HIGHLIGHT: EXPERIMENTED HEIGHTENING THE SENSORIAL EXPERIENCE USING FOOD AND WINE AND BEGAN EXPLORING THE CONCEPT OF 'THE SECOND SKIN'
Must of the findings from last rehearsal became more evident today so just make sure you review those notes. Something worth mentioning is the concept of using the “on-stage stimulus” as the “action” generator for the scene. In the “smoking” exercise the “action” was obvious and evident but today, the “breath” was a little more subdue but still, you can let this lead your actions on stage. For this reason it is important to choose this “stimulus” wisely because there might be some cases when it might not be that strong to drive the action. Also, please remember that the more “perceptible” to the audience this stimulus is, the better connection with them as well.
From Act II exercise … the important thing to note is the “intensity” of the “ceremony” of eating and the “connection” between us. As you know, in the play we will be sitting back to back so we need to keep strengthening the energy field between us. Also important, was the “feeing” of the food and wine “inside” us and, the “enjoyment” of every sensation to its fullest potential.
From the wolf exercise, the most successful moment, in my opinion, was the time when we were “rubbing” our energy on each other and from each other. As you put it, it was very “animal-like” and at least as far as I’m concerned, I didn’t feel like this person who was curious or exploring my body, like you mentioned, was not a person but another animal. In my opinion, this “animal” energy was not as strong when you were doing the unclothing exercise at the end. This is something that we need to explore further, bringing the “animal” out rather than somehow pushing it or showing it through our “human” side.
EXERCISE KEYWORDS FOR ACTION:
CHARACTERS EXPLORED: FLASH, TGGL, THE WOLVES.
STAGE ACTION: Eating, tasting food and wine. Stripping clothes off without the use of the hands.
SENSORIAL MEMORY: (for Casey) Dash on top of a mountain running out of breath.
SENSES TARGETED BY STAGE ACTION: Touch, Smell, Taste, Sight, Hearing.
SENSES TARGETED BY SENSORIAL MEMORY: Visual, Kinesthetic, Balance, Touch, Smell and Hearing.
OVERALL MANIFESTATION OF THE ENERGY AS I PERCEIVED IT: “CLOSENESS”, “VULNERABILITY”, “FLUIDITY”.
Today, when I started to engage my senses back from the BARE CHARACTER. I found I connected more strongly with the “movement” of my breath rather than the sound or feeling of the breath going in and out my mouth. It was the “wave” feeling of my belly inhaling and exhaling which I follow into moving my entire body in space. It was fascinating for me to go from those “larger" movements to the intimate and small movement of your lips. The point is, whether the movement was large or small, we were both connected by that which I visualized as “waves” and you as “fluidity”.
HIGHLIGHT: EXPERIMENTED USING THE PHYSICAL APPROACH TO 'THE TRANSCENDING CHARACTERS' AS WARM-UP
In general, it was a very successful rehearsal because the “energy” was powerful and beautiful. The energy had more of a "potential" quality to it rather than “explosive” but it was very strong. I believe that using the physical approach to the characters as a warmup worked very well and even though it might have not felt like a "physical" warm-up, at the end the energy was very high and "resonant".
I found the “smoking” exercise the most successful and significant so I will point out a few learnings from this exercise we should keep in mind. First of all, it worked in an unexpected way which I find fascinating. Since I planned this, I had certain expectations or ideas of how this exercise was going to go and that’s why I mentioned at the end that you didn’t look that excited because in my mind, I was expecting more of a mischievous initiator or teacher … perhaps exactly that energy you had when yo mentioned you had marihuana but, after I thought about it, I realized that this exercise was not about “smoking” at all or even you “teaching” me something … it was about giving you some “action” through which you could connect to your senses and me. In my opinion, this was the perfect idea because it was an incredibly sensual and sensorial experience and at the same time, very “reason” because your story about your friend, etc. had exactly the same “energy” and blend beautifully with our experience. That was what for me was missing in the second exercise when you were playing Flash, the balance. When you were telling the story or your speech, it was amazingly powerful but it was “all reason”, When I gave you the cake, and you finally “used” it, you lost the “brain” power you had and when you engaged your “senses” … ideally you not only should be able to keep the “brain” power but busted up even higher by engaging your “senses”. In my opinion, this is exactly what you did in the smoking exercise.
Before I outline those things to keep in mind from today's rehearsal, I want to make a couple of proposals for CASEY based on today's rehearsal. I think that you should always have an “action” (as you pointed out the other day). This action is actually pretty irrelevant but is just to give you something to do, like “smoking” today. Ideally, this “action” should be related to a particular “sense”. Today, surprisingly enough the experience was more “visual” for me that anything else. I think the “fluidity” of the smoke, which I had already initiated with the incense was the “driving” energy for me. Even being a little lightheaded at the beginning, the way you were talking and you explaining about that thing you did with your friend was all very “ethereal” and beautiful. So, as you can see, I’m always imagining CASEY in this forest with sun and fog as the same time, him floating around weightless … well … we got that today from some freaking cigarette. In sum, it doesn’t matter what “action" it is as long as it keeps our “senses” focused. My proposal is that you always bring something up your sleeve, anything, and you don’t tell me but “show me”. You could pick this by “senses” and your choice could be guided by your “intention” towards me. Even though CASEY doesn’t really “want” anything from THE ARTIST or at lest doesn’t do things “directly” towards him … the keyword here is “directly” so as long as you don’t make it obvious, your objectives could be seduce me, challenge me, dare me or even irritate me. This “action” could be something as simple an narcissistic as you that day find a part of your body or the whole of it beautiful and want to flaunt it at me and the world to exploring movement, sound, etc. It is important that not only this “action” gets my attention but that it triggers a “sensorial memory” in you so we can have the balance we had today between your senses and your reason during the smoking exercise.
EXERCISE KEYWORDS FOR ACTION:
CHARACTERS EXPLORED: CASEY and THE ARTIST
STAGE ACTION: Smoking. Dash rolls a cigarrete and shows Guido how to do it. They smoke together.
SENSORIAL MEMORY: Dash smoking with his friend on the roof. Character description of Dash’s friend.
SENSES TARGETED BY STAGE ACTION: Touch (rolling the cigarette, passing the cigarette around, etc.), Smell, Taste (to a certain point), Balance (lightheadedness) and Visual.
SENSES TARGETTED BY SENSORIAL MEMORY: Visual, Balance, Touch (talk about the seasons, etc.) and Smell (not necessarily the cigarettes but the roof, the desert where your friend is, etc.)
OVERALL MANIFESTATION OF THE ENERGY AS I PERCEIVED IT: “FLUIDITY”, “FREEDOM”, “LIGHTNESS OF SPIRIT”.
Dash, you finding an “action” to surprise me every time you play CASEY is not supposed to be a chore but a challenge and something fun. Almost anything you do, as long as you put your heart into it will inspire me so it is not so much “what” you do but “how” you do it. You know how to push my buttons so, have fun and take advantage of that. If you inspire me and keep me interested, guessing and surprised, you will without a doubt have the same effect on the audience so, it is not for my amusement I’m asking you to do this, is pretty much putting myself at your disposal so you can “muse” the audience. Also, believe it or not, CASEY’s costume will be there to ACCENT your physical aspects I find very beautiful and inspiring. Even though the original design was conceive before I even met you, it has been carefully “tuned up” for you. The reason I’m bringing this up is, if for any reason during a performance you would happen to go “blank” and couldn’t come up with an “action”, all you would have to do is shine your beautiful soul and body on stage and we all would be getting a lot more than we bargain for. In my opinion, “CASEY” is pretty much like your “BARE CHARACTER”, that’s why I mentioned today that we should spend sometime working on how to effectively and quickly connect to our BARE CHARACTERS.
EXERCISES FOR PHYSICAL APPROACH TO TRANSCENDING CHARACTERS
THE TRANSCENDING CHARACTERS
For the purpose of this physical approach proposal and exercises, I will not talk about the concept of THE TRANSCENDING CHARACTERS nor in general or in particular but, simply outline the evolution of the inspirational energy behind the physicality of each character. The ENERGY FLOW for the entire play follows this progression:
- We assume our BARE CHARACTERS going back to this “blank canvas” state or a “newborn” approach to life, hungry for new experiences and discovering the world.
- We exposed the BARE CHARACTERS to the world, to EXTERNAL STIMULATION. We are “INSPIRED” by beauty.
- We "take in” all this stimulation and PROCESS it INTERNALLY. We recharge this external energy with our own energy.
- We put this energy back into the world. We CREATE to give back to life and share this energy with the world.
Needless to say, this describes not only the process of the play but of art and life in general. The following exercises are “cumulative”, they all start with the BARE CHARACTER and build from it. When doing the exercises for any of the characters other than the BARE CHARACTER, skip the CONFINED CHARACTER exercises and spend less time on the exercises preceding to the particular character you are working on. For instance, if you are working on FLASH, spend less time working on your bare character and on Casey than when you are working on those characters alone.
ENERGY FLOW: We use our senses to focus on our own INTERNAL ENERGY and disconnect with that outside which imposes limitations, judgements, preconceptions, etc.
1.- Find a place where you can do this without being interrupted or distracted ... a SAFE SPACE. If possible, do this in the nude so not only you feel the most exposure but also, more connected with your body without any layers or anything that doesn’t belong to it naturally. Even though you could think of this as a place for meditation, if possible, a place like the shower, in nature or any other place where you could “heighten” your senses (in the shower you can heighten your sense of touch, feel temperature, etc.) is preferred.
2.- Disconnect as much as possible with the outside world. Like with meditation, it helps to concentrate on your breathing. Focus on only one aspect of your breath, the sound, the movement of your chest, the feeling of the air rushing in and out your mouth, etc. Once you have managed to isolate this from the rest of your body and the world, you are now your BARE CHARACTER but before you open yourself to the outside stimuli you need to heighten your senses so you can take it all in.
