9/16 & 9/17 Findings from the Peñasco Theater


9/16 Practice: 30min shaking, 30min improvising, 5min writing, 10min sitting

I arrived after the hour & a half drive feeling pretty wiped out. Tried to take a quick nap, but was restless, anxious to start working on the mountain of material I’d set out to accomplish in my two days here. I entered the shaking practice with a notable amount of self doubt, even deprecation, which, through my intention to psychically connect, quickly morphed into focusing on feeling accepted by you……..

Improvising: I chose to work with the images of earthquakes and broken bones. The movement was abrupt, and (not surprisingly) violent, kinesthetic concepts of rumble, surprise, support being pulled out, collapse, demise. The aftermath, the handicap, post trauma. I think for the first time in my improvising (& otherwise) life I intentionally struck myself, with a certain willingness to look at sadomasochism, but primarily a curiosity in the movement responses from pain inflicted by external force. Loud vocalizing, the deep belly moan, everything ugly.

From my writing: I have punched myself in the stomach, the leg, slapped my skull with veritable force, to feel the excitement of uncontrived response. Pain demands a response, especially when it is unexpected, blunt or brute force. Collapse, seeking cover, I am like a hurt animal cowering, dragging myself on the floor, swallow me whole. my belly a cavern, opening and expelling, incapable. must move. moan. reach again. laborious, half dead, but on alert, more alert than ever. An earthquake seems like it must always be mostly unexpected. How do I generate an unmeditated eruption?

9/17 Practice: 3min writing on each of 3 words selected from previous days free write, 15min child’s pose, 30min improvising, 5min sitting

Alert: awake. aware. ready for danger, animal instincts, far from asleep. Accentuated senses, bombarded porous perception, stripped from frontal mind preconceptions, available to respond, informed by adrenalin. eyes open. playing at ease, anxious, eager, insomniac, hairs raised. rubberband snap, the tensile moment before change. Does pleasure have the same capacity as danger to create a state of alertness?

Cover: Soft cradle, protect, hide, cower. When is it most advantageous to rage forth into fire, rather than be licked by slow flames? Do I know how to find refuge? What am I hiding from? And what’s the best cover? Door jams or desks for earthquakes. Opening on two rooms of catastrophic possibility, is there a door jam inside of me?

Generate: create. produce. make up. make believe. we create when we believe. start anywhere, everywhere, somewhere small, look for the friction, the hanging thought, the thing that catches. how to stack the sticks & stones so they’ll hold. we all need hope, like water, sunshine. tend & mend, don’t look back, collect, explain.

Improvising was fun, theatrical, characterized, filled with the sound effects I make while playing with little boys, the rrrrrar, the roooarr, cabooom, cachang, sweater tied around my head, my leg, children’s toys, I am the indestructible plastic tron, the wind up soldier that does not stop, on & on, up & down, fingers as hooves, hooves as claws, talons and hooks, angular movements, sharp and committed, marching on tip toes and fingertips, joyfully attacking, knocking down, eating the space around me. imaginary playmates, all for fun, to gather action, to keep us entertained. Wild animal in high heels. Bear belly, barbie arm, here me roar, there’s room for everyone in this game!

ps. The mountain in the picture from my last post is just a few miles from the Peñasco Theater, taken on a backpacking trip 2 weeks ago:)

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