Saturday, May 14, 2011

Swirling Questions

Two days of table work under my belt and already this play is creeping into my subconscious. I have been cast in a two-person drama called "a Picasso" which has already challenged me in lots of good ways.
Day 1 of table work.  I'm sure we scared a few cafĂ© patrons with our yelling.
Heather has given us a few of her usual characterization worksheets, and I am scintillated by thinking of answers to the questions. One of them suggests drawing a sketch or attaching song lyrics of something inspired by the current rehearsal work. Since I can't draw or sing, I thought I would create a blog to help me visualize and explain things more effectively. I think of this page as sort of a digital scrapbook. If I can get a digital copy of the questions, I will post them here, but until then, here are a few of the questions currently circling around in my brain.

New discoveries about Miss Fischer:
I went into this process thinking of my character as being somewhat selfless and sympathetic though of course not ignoring all the typical issues surrounding being a nazi interrogator. Then, hearing Heather and Jag discuss Fischer as being entirely self-serving made me take pause. I can't get that thought out of my head. If that is true, in her mind Picasso would be almost entirely to blame for making her that way. Of course, not directly, but indirectly though the burden of being associated with Picasso's degenerate art.

Fisher hates Picasso and all he represents: the breaking of rules, the womanizer tendencies and complete disregard for others' feelings.

I had a long conversation with Manuel about the process of my discovery of this character. I have so many questions about this very complicated woman and what drives her to make each and every choice in the play. However, there are also questions I have about Picasso. I spent the day researching his three main relationships before 1940 and I just can't figure out what about Picasso would make women throw themselves at his feet just to be tossed aside when the next young beauty came along. Picasso must have been amazingly charismatic to drive these women to intense depression and jealousy when they were tossed to the curb.
This painting is called the Weeping Woman and demonstrates
the intense pain harbored by one mistress, Dora Maar.

I just can't understand how women could be held so captive by this man's personality that they would face the inevitable just to have him.

One of my greatest challenges right now is constructing a German accent for my character's voice. I have been working so hard on it that I have to take breaks to recover from the headaches such intense brain work has inflicted on me. I have a new respect for actors. I am considering going to that Oregon dentist doctor in hopes of acquiring the rare "foreign accent syndrome." I'd probably get something like Chinese  though, which might be kind of a pain to work with.  In related news the German accent creeps into my teaching, making me even more weird to my poor students and also invades my dreams, which were already plenty weird before.

Quote I can't get out of my head today:
"We have the right! We make the laws!"

I simply cannot WAIT for blocking work next week. I really want to get up on my feet and see how the action plays out. This show is INTENSE, and even though I have already used that word three times in this blog so far, I have not gotten tired of saying it.

Related song of the day:

1 comment:

  1. First, here is where you can download the Character Worksheets:

    As for Miss Fischer's tendency toward self-service, please remember to play the opposite as well. She is essentially a good person forced into a bad situation and MUST consider the survival of herself and her family. That would make anyone self-serving. She's not all one way or another, but rehearsal will begin to challenge what moments she must act in her own interests and what moments can she show some generosity. She's complex.

    As for Picasso's attractiveness to women, remember to focus on both sides of that equation. Sure, women gave themselves over to him knowing what torture they were in for, but there HAD to be times where he made them feel like goddesses, to be chosen by this man-- this great, powerful, influential man-- and be the center of his world for even a short time must have been thrilling. They were victim to Anne Shirley's "It's as glorious as soaring through a sunset... almost pays for the thud" observation. But they got something out of it, too. . . . does Miss Fischer?