3.- To TURN YOUR SENSES BACK ON, you start engaging on sense at the time. If you were doing your breathing, concentrate first on the sound of your breathing, isolating it as much as possible. Then try listening to your heartbeat. Keep engaging your "hearing" to its maximum power but just on sounds pertaining to "you" and not the outside world for instance, if you are in the shower, listen to the sound of the water hitting your skin rather than the water flow. If you are in you bed or some place like that, the sound of the sheets against your skin or even your fingers rubbing against themselves, etc. Do this as much as possible with every single sense but again ... "YOU" ... Isolate any other stimulus coming from anything other than yourself.
REASON AND SENSES (CONFINED CHARACTERS)
ENERGY FLOW: I will not go to much into this flow because it is basically not a flow but a “stop” of energy and there’s something we do normally without the need for any exercise but, to be fair, I will suggest an exercise in case you choose to do it.
1.- Follow the exercise for the BARE CHARACTER.
2.- Expose the “sponge-like” energy of your bare character to an outside stimulus (for the senses) or let in a thought. These are our confined characters so once we open that portal, something is bound to stop us. For instance, someone might knock on your door, your agent might call you, you might remember you need to go to work, etc.
3.- Follow the flow of energy for as long as you can to see how far you can go before you feel the limitation. You might be lucky and find out that you don’t have as many limitations as you thought but, for this exercise the point is not to “avoid” them to let your energy flow until you feel you’re being stopped.
CASEY AND THE ARTIST
ENERGY FLOW: Think of CASEY as the “virgin passion”, a passion that has never being judged, restrained, tainted. Since, for must of us, it’s not easy to connect to something we no longer feel, we need to find the POINTS OF CONNECTION so we can evoke those emotions and state of mind through something we do feel and experience at the present. One significant point of connection is “THE FIRST TIME”, the “awe” and “fascination” a child has when he experiences something for the first time. Specially for someone my age, you would think that finding this “first time” feeling would be difficult but, it is not at all, I could give you a very long list but let’s just say … few months ago this English actor came into my apartment for an interview and made me feel “alive” for the first time in quite some time. He likes tea so, I “re-discovered” that pleasure which has been dormant and forgotten in me … I think you get the point here … not only there will always be new experiences, new people, new "first times" but also, “new energies” that will bring back old experiences to life again as if there were new. The key is not to “search” for these experiences or opportunities but to “bare” our souls to the world completely and without judgement. Fear, hesitation, etc. are all valid and add to the experience since in most cases, these emotions are present when we do something for the first time. In case you haven’t already figured it out, the difference between CASEY and THE ARTIST is that CASEY is the character living the experience "for the first time” and THE ARTIST is “rekindling” those experiences through CASEY … very much like Guido did and continues doing through Dash. Ultimately, this is what art is all about for me and what we are trying to do with Triptych: “reigniting” the audience’s “first time” fascination for life.
Although these exercises are “physical" preparation or approach to the characters, specially in this case, we can use our “sensorial memory” to “rekindle” old experiences. Since there’s no much to exposing your bare character to an isolated “new” experience or to a particular “old” experience, I will give you an exercise to combine both then, you can apply on your own the same steps to do them separately. For Casey and The Artist, it works best if the “sensorial memory” is from the “first time” you experience that feeling or stimulus but, any “strong” memory will work.
1.- Follow the exercise for the BARE CHARACTER.
2.- Once all your senses are on at full speed and hungry for stimulation, pick up whatever comes rushing in first … this time from THE OUTSIDE and not YOU. If you are in the shower, for instance, you might now “hear" the water flowing from the shower head, “smell” the water, shampoo or soap or; feel the water running through your feet and toes. Take the time to “enjoy” that feeling, to connect to it.
3.- If you have not already naturally done so yet, engage your mind and let that the “current” feeling evoke an old “sensorial memory”. For instance, maybe the water running through your feet might take you to a time where you took yours shoes off and stuck your feet in the ocean, river, etc. Indulge yourself with that memory trying to “travel” in time to that experience and leaving the “current” stimulus behind.
4.- Reconnect now with the water running through your feet still connected to the memory. Live the experience at it fullest by “feeling” both experiences at once … one coming from your senses and the other from your “sensorial memory”.
FLASH AND TGGL (TRANSCENDED CHARACTERS)
ENERGY FLOW: For Casey and The Artist we expose our bare characters to OUTSIDE stimuli and experience them as they come in their own reality, for FLASH and TGGL, we TAKE IN these stimuli as “seeds" and “fertilize” them with our own life or sexual energy. In a way, this is the “yin” or feminine flow of our energy, the “mother”, the “creator” side of it. We take what we want from the outside and process it inside us “incubating” this stimulus, energy, emotion, etc. for a certain time. FLASH and TGGL are human “incubators” if you will. They are also “limitless” wombs so they will “take in” without limits. Their hunger will never be satiated but, they don’t “devour” their food, they enjoy it because they know the food is not going anywhere and that there always be more to eat. I know I said that FLASH and TGGL ate their “fear” … this is true but this is not the only thing they eat. They eat anything and everything … fear, pain, sorrow, etc. as well as joy, happiness, freedom, etc. … it’s all food and like a recycling center, they can transform any of these emotions into “clean”, “pure”, “unlabeled” energy which they can then use as they wish.
Same ideas of new/old experiences and current/sensorial memory stimuli as with the previous exercise apply. Same as before, the following is an exercise combining both.
1.- Follow the exercise for the BARE CHARACTER.
2.- Follow the exercise for CASEY and THE ARTIST.
3.- Pick up the strongest stimulus current or from sensorial memory and try to focus on that specific part of your body where you feel this “energy” the most. If this is an external spot, on your skin, etc. internalize it, feel it penetrating your skin. If possible, draw and direct this energy to you base chakra, to your perineum or even your penis but not the outside but in the inside, that spot you feel when you do a Kegel or just before you ejaculate. This SPOT is your womb, the place where you will plant this seed and fertilize it.
4.- Take the time to really feel this energy taking “roots” in this spot and feel this energy turning into “hunger” for more the same way a pregnant woman wants to eat and have cravings all coming from the need to “feed” this seed.
5.- Try “feeding” this energy with both actual foods and evoked memories. Separate the actual food from the “energy” you have placed on it. For instance, let’s pick up the example of the water running through your feet and toes and perhaps the feeling of freedom or fluidity this might bring you … if you were to drink some wine or something “refreshing” like this water … separate the “wine” from the feeling of freedom so you can imagine you are drinking and feeding yourself with freedom and not wine. Try adding layers to the original energy planted in your entrails by trying with different foods and food related memories but, don’t limit this memories to the food trigger but, for instance, if you remember a time when you ate this particular food and your mind wants to go into remembering the people you were with or anything else … don’t stop it … let it flow. Listen to the “incubating” energy’s cravings and waterer it wants you to “have” or “take in”. Remember that for these characters is all about the “lust”, about "wanting it all” so it is important that you don’t let this seed grow just yet, just keep feeding it deep inside you.
THE WOLVES (THE ABSOLUTE CHARACTERS)
ENERGY FLOW: Now is time to cut the “feeding tube” to the outside world and direct all our accumulated resources to feeding this incubating energy from inside. We will experience this energy growing inside us to the point of taking over us and replacing our insides for his until he finds a weak spot in our shell and breaks free into the world.
Although the same ideas from the previous characters apply, for the sake of this exercise we’ll concentrate on new experiences and present stimuli only. This is not to say we should block sensorial memory or our minds in general but in the play, we want THE WOLVES to be triggered by the SACRED SPACE, by our experience that night with the audience so, we need to exercise our “perception” of stimuli present in the space. Also, in the play, the idea of using the V.O. was so we could free ourselves from our minds and give in to our senses and have both mind and senses at their best … that’s why this exercise is more “physical” than the others even though we are of course using our brain to imagine the wolf inside us. If you don’t feel a “wolf”, it is okay for the purpose of this exercise to use any other animal or creature you might want to use.
1.- Follow the exercise for the BARE CHARACTER but use real present stimuli only.
2.- Follow the exercise for CASEY and THE ARTIST but use real present stimuli only.
3.- Follow the exercise for FLASH and TGGL but use real present stimuli only.
4.- Reconnect to that SPOT, the place where this energy has been incubating and direct all your energy to it … like a big push, shock, kick or anything that works for you to initiate the growth of this seed.
5.- Visualize this energy growing and expanding inside your body. Some people think of the spot as ink or paint which starts to grow bigger and taking shape. You can also think of it as a real seed growing into a big tree inside you … whichever visualization works best for you, think of this animal or wolf growing inside your body. There are many, many layers you can play with ... you can just go physical and visualize the body of the wolf inside you, you can add movement making the wolf move your "shell" in a certain manner, you can add emotions or objectives to the wolf ... staring at a prey, dominating a pack, mating with another wolf, eating a sheep ... anything.
6.- Try adding layers and turning on all of the wolf’s senses on the way you turned yours for the bare character. If you manage to do this, now you should feel your senses to an incredible height since you should feel your and the wolf’s senses at the same time.
7.- Whenever you feel that you can’t take the energy any longer and that it has to come out or burst, direct your senses to that spot on YOUR body or the outside shell where you feel the energy migrating to. This is must likely the weak spot of the shell so let the animal/wolf pierce through it, crack the shell and emerge from inside.
8.- But this is a struggle between you and this animal, “the survival of the fittest” so don’t let the wolf out if you feel that he’s not stronger than you. Enjoy the struggle until you feel that your body, the outside shell, is no longer “YOU” but that you are also inside this shell also trying to find your way out with the wolf.
9.- Don’t force anything. If you feel that only one of you can come out, that’s fine. If none of you is ready to come out, that’s fine as well. Even though ideally you two will “survive” because you are both equally “fitted”, this might not be the case whenever you do this exercise or even during the play.
