On Moon’s Day, I started finding the limits of my universe.
In the morning I worked on this composition piece for the movement class. I keep telling myself that it’s not dance, it’s not dance, but we had a professional choreographer come in to help us fine-tune the piece, and he kept saying, “Make your dance come alive. Make your dance come alive!”
Now kids, just picture Mr. Fauth trying to do that, and you’ll know what Reaching the Limits of Your Comfort Zone looks like.
In the evening I worked on a director’s project I have for a different class. A 20-minute one-act that we presented to a professional director last week. He gave me some notes, and they were all about pushing it further, to its logical conclusion. As I worked with the college-age actors, and even a “pro” actress, I realized that I wasn’t directing them enough. Yeah, they’re older and more experienced than the younger actors I usually direct, but in the end, all actors still need a director. So we pushed that out to be as big as it could get (it’s a farce), and hopefully I found new places to go with it.
The afternoon class gave me the biggest revelation, though. I presented the next scene in the short play I’ve been working on for the writing class, in a roughish form. (We get feedback and then bring it back in a week with revisions.) “All the pieces are there”, I was told, which is a nice compliment. But McPherson noticed that I was doing the same thing as with an older piece I showed him: I have a tendency to have my characters always heading towards resolution, and that’s the last thing you want to have happen in drama. It’s great advice, and it’s true, I noted. Then the lead professor said something even more illuminating:
“It’s probably because you’re a teacher.”
And that was dead-on. In a classroom, I’m always trying to push my students towards greater understanding of something, towards the beginning of wisdom, and to be the best possible people they can be. You don’t want your characters in a play to do that! You want them to contradict themselves, create conflict, and move towards irresolution.
They’re two completely different skills, and not very compatible with each other. And they probably lie at the heart of a character I call The Two-Headed Mr. Fauth. We’ll come back to him another day. Right now, I’ve got to put the pieces of this scene in the right order, and head up to the main campus for the final presentation of my director’s project.