Monday, September 7, 2009

Breaking Down To Come To Now

What? This past week was the first real week of training? When our voice teacher, Ethie, pointed out on Friday that we made it through the first real week of training, I shuddered with exhaustion. I also felt a relief. Right, all the struggle in the past week has also been about trying to become familiar with a new schedule, new demands, and some form of a routine. My week was also a little off since my bike had a flat tire from Tuesday afternoon till Saturday. My bike is now fixed thanks to my classmate, Martha, who taught me how to fix a flat.

Overall the training is PHYSICAL! In Acting class we learned physical approaches to accessing emotion that incorporated some acrobatic skills to test our sense of risk and fear. I enjoyed the acrobatics since I have a gymnastics background and a dance background. Many of my classmates found this to be challenging, exhausting, and unsettling. By the end of the week, all of our bodies were sore from tossing ourselves around and struggling to find our edge or move beyond our edge. I found a moment of struggle and risk as I attempted to flip myself over using the wall to walk my feet up and flip over my hands.

In our Developmental Technique class we continued to breakdown and analyze our movement patterns. In Voice class we continued to break down our vocal instrument into a variety of sounds and strip away our conscious assessment of voice and sound. We also started doing vocalizations with a piano-which for me was exciting to touch base with my singing voice again-it wasn't a singing class per se, but it was great to vocalize to pitch.

On Thursday, we had Meditation class. Amidst all this breaking down of our physical, vocal, and conceptual approaches to performance and our being, we had to sit with ourselves. WHAT? Not that!!! It was shocking to experience what came up during this hour and forty-five minute class. In some ways I see this class as a chance to put ourselves back together again, or to be present to all the challenges, or just breathe through it all.

On Saturday, I went to ballet class at Boulder Ballet. I'm not in San Francisco any longer. The class was very ballet academy, but with strong technique. I was in class with mostly teenagers and a couple of adults. I was considering going to an Intermediate class to start myself on the ballet schedule again, but I woke up too late. I took the Advance ballet class and thankfully I did, I was able to watch the ending of Intermediate class and I think I would have been bored to tears. The Advanced class was good technique, but not very dancy. And class was taught with recorded music-not a live pianist (sniff, sniff). I realize how spoiled I have been in San Francisco. There may be some performance opportunities with Boulder Ballet as the teacher expressed interest after class. We'll see what my schedule and body allows.

On Sunday, my classmates Kelly and Tim and me went to Denver for A Taste of Colorado. A three-day food festival in downtown Denver. We had a great time! It lightly rained on us during our eating. I am still getting used to the light rain that happens midday around here. I have no real perspective on Denver though. What I saw seemed nice. I'm trying not to be a San Francisco snob, so I will need to explore Denver more in-depth before I can pass a judgment.

I do have to include a great tour of Boulder given by a man name Bill, whom I met on-line. I first met Bill last Saturday when he invited me out to meet him and ten of his friends/co-workers at a Mexican Restaurant down the street from me which serves great Margaritas. It was a fun night of hearing about the exploits and trials of Middle School teachers. Bill offered to give me a grand tour of Boulder, including taking me to Mork and Mindy's house (the house in the picture above). Bill spent two hours driving me around Boulder, taking me high and low to give me the lay of the land. I was truly impressed by such generosity and kindness.

I am learning everyday to give over to this experience. My life is different. I do not live in a city anymore. I do not have a car to get to a city. I have a bicycle. I luckily live close to many shops and attractions. But this life isn't about spectacular entertainment or clubbing or appearance. It is about being sweaty, sore, tired, raw, exposed, and sensitive in order to open up to new parts of myself. I can't hide in the usual manner. I have to stay present and live now.

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