FURTHER STEPS FOR THE FUTURE:
10.- Eventually, we will start using the fabric we will use in the play. The idea is to make this fabric become our second skin or an extension of our skin. Without the fabric, it’s more difficult to “shed” our skin and give the audience the idea that we both (us and the wolf) broke through the shell. By transferring your skin to this fabric, both you and the wolf can struggle inside this fabric trying to find the weak spot to emerge from. Ideally, the audience should be able to “see” the two characters trapped inside this shell fighting “together” to come out. So, for this exercise, using the fabric, visualize your body splitting between you and the wolf under this “shell”, the fabric, which now represents the “skin” or the “body” of the old Dash, the one you have left behind by transcending. One way to “exercise” this struggle and separate the two characters could be taking positions about how you feel about the fabric … Dash might feel protected and want to “cover” himself up with the fabric while the wolf might want to get off from him so visually, you would have one pulling the fabric in and covering himself and the other pushing the fabric away and trying to get it off.
ACTION REVIEW - Since the initiation of the ceremonial space by plunging the phurba into the sandbox was originally thought for THE THIRD to do while the other characters got ready for their confined characters and cleared the stage, this is now out of place. The main issue here is that we are breaking the continuity of our “transcending” character because it seems like we went from THE THIRD to the confined characters, instead of from the BARE CHARACTER to the CONFINED CHARACTER as it was originally conceived. Before we go into the CONFINED CHARACTERS we should momentarily go back to the moment when the BARE CHARACTERS face the audience and put their pants on. To do this and to include the MARKING OF THE CEREMONIAL SPACE with the brown and white rice (or whatever we decide) which is also missing in the script now, this is what I’m proposing the actions should be: 1.- THE THIRD’S REASON and THE THIRD’S SENSES walk through the middle frame down to the audience; 2.- They deliver their opening lines about the two roads; 3.- They meet downstage center right in front of the middle frame and do the phurba ceremony; 4.- Hopefully (depending on the theater’s lighting) a circle spot will illuminate the center of the stage where the frame are still standing and the other lights will dim down to create emphasis on the circle; 5.- THE THIRD'S REASON walks back, picks up the middle frame and takes it all the way back where it will remain until the end of the play. THE THIRD’S SENSES follows him upstage ; 6.- They each grab a bag of rice placed near the landing of the middle frame and walk back to the circle created by the light centerstage. They meet on the upstage edge of the circle and then proceed to mark the circle with rice each on on their side of the stage until they meet at the downstage border of the circle; 7.- They enter the circle through the imaginary portal between the two sides of the circle, pick up their frames and leaving from the imaginary portal still, THE THIRD'S REASON picks up his frame and places it a few feet forward from the middle frame and still to the left side of it. The THIRD’S SENSES mirrors his moves and places his frame to the right side of the middle frame at the same level of THE THIRD’S REASON’s frame; 8.- The lights dim back up to the general absolute reality level (including the house or audience light) and the characters pick up their props (Quill and Paper) and go back downstage to deliver their monologues to the audience; 9.- After their monologues, they meet by the phurba (downstage-center) and the lights go momentarily off; 10.- The lights go back to the way they were before the characters became THE THIRD and we see them standing behind their respective frames now back as THE REASON and THE SENSES and without the dorje pendant around their necks; 10.- The lights go momentarily off one again and when they come back up, the two frames are now facing each other separated by the width of the middle frame behind them. The two characters, now their confined characters, are facing their respective frame-mirror; 11.- Beginning of the First Entr’acte.
MONOLOGUE REVIEW - For the Entr’acte 1, I believe it makes more sense if THE SENSES deliver his CONFINED MONOLOGUE FIRST and then THE REASON delivered his. Again, this is something that was arbitrarily setup originally not only when there was a THIRD doing the initiations but when we didn’t have all the monologues in place. In this order, THE SENSES would have time to search around for Casey’s medallion which will trigger his next monologue where he talks about how Casey entered his life. This “beginning of the main (THE ARTIST( monologue” as we were calling it, could mark the transition between THE SENSES and THE ARTIST which will culminate when THE ARTIST places the medallion around THE REASON’S neck at the end of the entr’acte. At this point, THE REASON’s second monologue is just one line which could be delivered at the moment when the medallion hits his chest as if the medallion is triggering Casey out. Before they meet to trigger each other’s characters, THE REASON was supposed to find a bowl with burnt incense which, at this point doesn’t make much sense anymore, and have with him to use on THE SENSES after he puts the medallion on him. See the next prop review for suggestions.
PROP REVIEW - Originally, THE ARTIST was supposed to paint himself and a canvas with burnt incense simulating charcoal but with the added scent. This is not the case any longer so this prop should be reviewed. The idea is that this object is “the tool” the “muse” is suggesting THE ARTIST to use to create from his inspiration. At the moment, I’m still trying to figure out the logistics and do-ability of what I want THE ARTIST to create but, I was thinking about using the same sponge he uses to bathe Casey as a “brush”, sort of “sponging” beauty from Casey and sponging it on the canvas. If this works out technically, then my proposal would be that this sponge is what THE REASON finds in his confined area and hands out to THE SENSES. If this was the case, THE REASON could even rub his armpit, face or something as to pick up his scent so THE SENSES can smell it when he receives it and turn on his sense of smell like he was going to do with the incense.
ACTION ADDED - THE DORJE EXCHANGE behind the middle frame before we cross through it. THE REASON puts a dorje pendant over THE SENSES neck and then THE SENSES puts an identical one on THE REASON.
ACTION PROPOSAL - Every time there is an action repeated by the other character (walking through the middle frame, picking up objects, etc.) All of DASH’s characters should always be first unless it is specified on the script otherwise because of lines or a particular action. This is not only because he used to be ONE but to tie it up with the next proposal as THE THIRD’S REASON.
ACTION PROPOSAL - The “triptych” frames should be used more than just at the beginning and end of the play. They should be moved around “strategically” in a chess-like manner always initiated by THE THIRD’S REASON. Besides some pre-planned positions like in between the confine areas, as the canvas for THE ARTIST, etc. THE THIRD’S REASON could move his frame to wherever he wants as long as it looks like a “conscious” choice and of course doesn’t block the audience view or our actions on stage.
ACTION PROPOSAL - As a counterpart for THE THIRD’S REASON connecting with THE THIRD’S SENSES by controlling the frames movement, THE THIRD’S SENSES will initiate or challenge a “sense” in THE THIRD’S REASON every time they come together.
THE ABSOLUTE APPROACH TO CHARACTER WORK
TRIPTYCH has taken many turns and things have “apparently” changed since the beginning of our journey but, I say “apparently” because what has ‘changed', and I prefer to call it ‘evolved', has been the way to conceptualize and put into words the principles of the play and the Absolute technique which in themselves have remained unchanged. All these changes are not only expected but encouraged as they give immediacy and life to the work but, when in doubt, we just need go back to the roots and fundamental beliefs.
As you know, the Absolute Theater shares Grotowski’s idea of the “Holy Actor” only that we call it the “BARE CHARACTER” so rather than trying to put it into my own words, I recommend you take the time to review the notes I posted about Grotowski in the Company’s Library page. But, in the meantime, here are two quotes that might trigger your memory:
"Ours is not a deductive method of collecting skills. Here everything is concentrated on the "ripening" of the actor which is expressed by a tension towards the extreme, by a complete stripping down, by the laying bare of one's own intimity - all this without the least trace of egotism or self-enjoyment. The actor makes a total gift of himself. This is a technique of the "trance" and of the integration of all the actor's psychic and bodily powers which emerge from the most intimate layers of his being and his instinct, springing forth in a sort of "trans-lumination.” JG
"But the decisive factor in this process is the actor's technique of psychic penetration. He must learn to use his role as if it were surgeon's scalpel, to dissect himself. It is not a question of portraying himself under certain given circumstances, or of “living” a part; nor does it entail the distant sort of acting common to epic theatre and based on cold calculation. The important thing is to use the roles a trampolin, an instrument with which to study what is hidden behind our everyday mask – the innermost core of our personality - in order to sacrifice it, expose it.” JG
At the beginning of the play we strip to our BARE CHARACTERS for a reason, to start as a BLANK SLATE. When we become our CONFINED CHARACTERS we put on our first “mask”, we cover our “bareness” with our limitations. How do we do this? We just let “fear” take over our BARE CHARACTERS, we open our senses and embrace our FEAR. Perhaps what is now complicating things is the fact that we are both playing THE THIRD when before you were just playing ONE CHARACTER GOING THROUGH A TRANSCENDENCE PROCESS so, to simplify things, we should think as we were playing TWO CHARACTERS in TRIPTYCH, One, who is no other than OURSELVES: DASH and GUIDO, the actors who evolve and transcend into different characters or stages of transcendence and, THE THIRD (shared between us) who remains the same from beginning to end. If tit makes it easier for you to “play” THE THIRD, you should see it as a guru, a master of ceremonies or/and a narrator. Al the other CHARACTERS we play are either “masks” or “snapshots” of our BARE CHARACTERS, of ourselves at different stages of transcendence.
In the new characters breakdown page in the script, I list and describe 3 characters: The Reason, The Senses and The Third which correspond to the original concept of ONE, TWO and THE THIRD, the only difference is that we have renamed ONE and TWO to more clearly show the dichotomy we are exploring and, of course, we are now sharing THE THIRD. It is very important not to confuse our THIRD sides with our MAIN character, so to speak.
The progression of our two MAIN CHARACTERS could be schematized as follows:
- BARE CHARACTERS (DASH and GUIDO stripped down) face FEAR and become their CONFINED CHARACTERS (which we are calling THE REASON and THE SENSES)
- THE CONFINED CHARACTERS (REASON and SENSES) enter the RITUAL REALITY, take off their “masks” and become momentarily their BARE CHARACTERS again.
