you are here [x]: Scarlet Star Studios > the Scarlet Letters > artist's way: session 8
<< before lip-sync test 2
after >> out and about

November 16, 2007

artist's way: session 8

by gl. at 11:45 pm

this was a week of "uturns," for the participants, points where they wanted to slide back into old habits and despair. "what's the point?" their inner voices sneered. "why are you bothering to do that?" where "that" could be any number of artistic or expressive things. i'm happy to say that they are doing things despite that voice, relying on their inner muses and "constellation of support," but the antidote came loudly to one participant: "why not?" she told herself. why not, indeed? it doesn't have to mean anything to be fun for you. self expression is a natural human desire, and thinking it has to be profound or appreciated by anyone other than you is a surefire way to keep yourself from doing it. as long as you get something out of it, where's the harm? why not?

this week we did an activity based on "playback theatre," which is always looked upon dubiously at first, but by the end everyone is laughing and energetic and joyful. it is the gateway drug to some of the other performing arts we will be exploring in the next two weeks before the end of artist's way.

after a warmup called "find your mother like a baby penguin," we began with an exercise called "yes and/yes but," where we take turns elaborating on a simple story by saying either "yes, and!" or "yes, but..." between each segment. each phrase produces a different type of story, and you can keep the "yes, and!" stories going longer than the "yes, but..." stories.

playback theatre asks each person to tell a dream, present story or future story to the rest of the group, who re-enacts it for the storyteller as a spontaneous ensemble creation. watching a story in this way offers insight, perspective and catharis for the storyteller, as well as invoking compassion and consideration in the players. since everyone gets to be both storyteller and player, they often have very different feelings about telling the story vs. reacting to someone else's story.

because the weather was so nice, we ended with a game of "red rover" out in the driveway. because we encouraged "cheating," it became more like calvinball, until we weren't really sure who had won, and didn't care! :)

center (compassion): a river of compassion running between two bright candles. a little silver heart is nestled amongst the stones.

music: pink martini's hang on little tomato. a classic! i actually referenced this song in the weekly email i send out to creative cluster participants, and the whole album has a very theatrical feel to it.

posted by gl. | November 16, 2007 11:45 PM | categories: artist's way