New York New York! Sure was the time of my life! This is part 3 of some blog entries I wrote when I was living in NY 06′-07′. If you’d like to start at part 1, head over here.This particular post is about my ‘method acting’ sensory class…it was a fabulous and quirky and interesting time participating in these classes! In hindsight, I think method acting is a wee bit indulgent but I still enjoyed the process, and lets not forget that some of the most talented actors have been method actors!
Liz in New York – elizabeth rose. a budding actress all the way from australia. and the journey has just begun!
Hey guys! How are you all? All good I hope…
Well I’ve finally found some time to write my next entry! It’s been a big couple of weeks at school, and it’s only going to get more intense!
I’ve been studying for 4 weeks now, but I’m going to take you back to my second week as I had an unexpected experience. As part of the curriculum, all students must take two method acting classes per week. As I wrote in my last entry, I have a fabulous teacher called Susan Grace Cohen who I’ve really clicked with.
At the beginning of all acting classes, we all sit in a chair and go through a mental & physical relaxation process, before going on to sense memory. What “sense memory” is, is the remembering through our 5 senses of the sensory impressions we deal with on a day to day basis. These impressions are stored in our subconscious, but by concentrating on the stimuli associated with these sensory feelings, actors can learn to recall and relive these sensory impressions. For example, my first class I had to focus on the sun and through my senses, slowly feel the sun on my nose, my eye lids, the back of my neck and so on until I could feel it all over my body.
Each week depending on what stage we’re at, we move on to different sense memory’s such as: sharp taste or smell, sharp pain, hot drink, morning shower, body oil/moisturiser, childhood place, being a tree and then an animal! There’s a girl in my class who has been at Lee Strasberg for a year, and she had to be a gorilla last week! There is a reason for the tree and animal, but I will explain that later down the track.
My Sense Memory Experience!
Okay, back to what I wanted to tell you! So in my second week whilst we were going through our relaxation, Susan came over to me and said that I looked “mentally uptight”! She then picked my arms and legs up to feel how relaxed they were, and then held my head in her hands. She told me she could still feel me holding on, and to just relax and let go of whatever it was I was holding on to. As soon as I fully let go, I felt this massive surge of emotion and I burst into tears! Talk about a cathartic moment! The tears are actually meant to come more freely in the sense memory exercise, which is what happened this week!
Through out the week (we’re suppose to practice the sense memory every day at home) I had been practicing sharp taste, and was using a lemon in my mind. I could feel the weight of it, how it felt and smelt, but I was having difficulty with getting the taste. So in class on Tuesday, I decided to use chocolate. Before we even started the relaxation, I could feel a bit of tension in my chest. Then pretty early on, a girl being a tree (sounds hilarious, I know!) started crying which made me feel sad. Then as I was sensorally eating the chocolate and touching it, I began to cry. A lot! The reason I became sad enough to cry, is because through the exercise of eating chocolate, it for some reason brought me back to my childhood and made me remember how my sister and I would occasionally beg our Mum to drive down to the shops and buy us chocolate late at night (which didn’t always happen of course!). This then made me realise that I miss my Mum. Awww! Interesting isn’t it!!
The goal then, is to bring that sense memory into an acting scene that may require tears. I was hoping I would be able to relive the experience, but so far at home, it hasn’t happened. A bit disappointing but I’m very new to this, so it’s going to take some time (have you got an image of me sitting in my bedroom trying to taste an imaginary lemon?? Hehe).
Well guys, I finally conquered my great fear (a fear that arose as soon as I found out I had to do it!) – I sang solo in front of my entire singing class! And I can’t sing! It was seriously the scariest, most nerve wracking thing I’ve ever had to do as an artist. But I did it! I sounded awful of course, but never mind. It’s the only way I’m going to learn, right?!
I saw my first Broadway show this week! Actually I tell a lie, it was an off Broadway show, but that doesn’t sound as glamorous ;-). It was a musical called Avenue Q, and it was very clever. The performers were brilliant! Chorus Line is showing on Broadway right now, so I’m hopefully going to see that next week…can’t wait!!!
Hmmmm…nothing else exciting or interesting is springing to mind, so maybe I’ll leave it there. I could easily keep writing, but I’m always conscious of writing too much! Oh, I may have found an apartment in Manhattan in the East Village! I’ve been ‘short listed’, and have the second interview tomorrow, so I’ll let you know. Americans are so funny!
Miss you all,