- DASH’s BARE CHARACTER takes in BEAUTY and becomes CASEY. CASEY inspires GUIDO’s BARE CHARACTER who becomes THE ARTIST.
- CASEY and THE ARTIST go back into their confinements and therefore their CONFINED CHARACTERS (THE REASON and THE SENSES)
- THE CONFINED CHARACTERS enter the RITUAL REALITY again, takes off their “masks” and become momentarily their BARE CHARACTERS again.
- THEY take in LUST FOR LIFE and become a RITUAL REALITY crossover of their TRANSCENDED CHARACTERS: FLASH and TGGL.
- After the second ritual, the characters walk out of the RITUAL REALITY as FLASH and TGGL and never go back to their CONFINED CHARACTERS.
- The TRANSCENDED CHARACTERS enter the RITUAL REALITY once again but this time they don’t need to go momentarily back to their BARE CHARACTERS “because” their BARE CHARACTERS have ‘TRANSCENDED” so FLASH, is DASH’s BARE CHARACTER now and TGGL is Guido’s BARE CHARACTER.
- THEY take in “FREEDOM and FEARLESSNESS” and become their ABSOLUTE CHARACTERS: LIGHT WOLF and DARK WOLF.
- After Act III, since their ABSOLUTE CHARACTERS can only exits within the SACRED SPACE, the LIGHT WOLF and the DARK WOLF take in their “SOCIAL LIMITATIONS” and go back into their TRANSCENDED CHARACTERS: FLASH and TGGL so they can go out into the world.
I will go into more details for each character once we go back into the rehearsing process but for now, we need to “focus” on the “triggers” on “how” our main characters “TAKE IN” those triggers and finding the “points of connection” between our characters and the audience. For instance, what for you Dash is BEAUTY, it might not be the same of what this is for me so you have to “find" beauty within you through CASEY and "expose it" to me so it can “inspire” THE ARTIST out of me and we both can inspire the AUDIENCE. My CANVAS is BLANK, you need to “create” CASEY and CASEY needs to create "his space” vividly enough so both THE ARTIST and the AUDIENCE can see this magic world. I have always say that the relationship between an artist and a muse need to be reciprocal, just because one “exposes” things through a canvas, paper, musical instrument, etc. and the other doesn’t, that doesn’t mean that they are not both “creating” and “inspiring” each other. That, to me, is the difference between a muse and just a model or a conventional actor; a model just stands there and takes his/her place in a setting that has been already created by the artist; like a missing piece in a puzzle that has already been put together. A muse is like a self-contained seed which sprouts out not only into a beautiful flowering tree but into the ground in which it sets roots in, a forest and the unlimited universe around him/her. The role of the artists is merely to keep watering, feeding this plant with the waters from the rivers, ponds, oceans that have sprung from its very own seed of creation.
EVOLUTION OF THE WOLF
ACT III is, of course, about longing, about opening the doors not only to our personal road to transcendence but the audience’s as well. A lot has changed since I first embarked in this journey last year and specially, since you Dash came on-board. I believe we both have transcended to a certain point and still have a couple of months to further grow before we open the play in Montreal. I feel that ACT III should reflect these changes, this evolution. I think that limiting ourselves to a monologue that not only was written 30 years ago but that now stands extremely weak compare to the rest of the play, would be a mistake and a contradiction with the beliefs of The Absolute Theater. Whether or not this text was written by me, it did not originate “on-stage” and from our experimental process so it should not be used.
In the original proposal for TRIPTYCH, ACT III was supposed to be the “monsters ball”, a celebration of our ABSOLUTE CHARACTERS without restrictions, limitations, etc. With the original cast, there were going to be 3 different “monsters” and I, as THE THIRD, was going to coordinate and narrate this process to the audience. It was at that point that I introduced he idea of using the wolf monologue not only because I was going to “narrate” the story while the actors transformed, etc. but also, because there was one of the actors who did not have a “monster” in mind so he wanted to try the wolf. Dash, when you came along, I was already sold on the idea of having the wolf as one of the “monsters” and then, Albert decided he also wanted to be the wolf so that’s why I thought on a way to divide the three different levels of language and reality in the original monologue into three different wolves. The point is, the bulk of this monologue is a narration and we no longer have a narrator to deliver it and now, the story in this monologue doesn’t make sense in the context of the play. Bear in mind that I was also dealing with an actor who didn’t quite grasp the idea of the wolf and from whom I would have not gotten the message I want to put out there with this act so, putting words in his mouth seemed as an alternate solution, something that we don't need to concern ourselves with any longer.
My new proposal for ACT III is that we recover the original concept and make these 10 minutes or so into a celebration of our liberated souls, an opportunity to enjoy our free spirits and more importantly, inspire the audience to transcend to LONG for their own transcendence by exposing our own to them. ACT III should be much more than us just going wild in front of the audience, without preaching or making it sound like a “conclusion” or a “lesson to be learned”, this scene should show the path that the two of us have followed and the LONGING for continuing on this path to the ABSOLUTE BLISS.
Dash, it would be wrong and a total waste not to share with the audience what at least I have learned, re-learned and discovered about myself and my work since you came along, how knowing you has changed my life. What better way to inspire the audience than to show how you and working with you have inspired me. Resort to an old monologue might have been alright when I was dealing with just actors but it makes no sense whatsoever now that I’m working with an amazing muse and talented artist like yourself.
I propose for the verbal language in ACT III to be our “WOLVES' MANIFESTO”, a collection of thoughts, experiences and crucial memories of our transcendence process, our “Narcissus and Goldmund” if you will. These thoughts should be recorded as a voice over so not only they don’t limit our freedom during the performance but also, we don’t leave it to chance by forgetting or delivering these thoughts under a trance state. Also, these words are to serve as a connection to the audience who will most likely be more prompted to receive these from a calm voice over than from a wild animal on-stage. This will also give them the chance to maybe go into a trance themselves because they will not feel like they have to pay attention to us talking but just let go and enjoy the experience. We would keep the compilation of this voice over open until at least one month before the show so we can cover what it is to come for us. Last week I suggested the “Wolves Journal” … now it makes sense to me why I felt we needed this. Besides the voice over, we might need to write a short introduction to the ACT to be told as THE THIRD’S REASON and SENSES not only to be consistent with the play but to give the audience an idea of what’s about to happen. These short introductions will be the last time we address the audience directly so they should be somehow inspirational and personal since, after all, that is our gift to them with this play; as Grotowski would say, we are sacrificing ourselves for them.
There could be TRIGGERED MONOLOGUES as well but, they don’t have to be and these would definitively have to be improvised and spontaneous during each performance. We are WOLVES, totally free and liberated ABSOLUTE CHARACTERS so we can say or not say anything we feel like on that particular day. Same goes for the actions, besides a couple of “proposed” actions to keep with the idea of the play and the time limit, everything we'll do should be improvised and created each night.
As far as the CHARACTERS go, I propose we continue with the concept of the dichotomy explored in TRIPTYCH that is, I believe we should be one polar opposite of the same wolf, you Dash should be the wolf’s lightness: LIGHT WOLF, and I should be the wolf’s darkness: DARK WOLF. Noticed that I’m not suggesting a wolf’s reason and a wolf’s senses but lightness and darkness because we are ABSOLUTE CHARACTERS and we both have, at least to a certain extend by that time, achieved balance but we still can represent the light and the dark because, I don’t know if you remember this from the beginnings of TRIPTYCH but, I believe that you can be Absolute in both light and darkness and besides, in ACT III we are connected and the gap between us has been closed so we are an ABSOLUTE ENTITY. Till this point in the play, we were TWO CHARACTERS but now we are TWO CONNECTED AND BALANCED SIDES of ONE WOLF or, if it makes more sense to you, we are mirrored images of the same wolf, “one uplifted by the lusty sun and the other illuminated by the sultry moon”.
We all doubt once in a while whether or not what we are creating is of any value to others and, this is not only healthy but if more artists thought about this we would have much more beautiful art out there. More than a "purpose", I believe that art shout have an "existential necessity"; something as vital and instinctive to the artist as breathing, eating and falling in love. For me, TRIPTYCH is not just a play, a little project I want to share with the world to massage my ego as an artist or a great story I dreamed-up, TRIPTYCH is my work and life MANIFESTO, my personal view of life and art. I have no agendas or plans to change the world with TRIPTYCH, it is my "existential need" to express myself through this play and all I can hope for is that my passion, love for life and art becomes contagious ans spreads out into the world.
Dash, you are perhaps too young to have a MANIFESTO but, you are without a doubt a very passionate and generous artist. There is a reason, no pun intended, why you are an actor and why you chose to join me in this journey while having so many other options in life and career. After a few months on this process together, you might have started to "feel" that this "reason" might be turning into a "need", something that your body and soul is craving and asking you to do. I'm sure you already felt this need before you met me and that this has just triggered it out or hopefully make it more evident and essential. I invited you to join me in Triptych and into my work for two reasons: firstly, because you are a beautiful and inspiring human being and secondly, because you are a very talented artist who I believe can use his craft to open himself to the world and liberate the power of his beautiful soul. At the risk of misquoting you or screwing up the quote ... "YOU are the content and YOUR TALENT is the form ... I'll say we let talent and form fuck and make beautiful babies." If you ever doubt of the "value" of TRIPTYCH, think of your "own value"; I don't know about you but for me, your entire existence, body and soul are simply "priceless" and something far more valuable to the world that a clever story or any fundamental message.
When in doubt, listen again to these words in which I believe one million percent as if they were my own.
Peter Brook about Grotowski excerpt.
