed at them! Because their attention is the energy of the scene!
Your character's time has to become their time, personal field! (see Identification).
Vectors and axises must be established by you and have to follow your own design. Only if you follow your own rules, they can follow you.
Duration -- in general, it's called "beats" of action. The segments of time are blocked in one linear "story" (plot is a part of the story). Keep in mind that you are a "narrator"!
Only if you control all 3D, you can hope to control the 4th dimension!
"Objective (Clock) Time" & "Subjective (Psychological) Time"#3 --Biological Time.
Percieved Duration & "Intensity"
Duration as Vertical Vector
Vector Magnitude of Subjective Time
Event Density; high and low
St. Augustine & The Present as Subjective Time Vector.
Theatre w/Anatoly and Event Theory. Some in Theatre Theory Directory.
Time Analysis for Monologue StudiesCECILY:
You silly boy! Of course. [laughs] Why, we have been engaged for the last three months. [coming closer] Yes, it will be exactly three months on Thursday. Well, ever since dear Uncle Jack first confessed to us that he had a younger brother who was very wicked and bad, you of course have formed the chief topic of conversation between myself and Miss Prism. And of course a man who is much talked about is always very attractive. One feels there must be something in him, after all. I daresay it was foolish of me, but I fell in love with you, Ernest. [the box and the diary in front of her. Where is the tree? Left, right, back?] On the 14th of February last. Worn out by your entire ignorance of my existence, I determined to end the matter one way or the other, and after a long struggle with myself I accepted you under this dear old tree here. [takes her glove off.] The next day I bought this little ring in your name, and this is the little bangle with the true lover's knot I promised you always to wear. [shows the ring!] Yes, you've wonderfully good taste, Ernest. It's the excuse I've always given for your leading such a bad life. [opens the box, like a secret.] And this is the box in which I keep all your dear letters. [Kneels at table, opens box, and produces letters tied up with blue ribbon. Oscar Wild's directions. Oh, the blue ribbon! This is great! AA.] [tears in her voice.] I remember only too well that I was forced to write your letters for you. I wrote always(!) three times a week, and sometimes oftener. [takes the letters out.] The three you wrote me after I had broken of the engagement are so beautiful, and so badly spelled, that even now I can hardly read them without crying a little. [cries.] On the 22nd of last March. [gives him her diary.] You can see the entry if you like. [Shows diary. READS] 'Today I broke off my engagement with Ernest. I feel it is better to do so. [cries more.] The weather still continues charming.' [cries and stops.] It would hardly have been a really serious engagement if it hadn't been broken off at least once. But I forgave you before the week was out.
What kind of pattern do we see? She protocols the past to the hour! Because it is FICTIONAL! Oh, now I see! She doesn't SEE the man in front of her! "Please, do not adress to him!" I asked my actress. "Leave him behind, walk closer to the imaginary life you live!" Means, closer to the audience (the Closeup shot).
What else? The "ALWAYS"!
Should we make the time words into KEY WORDS (to stress them)? That is where she lives! [Where we live most of our life.]
"Did Stanislavski ever use the term Tempo Rhythm or is this a term devised by later practitioners of the method?"
Remember the three "where-when" questions you have to ask you, regarding your character's objective? "Where am I?" "From where did I come?" "Where do IO go?" Well, this is the same time-orientation: present, past and future. BM asks to make it visible!
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