THE WOLVES JOURNAL:
TODAY - MY MESSAGE THROUGH TRIPTYCH WOULD BE
To help with my own transcendence progress and with focusing on what the play means to me, I thought of this little ritual to be performed ideally everyday from now till the shown opens but at least, before every rehearsal. I believe this could benefit you as well so I'm sharing this with you not as something you must do but as a suggestion or proposal. I've found that the best time to do this is when waking up in the morning, after some sensorial or meditative exercise or any other time when feeling your sexual energy on a high level. Doing this when tired or on low energy defeats the purpose. The idea is basically just let The Wolf talk and to free a completely liberated, non-restricted, no limitations statement. However, it is important not to push The Wolf out or try to talk like The Wolf that will be taking the stage during the performance, this is actually meant to serve as a TRANSFORMATION JOURNAL so if we recorded or wrote these statements down, we should see the results of the transcendence progress as we move along. The only restriction should be that of somehow structuring these statements to cover the ideas explored in each one of the acts in TRIPTYCH: LOVE: beauty, freedom, impermanence; LUST: celebration of sexuality and the senses as life energy not limited to sex, lust for life, hunger for it all and, LONGING: passion for the journey and not necessarily for the destination, seeing the future as a guiding light and not something we want to reach or plan for, longing for continuous growth, change and transformation, seeing the world ahead through the eyes of The Wolf: our liberated self.
TRIPTYCH - MOVING ON
It is time for all of us to move on with TRIPTYCH, to take a significant step towards our transcendence, for you as Absolute Actors, for me as Absolute Director and for all of us as individuals and artists.
We have been working together for a little while now and I have concentrated my energy on creating a safe or Sacred Space for you ... for us; on giving you the tools to create the Absolute way and hopefully; on inspiring your artistic souls. But ... I believe that none of us is doing this so we can enjoy ourselves in the safety of my apartment but to inspire the world out there and be the best Social Wolf we can be. It is time for us to break free of our own cages, to do what we will be inspiring the audience to do, to be the first to take the plunge and embrace the beliefs of the Absolute Theater and, that starts with me as your director and guide on this journey.
As you know, although I claim not to have a limitation, my Social Wolf does and that is: fear. I keep threatening you with my Absolute Wolf but I have never ever let him out in any of our rehearsals or meetings and, I use the word threatening on purpose because I believe that when you don't have it in you to do something, when you are afraid, you just threat people. I suppose I don't need to tell you what is it that I'm afraid of after the history of TRIPTYCH and my work in general but, it is time to face my fear, if I can't Wolf-Out in the very Absolute Bliss, in the theater, I'm trying to create ... what's the point of my work then?
I have enjoyed immensely working with you two so far, you have inspired me, challenged me and helped enormously with my own transcendence so, if not for me, I owe you taking the next step. I will not compromise my work and my transcendence process because I'm afraid of loosing you, of pushing you too far or too soon, of scaring you away, of hurting you because even if I did, by now you should trust that I would not be doing this on purpose or intentionally. I accept the fact that creating or even living without compromises and without limits implies the risk of hurting, disappointing and loosing others. From now on, we either walk together or I'm very prepared to walk alone. From now own I will be asking things from you I believe are necessary for this journey, I will ask you to trust my judgement and go with the energy, I will ask you to step aside if I believe you are holding the rest of us back instead of moving on with the flow.
TRIPTYCH is and will be The Absolute Theater's Manifesto, my artist statement to the world and the portal to the journey I want to make both as an artist and human being ... as you can understand, there is no room for compromise, it's all or nothing with this. By now, you should have learned that my work is not about making believe but about believing, it's not about 'playing' the fearless Flash and the valiant Hero for the duration of the performance, it is about 'being' the fearless Flash and the valiant Hero so, it is time for me to tempt you, to challenge you, to provoke you ... to face your limitations so hopefully, you will transcend them, after all, how could we asked this from the audience and the world out there if we are not willing to do that ourselves. Hypocrisy, in my opinion, is the venom which poisons the arts.
With this said, here it is what I would like from you from now on, my proposal which you can always take or leave whether this is for lack of motivation or availability. Starting NOW this is how we proceed with TRIPTYCH's production:
- CAST REHEARSALS: once a week, at the same day and time, we will rehearse the entire play as you would a conventional play. I have nor the time or desire of wasting my energy in chasing every week after one day for all of us to meet. I'm sure that with other projects you are given a set rehearsal schedule so, all I'm asking is ONE set day per week. If one week you can't make that day, I don't want to deal with it, it will be your responsibility to contact each other and come up with a replacement day that same week and letting me know after is all set. If I'm so lucky to find an assistant or production manager, then he/she will be able to help you with this. Why? because besides the reason stated above, I'm your "guru" so I don't want any unnecessary conflicting energy between us.
- ONE-ON-ONE REHEARSALS: at least once a week, I need a couple of hours to work with each one of you alone. During these rehearsals, we will work on your characters and on your personal and artistic transcendence. From now on, I will sacrifice my actor's work during these rehearsals to be there for you as a coach, director and guru. These rehearsals can be anytime and any day and although I'm open to spontaneity, to last minute meetings, I would feel better if you gave me at least sure day and time by the beginning of each week.
- SENSORY SESSIONS: this should not come as a surprise to you given the nature of the work. Till now I have tried to work on your senses during rehearsals but I have found that you are not ready yet for 'balanced' rehearsals and that we need to push those senses. Also, specially in the all cast rehearsals we will be focusing on structure, lines, etc. so I feel it's necessary that we dedicate some time to 'letting go' at a complete sensorial level. Yes, this is probably when you'll have to let go of your fear and your cowardly and perhaps these will be the most challenging and difficult rehearsals for you. I believe we should have one of these sessions per week, at your convenience but, I'll consider bundling them up, that is, having one of these sessions either before or after our one-on-one rehearsal, having a long one one week and skipping a week, etc. These don't need to be two hours or even timed, I would prefer that you allow us at least one hour but, it will all depend on what we do during these sessions. I will give you more information on this later but one thing I can tell you, be prepared to let go, to get dirty, to explore and to have fun.
- PERSONAL WORK: unfortunately, for the level of preparation we need to be for the performance we can't rely just on our rehearsal time together. As you would for any other project, you need to work on your own. I'm sure you'll feel on a more familiar place once we start learning lines, etc. but you should not wait till them to work on the characters, the play and you own personal transcendence. I will do my best to suggest exercises, ideas, etc. but you can also propose and do your own work.
- COMMUNICATION: from now on, it shouldn't be only me sending you emails and suggesting things, we should remain in contact and connected even if we don't see each other for several days. We need to keep the energy flowing, we need to use each other to get energy from the others when we feel we are low in energy and boost the others when we feel we have plenty. Not only this is one of the Absolute Theater's beliefs but also, we are playing basically the same person in TRIPTYCH so ... that's how connected we should seem to the audience. No, I don't believe that to do this we need to know everything about each other or pry into each others lives ... all it takes is staying 'connected' and letting the energy flow between us. We should always show our Bare Characters to each other after all, that is the kind of artist we want to be.
Stripped down to their bare souls, three men stand exposed but liberated on the empty stage. They wear no clothes and carry only an amulet; their umbilical cord, the connection to their Safe Space, the link between a newborn and his mother’s womb. ONE (stage-right) and TWO (stage-left) stand behind one-way mirrors which reflect both their bareness and the audience’s perception of them. The doorway in front of THE THIRD, the man in the middle, is open; nothing stands in his way so he walks freely through the portal between the three metaphysical levels or realities: the Spatial Reality, the Ritual Reality and the Absolute Reality. ONE and TWO, facing the audience, learn of their limitations, experience fear and cowardly, cover themselves up and build their own personal imaginary confinement around them which both restrains them and protects them from the outside world.
After establishing himself as the portal between the audience and the theatrical experience on stage, THE THIRD initiates the Sacred Space and the Ritual Reality.
In the First Ritual; the first step towards transcendence; the first task ONE and TWO must perform to embark on this journey, THE THIRD initiates the two men on two different paths leading to the same destination. He challenges ONE with FEARLESS BEAUTY and encourages TWO with INSPIRATION. By embodying CASEY, ONE experiences the world of the senses, the splendor of nature and an existence without limitations: LOVE. By giving TWO the soul of an ARTIST, THE THIRD entrusts him with the role of the connector or link between CASEY and the world. The ARTIST's task is not to capture CASEY’s beauty but to free it into the world and to do this, the ARTIST himself needs to be free of the very limitations which feed his cowardly so he can connect with CASEY through the senses and to the world through both, senses and reason.
CASEY and the ARTISTS are just masks, temporary vessels allowing ONE and TWO navigate in the Ritual Reality. ONE and TWO have not transcended into these characters so, after the First Ritual, their limitations are still there, waiting for them to return to their imaginary confinements but, something has changed, ONE and TWO had a taste of their TRANSCENDED CHARACTERS, that version of themselves without personal limitations so, they move on to feast from the entire banquet.
ONE looks at himself in the mirror and conjures in FLASH, his TRANSCENDED CHARACTER. TWO is dared by the unknown, which triggers HERO, his TRANSCENDED CHARACTER to come out and take his place at the ceremonial table, the Banquet of The Senses at which FLASH and HERO now feed from their limitations. They feast directly from their own entrails. They eat not to satiate their hunger but to awaken their LUST for more.
FLASH and HERO have transcended their personal limitations so, their imaginary confinements have vanished and with them the barriers between the Spatial and the Ritual Realities but, there is one more barrier to brake, the boundaries imposed by society which can only be transcended within the safety of the Sacred Space created on stage.
In Act III, the three characters open the Ritual Reality one last time to free their ABSOLUTE SELVES, THE WOLVES: creatures without personal or social limitations and the Absolute Balance between reason and senses, between nature and the creator, between dark and light … between the beast and the man.
After the Third and last Ritual, after braking the barriers to the Absolute Reality, the characters go back to their SOCIAL WOLVES or TRANSCENDED CHARACTERS; the masks they are allow to wear out of the theater and in which they can relate to the audience. The journey is not finished, they have just tasted the ABSOLUTE and given the audience the opportunity to experience it. Act III just ignited the LONGING, the eternal flame we must keep burning for the rest of our lives … always wanting more, always lusting for life, seeking the opportunity to wolf out and to experience the Absolute Bliss.
TRIPTYCH'S CHARACTERS BREAKDOWN
I have talked plenty about THE THIRD and my role in TRIPTYCH. In this characters breakdown, I will concentrate on your characters and I will only include myself when talking about the BARE CHARACTERS and the ABSOLUTE WOLVES since I do start the play at your same level and do transcend into my ABSOLUTE WOLF in the Third Act.
THE BARE CHARACTERS
BASE NAMES: ONE (DASH), TWO (ALBERT) AND, THE THIRD (GUIDO)
SCENE IN THE PLAY: "WELCOME RITUAL"
At the beginning of the play, we are all nude, blank, stripped down to our bare souls. There’s absolutely nothing covering us. We stand behind an open door, an open portal, a direct connection between us and the audience, We are a blank page, a white canvas, a raw stone, a language in which the words have not yet been created.
THE CONFINED CHARACTERS
BASE NAMES: ONE (DASH) AND TWO (ALBERT)
SCENES IN THE PLAY: "INITIATION RITUAL”, “ENTR’ACTE I” AND BEGINNING OF “ENTR’ACTE II"
In the Welcome Ritual, ONE and TWO face the audience, the world, society so, their limitations become evident; they look at themselves in the mirror for a first time. They cover their nakedness and protect their souls. They build an imaginary prison or confinement around them using their limitations: ONE: FEAR and TWO: COWARDLY, as the walls, bars, boundaries of this confinement. In this space, they are their CONFINED CHARACTERS and they feel both constrained and protected by the walls of this imaginary confinement.
THE ASSUMED CHARACTERS: CASEY AND THE ARTIST
CASEY and the ARTIST are ‘ASSUMED’ MASKS or CHARACTERS. They belong in the Ritual Reality and are only vessels THE THIRD uses to help ONE and TWO with their transcendence process. ONE and TWO do not transcend into CASEY and the ARTIST, they just ‘trigger’ the transcendence process for ONE into FLASH and for TWO into HERO. As everything belonging to the Ritual Reality, there are just ‘tools’ rather than transcended characters in themselves. They are masks, pretend characters, embodied energy, myths or voodoo totems; they are open portals between the CONFINED CHARACTERS and freedom, courage, bravery, strength and any other energy need by ONE and TWO to face and conquer their limitations.
ONE’S ASSUMED MASK OR CHARACTER
SCENE IN THE PLAY: ACT I - FIRST RITUAL
CASEY is beauty in itself; he is freedom, innocence, naivety, light, inspiration, love … he is the ultimate muse of art. He is nature, the senses in the raw. He is both the creator and the destroyer; like nature, he creates and destroys without a reason, without judgement, without a belief in good or evil, just as a mean to evolve, to promote change, growth and renewal. He is both the reflection of that which is grandiose like the ocean, the forests, the open fields, the mountains, etc. as well as the magnificent details of nature like a drop of water, a snow flake, dew on a leaf, a butterfly … a ray of sun. His energy is both as blusterous as the force of an erupting volcano and as peaceful and magnificent as the quiet waters of a lake. CASEY has no gender but thinks of himself as female. This belief is not founded on his physique or even on what we understand as feminine but, on his role as mother nature, the energy which generates life. CASEY is raw energy so he doesn’t have a shell or a body, he can take any form he wants. Like a ghost, he possesses the body of ONE in the play just so he can be visible to the world but, this temporary casing doesn't confine him or define him so, just because ONE is portrayed by a male actor of conventional beauty, this doesn’t make CASEY a male and the beauty that CASEY represents is not the outer beauty but the inner beauty of this actor: the beauty of his soul. CASEY is the senses, a wild animal, an infant who hasn’t yet been socialized. CASEY is blind to the visible, to the exterior world and, this includes his own physical beauty.
TWO’S ASSUMED MASK OR CHARACTER
SCENE IN THE PLAY: ACT I - FIRST RITUAL
While CASEY is all senses, the ARTIST is a balanced character. He connects with CASEY through his own senses and to the audience and the rest of the world through reason or rather, through his processed representation of CASEY he shares with the world. The audience might not see passed the physical beauty of CASEY but the ARTIST, very much like CASEY himself, is inspired by the beauty behind the outer shell. CASEY’s physical body works as an amplifier, like a portal between the ARTIST and CASEY as energy and nature. CASEY is beauty, the ARTIST frees this beauty through his art for the world to see. CASEY is nature, the ARTIST absorbs nature through his senses and transforms it into something that can be understood and appreciate it by those without a direct connection to nature. The ARTIST is a balanced character but not an Absolute Character. Before he becomes the Absolute Artist, he needs to transcend his limitation, he must be freed from cowardly and have the courage to create without limitations, compromises or any personal or social restrictions.
THE TRANSCENDED CHARACTERS: FLASH AND HERO
TRIPTYCH is a theatrical journey into transcendence so, it would seem logical that becoming the TRANSCENDED CHARACTERS, should be the ultimate goal or end of this journey but, TRIPTYCH's scope expands beyond the walls of the theater so finding the Absolute Balance and transcending into the SOCIAL WOLVES is just the beginning, the first step, the first destination in a journey without an end. These are called TRANSCENDED CHARACTERS because they have overcome their personal limitations. They are also called the SOCIAL WOLVES because there are still barriers caging the full-blown wolves or Absolute Wolves behind, those limitations imposed by the society in which these wolves are forced to live in.
ONE’S TRANSCENDED CHARACTER OR SOCIAL WOLF
SCENES IN THE PLAY: END OF “ENTR’ACTE II”, "ACT II - SECOND RITUAL”, “ENTR’ACTE III” AND “FAREWELL RITUAL"
In Act I or First Ritual, ONE experiences CASEY’s unbound FEARLESS ENERGY. Inspired by this energy, during the Second Entr’acte, ONE’s CONFINED CHARACTER takes a step towards confronting his limitation: fear by staring at it face to face on a mirror. ONE leaves the confinement as FLASH and, In Act II, he discovers that FEAR and LUST go hand on hand and that conquering FEAR ignites his lust for life. By the end of Act II, ONE has completely vanished and FLASH or ONE’s SOCIAL WOLF takes over ONE’s senses and reason and therefore becomes his balanced self.
TWO’S TRANSCENDED CHARACTER OR SOCIAL WOLF
SCENES IN THE PLAY: END OF “ENTR’ACTE II”, "ACT II - SECOND RITUAL”, “ENTR’ACTE III” AND “FAREWELL RITUAL"
In Act I or First Ritual, CASEY inspires courage in TWO while wearing the ARTIST's clothes. During the Second Entr’acte, TWO’s CONFINED CHARACTER is presented with the challenge of taking a first step into the unknown, to let go and live for the present moment without a promise for a secure future. TWO leaves the confinement as HERO and, in Act II, he discovers that COURAGE grows stronger after every battle and keeps him moving forward. He learns that COURAGE is what it takes to fight the battle but not necessarily to win it. By the end of Act II, TWO has completely vanished and HERO or TWO’s SOCIAL WOLF takes over TWO’s senses and reason and therefore becomes his balanced self.
THE FULL-BLOWN WOLVES OR ABSOLUTE WOLVES
The Sacred Space, the Absolute Reality: THE STAGE is the Absolute Theater's version of Utopia, Bohemia, Santa, Absolute Bliss or however you wish to call that physical or/and mental space where we can be completely free, totally unbound, without limitations; the land of the free wolves where we can be ourselves even in the company of others. Needless to say, the third act is a representation of this place and the opportunity not only for us to wolf-out but for the audience to coexist with us in this Sacred Space. The WOLVES in Act III are the Full-Blown or Absolute Wolves and they know NO-LIMITS.
THE THIRD'S ABSOLUTE WOLF
SCENE IN THE PLAY: "ACT III - THIRD RITUAL"
THE THIRD is the only of the three characters who had been in the Absolute Reality since the beginning of the play, the only one who doesn't need to physically transform into the WOLF since he is already this WOLF. He is also the connection with the audience so in a way, he's the only one who can take the FULL-BLOWN WOLF form while disguised behind his SOCIAL WOLF clothes.
SCENE IN THE PLAY: "ACT III - THIRD RITUAL"
TWO's limitation is COWARDLY so he needs to use his new-found courage to mutate into the WOLF. For someone like TWO, taking the first step, moving towards the unknown, changing ... takes the most COURAGE and therefore, the MUTATING WOLF represents best his transcendence process.
SCENE IN THE PLAY: "ACT III - THIRD RITUAL"
ONE’s limitation is FEAR so it is only fitted that his WOLF should be the far-most fearless and freer of them all: the INNER WOLF. The INNER WOLF shares CASEY’s FREEDOM and FEARLESSNESS but unlike CASEY who was born free and knows no limitation, the INNER WOLF has achieved these by confronting fear and breaking through his limitations. CASEY’s beauty is innate while the INNER WOLF’s comes from taking back his senses, recovering his inherit beauty and elevating it through the power of reason.
SENSORY STIMULATION VS. SENSORY DEPRIVATION
For most people, the “absolute trance-like state” we are aiming to experience in Triptych and hopefully, in the rest of your life as an artist and individual, resembles that achieved through meditation, extreme sports or pushing the body through running, swimming, etc. During the 70’s the flotation tanks, also called “sensory deprivation” tanks became very popular as portals to the subconscious. Today, these seem to be resurfacing and, although some use them for the same purposes as in the 70’s, they are now widely used as a meditation tools. The fact is that meditation, sports trance, flotation tanks, hypnosis and even some drugs, they all focus on the same thing: connecting with your subconscious at one level or the other.
All the before mentioned practices have one thing in common: sensory deprivation. I’m not much of a meditation person since as you know, I achieve that state by other means but, it is my understanding that most people approach meditation by “focusing” on a single stimulus, whether this is the sound of their own breath, the Om, another sounds, etc. Even if they start with other stimuli like incense, music, etc. they don’t add up the stimuli but rather subtract them until they concentrate on only one of them. Again, I’m not an expert on meditation but, this is what I have observed. In the athletes, the body uses endorphins to chemically block pain and other stimuli that might interfere with the performance of the athlete. It is common for long distance runners, swimmers, etc. to trance and get to a point where they can only hear the sound of their heart pounding or their breath. The sensory deprivation or flotation tanks are designed to block every sense and every stimuli so the only information being process by the brain is that of your subconscious.
In the Absolute Theater, we approach this trance-like state completely the opposite way; by stimulating all the senses rather than blocking them. This, of course, is no easy task since most people are used to sensory deprivation but can be achieved by “focusing”: a critical element these two methods have in common. The best way to explain this is by visualizing every sense as an on-and-off switch. In sensory deprivation we start with maybe a couple of those switches on and turn them off one by one until we are just left with one of them “on”. In sensory stimulation, we start with all the switches off and start turning them on one by one until they are all on. The speed with which you turn on the switches will depend not only on the amount of energy rushing through your body but how familiar, experienced and aware you are of each sense. Needless to say, before any attempt to do this, you need to “sensitized” each sense and bring it up to its full potential; in our analogy, you can't turn a switch on or off until you have created the “switch” itself.
In conclusion, the last few rehearsals I tried exposing you to these “sensory boxes”, tried to turn your switches on but, I later realized that throwing all those different stimuli at you was not very effective because either you had not yet sensitized those senses strongly enough to receive the stimuli or/and I confused your senses and didn’t give them enough time to “process” the information. I believe that the proper approach to sensitizing your senses is by isolating each one of them separately by sensory deprivation and then, once they are all strengthened, switch to sensory stimulation and turn them on one-by-one.
We will be working with this during our sessions but remember that the transcendence of the senses-reason is not the only transcendence we are dealing with in Triptych and that this doesn’t mean much without the transcendence of our base characters so, anything that you can do to speed up the process at home, could make a world of difference.
WRITING IN THE “THIRD” PERSON
As mainly reason-oriented actors, you might have wonder how the “verbal” language will come together in Triptych or, how this concept of the characters not having a “relationship” but a “connection” will translate as far as “dialogues” are concerned. I just started reading Hermann Hesse’s “Narcissus and Goldmund” for the third or even perhaps fourth time, after 32 years and, Hesse’s writing style provided me with an answer to your “wondering”. It all makes perfect sense to me if you understand the concept of the “third” in Triptych and see how this relates to what we know as “writing in the third" person.
As you know, there are several levels of reality in Triptych or, to be more specific: three metaphysical realities (hence: triptych). Each of these 3 realities will have its unique “language” style and yes, this includes the “verbal” component of these languages. Successfully or not, my intention with sharing The Human Wolf text with you, was not to present it as a “monologue” or text to be used "as is" in the play but, to illustrate how these 3 realities generate a different type of verbal language.
Later on in our creative journey, I will show you how these three metaphysical realities “connect” with the entire “reason and senses” concept and the “light bulb” theory I shared with you but, for the sake of clarity, let’s keep it now to the structure of Triptych.
In Triptych, we have 3 acts, linked together by a “metaphysical space” which we are referring to as “the jail”, or the “voluntary confinement” I mentioned both, in the casting calls and in the description of Triptych. This, of course, is one of these realities: the “spatial reality". In this reality, two of the characters are “caged” in this prison and the “third”, is in there with them but he is not in any prison. Technically speaking, we might perceive him as the “jailer” but, that implies that the “third” represents the authority responsible for the other characters “jails” and, this is not, as you know, the case here. Not to move away from the point here but, I have mentioned to you the famous lined black pants I want you to wear well, we are “all” wearing the same exact pants so, this is a hint that I or whoever plays the third, is one of you … only cage-free. But, going back to the language, in this reality, you will find the closest to a “real” dialogue and therefore “relationship” between the characters … if you will … think about it as Dash, Albert and Guido sharing a space; we might talk to each other, we might tell stories or we might go into our own "little corner” and either don’t talk or blabber things without any coherent form.
The second reality in Triptych is that of the “rituals” or “acts” in the play. In this: the “ritual reality”, as with in any ritual, we “separate” ourselves from our “own” reality in order to connect and open the portal between our “physical” plane and our “subconscious”. This might sound contradictory but then, if you clearly examine the nature of a ritual, it is exactly through this separation and distant that we achieve the maximum connection not only with ourselves, with “clarity”, “beauty”, “love”, “bliss" or however each person calls their own concept of utopia, perfect world, ultimate emotional state, etc. The verbal language here would take a form closer to a prayer, a mantra, a monologue or conversation with ourselves or, a dialogue with a non-physically manifested being or presence. There might be what I call “parallel monologues” with “points of connection” that could appear to be dialogues but, there are not real dialogues between the characters in the “ritual reality”.
The “third reality” in the play is the “absolute reality”. This “metaphysical space” is not limited to either one of the acts and can coexist with the other two realities. This is the “trance-like” state, the ultimate goal, as far as realities go, in Triptych. The reality where reason and senses are in perfect balance. True, this doesn’t mean that you need to find this balance before you experience a trance, let-go, or connect to your subconscious; you could do that tipping on the senses or the reason side and, this would still be in the “third reality” but again, the quest proposed in Triptych is to find that "absolute balanced” in this “absolute reality”. As you might have guessed, the language (including verbal language) is coming directly from our subconscious so, there are no rules, limitations or even structure so, we might see anything from non-coherent text to something memorized and perfectly coherent. There wouldn’t be any conventional dialogues but perhaps “parallel monologues” could come up.
Finally, the character: the “third", is the only character who travels freely between the three realities during the entire play. The other two characters, even if they went into a trance the very first minute of the play and therefore entered the “absolute reality”, will not earned the freedom to travel between realities until the third act and after their transcendence process. The “third's” language will reflect the language or whatever reality he might be at the moment. Tying this up with the beginning of this text, the third is the equivalent to a narrator or a writer writing in the third person. He might talk for the other characters, introduce them, describe them or even serve as “the voice” and portal between the other actors subconscious and the audience. The third is also who links everything together so at the end, he’s in charge of making sure the audience understand that even though they are 3 characters on stage, we are talking about a single person’s journey and transcendence.
THE “CREATURES” AND THE SENSES
In the third act of the play: longing, we will “release the creatures”, the monsters, that side of our “bare characters” which my seem “dark” to others and scare them, intimidate them or alienate you. We will unveiled this “creatures” and show the audience and the world that there’s beauty in darkness and as with everything else, our perception of dark and light is just that, a perception and not our reality.
So far, I have mentioned to you Medusa and The Human Wolf. These are “my” creatures, the monsters that best represent the physicality of the energies “i” am proposing in Triptych but ideally, we would “free your own creatures”. The bottom line here: I have “freed” both Medusa and The Wolf in the past, I have “lived” inside them, “felt” through them but, I can’t ask you to take on either of them or any other creature, for that matter, unless it "grows out of your entrails" … literally.
So, before I help you plant the seed for your creature in the deepest most intimate place of your soul, I need to “trace” the "flow of energy” that “my” creatures have followed but first, you need to understand that even though these creatures are “apparently” all “senses”, they are not, they are the perfect “absolute balance” between reason and senses. What gives the impression of them being all senses is the fact that we don’t “see” the reason and that you would have “injected” an astonishing amount of energy into your body which you and the audience are not used to “see”. But, side to side to that “physical” power stands an equally powerful “reason”.
The way I see it, The Wolf, and remember that we are not talking about the animal but a “human” wolf, is the “absolute balanced” creature of someone who might have started as a “reason” oriented individual. The “wolf” represents the heightening of the senses to their full potential but yet, the “Human” Wolf “orchestrates” this energy (I don’t like to use the word “control” because of it “limiting” nuances) with “exquisite intelligence”. Medusa, on the other hand, is the “absolute liberation” of the senses and sexual energy and the path that, in my opinion, someone who started from a “senses” point of departure would most likely take. This doesn’t diminish the power of “reason” in Medusa nor it compromises the “absolute balance” of the character, it is all a matter of how we “see” it.
One way to visualize this is by referring to the Tantric representation of our sexual or life energy as the “kundalini serpent”, a serpent which rises from our base chakra to our crown chakra. What I call “opening up your senses”, “turning on your Resonator”, “charging up”, etc. they refer to it as “awakening the serpent”. So, never mind about the symbolism of the serpent and the snakes in Medusa but, going back to the “flow of energy” and The Wolf and Medusa, let’s just say that it is all a question of “from where” they hold this “serpent” once the entire serpent is awake. From my experience inhabiting these creatures, The Human Wolf holds the serpent by the “head” (crown chakra) while Medusa hols it by the “tail” (base chakra).
NUDITY OF THE SOUL
In my recent search for a “senses” oriented actor, I came up with this information as a reaction to his note saying that he had no problem with nudity: " Bear in mind that the concept of nudity in my work is different to most of the views out there. I'm more interested in the actors "nudity of the soul" than in "nudity of the body”. Especially for the character I'm casting and you are applying for, taking his clothes off is just the same as opening his eyes so he can see. The Absolute Theater is a "theater of the senses" so we "open up" all the senses to receive and send out as much information as possible. Most people limit their sense of "touch" to their hands and, if they consider themselves open minded, to body contact but, there is a lot more to "touch" than that ... reception of temperature, pressure, pleasure, pain, etc. If this sounds to you as total nonsense and never felt the urge to swim naked, roll naked on the wet grass ... if it doesn't make any difference to you whether you sleep in the nude or wearing clothes ... you definitively won't identify with this character. It is not about exhibitionism or sexual situations, it's all about heightening all the senses to communicate with the outside world."
In the last few weeks, working with you, it has become clear to me that nudity, as in taking your clothes off, is just one more of those concepts that seem perfectly clear to me because I’m seeing it from a “sensory” approach but makes no sense to those who don’t share this view. It has always been clear to me that to do my work, I first have to help people understand that “sexual energy” is our life energy and that using it just to have sex, is not using its entire very powerful potential but, I never put myself in the position of the actors, models, etc. who have been taught that sexual energy is just to have sex so, I couldn’t understand why taking off your clothes had to have a simple purpose like to have sex, change your clothes,take a shower or even to some, just an exhibitionist pleasure.
Now, it is as clear as water to me that taking my clothes off is “liberating” my "sense of touch” and to a certain point, the "kinesthetic sense" as well. It is a biological response rather than a social convention, conscious decision or a routine action … it’s an instinct.
But, the sense of touch is only one of the senses so, even though the resistance from the actors and other people out there has turned nudity into a major issue, we still have seven other senses (as you know I think of 8 senses and not 5) to explore and enhance and should not give “touch” more or less power than it deserves.
TRIPTYCH LEVELS OF TRANSCENDENCE
We all agree that Triptych is a journey of transcendence both for us and for the audience. We talked about you transcending into your “bare character” or that version of you beyond limitations but, we have also talked about your transcendence from one side of the balance (reason or senses) to “absolute balance”. The first process, you to your bare character, is what I call a transcendence at the “spiritual level” (no religious or socially conventional meaning implied), the second one, reason/senses to balance, I call it a transcendence at the “physical level” (physical meaning much more than just body, something we can “perceive” through our senses). How do they come into play when following a character or mask: Casey, The Artist, Medusa, The Wolf, etc. in the play? It all comes back to the Absolute Theater principle of our “sexual energy” being the “drive”, the “fuel”, the “power source” of everything we create and do. If you understand this concept, you’ll see that the “physical level” transcendence is the “flow” of this sexual energy and therefore, the “power source” for the transcendence at the “spiritual level”.
I might perhaps mentioned or talked about the “masks” transcending into another “mask”, for example, I might have said that Casey transcends into Medusa, using the word “transcend” here is not appropriate and misleading, I should say instead something like Casey “turning”, “transforming” or even “mutating” into Medusa but, they are just “masks”, the real transcendence process is happening in you, the actor, the person and it’s no different to in a conventional play, movie, etc. you being “you” behind the “character” you are playing. In fact, I believe that as an actor you should transcend to a certain level while playing a character in a conventional approach. In my opinion, what “moves along” a character is not necessarily the actions he gets to perform but the “transcendence” process of the actor playing it otherwise, the character becomes stale and the actions mechanical and void of meaning.
I continuously remind you that we are “all” transcending through Triptych, even me. I consider myself as someone who has achieved the “balance” between the “reason” and the “senses”, does this mean that I would not be transcending at the “physical level”? absolutely not. This falls into the third act of the play: longing, which is the subject for another discussion. Everyday, for the rest of my life, I will be face with this level of transcendence, as would you, the difference is that, at this point, I’ve become, what I refer as “an energy efficient individual" while you are just beginning to free your energy potential, the road ahead, it’s the same for all of us. But, the point of this entry about my “physical level” transcendence is just to illustrate how this transcendence is just the "power source” and not the goal, if you will, of Triptych.
Finally, none of you have ever asked me what’s my “bare character”, who I’m transcending into at the “spiritual level”. One of my previous actors asked me what was my “bare character’s” name but, not what this represented. Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’ll be transcending into both of “your" bare characters. The fact that I keep saying that the “third” (me) is the audience or at list, the “portal” between all of you and the audience, should have tipped you off. While we sincerely hope that the audience transcends along with at least one of you, of course the ideal would be that they transcended with both of you, in other words, the third (me). As far as what my “bare character’s” name is, well … letting you figure it out on your own.
THE WELCOME RITUAL
This is the first ritual to be performed at every rehearsal, training or jamming session and each performance of the play. During this ritual, we welcome each other’s energy, our own energy and the “sacred space”.
The goals for the welcome ritual are: to tap into our “sexual energy”, to "turn on" our "resonators", to "fill up" our bodies with this energy until we feel the need to stand up and move before we explode.
The length of the entire ritual and that of each of the sections described below will depend on the day and/or the agenda for that particular meeting.
The costume or wardrobe to wear during this ritual is what we have defined as your “second skin” or “bare costume” or, nothing at all, if that’s what your energy tells you to do.
The exercises for this ritual follow the first two steps proposed in the “Energy Circuit” of the “Resonance Technique” and therefore, there are divided into two groups: exercises to “free the energy paths” in our bodies both, physically and mentally and; exercises to “tap into the energy” and “transport the energy” through the body using our breath.
- To “free the energy paths”, we begin with an exploration, scanning or mapping of these paths in each other’s bodies, listening for blockages, resistance or energy pools. Unless this is the first time for an actor or I consider otherwise necessary, all the actors will work on me first. The immediate purpose of this exercise is to use the body and the energy of the person laying down as "focusing" tools to assist you with the process of “letting go” of the outside world and the "connection" with your subconscious. As your "Absolute Guru" I am here for you to "feed" from my energy without boundaries or judgment, to help you jumpstart your own "resonator". Keep in mind that this “connection” is like a portal open at both sides: whatever energy you transfer to me, I will process it, "amplify" it, and send it back to you, so make sure you are "listening" for the flow of energy and not just "sending" your energy to me. There are no recipes or choreographies with moves or things you "have" to do. Listen and follow the energy; “liberate” your mind and allow yourself to enter the sort of “meditative state” desired. If you want to involve other senses besides touch, do it! Let your “instincts” take over your rational self. Even though we will focus on our breathing in the next group of exercises, start now by paying attention not only to your own breath but also to the others and mine. While working on me, if there are other actors beside you, please remember that each one of you have an unique relationship with me so, do not feel pressured into following the others nor hold back by fear of being judge. We all understand that in order to maintain the "sacred space" we are to follow the Absolute Theater’s working guidelines: no-hurting, no-imposing, no-judging and no-obligation. After you have worked on me, I will then work on you if this is a one-on-one session or, you will work on each other if there is more than one actor. I can’t stress enough the fact that while working on someone other than me, you must follow the "sacred space" guidelines closely.
- To “tap into the energy” and “transport the energy” we will do a series of exercises using our breath as "carrier" of the energy between the source and the rest of our bodies. During this section, I will guide you through different breathing exercises dealing with the two types of breathing used in the Resonance and Absolute Techniques: the long "cooling breath” and the fast "breath of fire". Although from experience, I can get a sense of your approach to breathing and I can suggest those exercises I find could best help you, you know better so, please feel free to suggest any other exercises that you might know resonate better with you.
THE INITIATION RITUAL
After the welcome ritual, we move on to the next steps in the Resonance’s Energy Circuit. During this ritual, we “initiate” our “base character”, all the objects, totems, amulets and symbols that we will use in the play ritual and, we will turn up or “sensitized” any particular sense or senses playing a key role in that day’s rehearsal or session.
The goals for the initiation ritual are: to process and transform the energy still inside us into a vessel for communication, to turn our bodies into a powerful “energy efficient resonator” and, to communicate with the other actors by means of using energy.
The length of the entire ritual and that of each of the sections described below will depend on the day and/or the agenda for that particular meeting.
The costume or wardrobe to wear during this ritual is what we have defined as your “second skin” or “bare costume” or, nothing at all, if that’s what your energy tells you to do.
The exercises for this ritual will vary each rehearsal. There are hundreds of well-known acting exercises and variations I have developed that can be used. I will repeat those that have worked for other actors in the past but I will try to introduce new ones and new adaptations so “you” can start building your own repertoire of exercises. Please remember that The Absolute Theater technique not only honors your uniqueness as a person and artist but it also “depends” on each one of you to create its “unique” language. I’m not here to teach you or tell you what to do, I’m here to “guide” you in finding your own path as an artist.
THE PLAY RITUAL
Now that we have the tools and our “resonators” at full speed, we play, explore, experiment with rituals, invent our own symbols and language and begin to create the play. Referring back to the Resonance’s Energy Circuit, this ritual corresponds to the unique Resonance and Absolute concept of “consolidating forces or resonators”. It is from this concept where the idea of creating “connections rather than relationships” comes from. In the welcome ritual we “turned on” our resonators; in the initiation ritual we learned how to “exchange”, recycle and use the other actors to recharge these resonators but; it is live theater so, the audience should be the ultimate “target” of our energy therefore; in the play ritual we turn the focus of our energy from each other and connect all our resonators together to form a giant one aimed towards the audience.
The costumes or wardrobe to wear during this ritual are your “prison” costume (black pants with no shirt) for the transition scenes between the three acts of the play and, whatever costume we come up with for each of the “assumed” characters in every act. While experimenting with these assume characters, you can explore and experience different potential costumes or, you can go back to your “second skin” costume, the point being, not keeping your black pants during the play acts so not only you experience the feeling of the transitions and the ritual of assuming a character but also, so you get motivated to play and help me create the costumes for your assume characters.
The exercises for this ritual will be more “ritualistic” and “experimental” in nature and will follow the basic structure and proposals of the play. Once the language has been created and the “play” is in place, this ritual will be closer to a conventional rehearsal but, of course, never loosing the flexibility and immediacy characteristic of The Absolute Theater.
THE FAREWELL RITUAL
More than a cool-off ritual is a send-off ritual. During this ritual we welcome back our own identities but, with the new light our “base character” and the experience has provided us. No one should ever leave the “sacred place” depleted of energy or with the feeling of having “unfinished business”; you should feel “recharged”, with an overall feeling of wellbeing and, with the satisfaction of knowing that are one full step closer to “transcendence”.