Class 1, Mon March 25: Introduction of class and syllabus.
Assignment: One page response paper to the chapter from Barbara Conable’s Your Body Map (up on Blackboard). Due 8 am Wednesday, March 27th, either on Blackboard or hard copy brought to class. Purchase
Purchase a Journal (or bring your computer/tablet/phone) and bring to class Wednesday. Remember to wear clothes you can move freely in for Wednesday.
ONE PAGE RESPONSE: Please post a one-page response paper (attached) on Blackboard. Or you can bring a hard copy in. Email only as a last resort if Blackboard is acting up and you cannot print before class.
One page response papers are not book reports. I know the contents of the reading. It should be a personal reflection on how the information speaks to you as a performing artist and as a human. Avoid negativity. Find the positive. It is an adage of improv: always say YES! And in acting it is impossible to play a negative objective. This class is always a preparation for your career.
The paper is one page. No header, just your name and the article. The paper is double spaced. And remember I do not accept late assignments for any reason. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Books to purchase: “Rex Barks” is needed by Wed of week 2. Joanna’s book is needed at week 5 and so is “Woe is I.” Remember all books are on course reserve in the library for two hour check out and there is a scanner and a copier in the library.
Class 2, Wed Mar 27: Discussion of Barbara Conable’s “Your Body Map and How to Correct It.” Kinesthetic awareness using stetching with the legs out in front, ankle flexed and arms raised. Journaling.
Assignment: Read the chapter from Patsy Rodenberg’s ” The Right to Speak” and attach a one page response to Blackboard. Continue to journal and work on self using the work we did in class.
Conscious Journaling: Name three things that you are discouraged about your body kinesthetically and three things that you are proud of your body kinesthetically.
Class 3, Mon April 1: Discuss Patsy Rodenberg. Meeting the body/breath with stretches, adding hip opener. Crawling.
Assignment: Read the chapter from Mabel Ellsworth Todd’s book The Thinking Body and attach a response paper to Blackboard. It is due Wed at 8am.
Conscious Journaling: What habits are you starting to encounter? Can you see habits in yourself that may have come from a family member or close friend/mentor? Name three.
Class 4, Wednesday April 3:Discuss Mabel Todd chapter. Stretches adding hands/arms, spine, quads. Crawling: holding in certain areas (clench jaw, belly; take out fourth joints; spine in the skin of the back; use quads to locomote instead of the illiopsoas), cat paws, diagonals, figure 8s, inner tempo rhythm.
Journal:Name three actors that you can easily identify by their habits, i.e. easy to do impressions of them, each film/tv show/play they are the same habits, and then name three actors that you find transformative. Ask yourself how you see this? What habits do they manifest, or what new habits were they able to show in successive performances? Look at your figure 8s and you diagonals and your inner tempo rhythm when does it change? How do you use them? How are your arches like your cat paws?
Assignment: Please read the article by Bruce Kodish and attach a one page response to Blackboard. And there is a coloring assignment on Blackboard. Please read, color and bring to class on Monday. Read the introduction and Chapter 1 of “Rex Barks”. Complete all exercises and bring the hard copy of these (hand written or printed) to class on Monday. I will be collecting them.
Reminder: ALL books for this class are in Jen Library under course reserve. Ask at the front desk for them and you can check a book out for two hours. There are scanners and copiers in the library!
Ted Talks on humans and running/loping:
Class 5, Monday, April 8: Discuss Kodish. Stretches adding the feet. Crawling adding head/spine alignment and Evolve/De-evolve looking at diagonals, figure eights, head/spine alignment and habits of walking.
Conscious Journaling: Look at your habits around walking. What are your diagonals, figure eights, arches doing? How is your head/spine alignment, breath? How do your friends walk? Do you walk differently in different environments? Describe the differences.
Assignment: There is no reading assignment. “Rex Barks” chapter 2 will be due next Monday.
Reminder: Your mat or towel will be needed for class next Monday.
Class 6, Wednesday, April 10: Alignment, alignment, alignment: diagonals and standing alignment. Discussion of atlas/axis joint.
Assignment: :”Rex Barks” chapter 2 will be due Monday.
Conscious Journaling: See above entry after today’s class. Also, look at your atlas/axis relationship. How do you carry your head all day? What are some of your habits? How does it effect your mood?
Class 7, Mon 4/15: Group alignment. Breath work: big x; three planes of breath (side/side, front/back, up/down); 4 parts of breath (ribs/belly, belly/ribs); 4 things muscles can do (contract, stretch, shake, release to gravity).
Assignment: Kristin Linklater chapter, one page response.
On Meditation: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324345804578424863782143682.html
On habits/bullying: http://marcusromer.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/the-shane-koyczan-ted-talk-from-la-last-week-tedactive/
Class 8, Wed 4/17: Discuss Linklater. “If music be the food of love, play on” work with partners. Warm-up adding arm circles and discussion of macro/microcosmic breath and oxygen scrub. Partner work exploring breath back, side and front with sympathetic and circular breath.
Assignment: Read chapter from Peggy Hackney and attach a one page response to Blackboard. Coloring assignment is due on Monday. And “Rex Barks” chapter 3 is due on Monday as well.
Class 9, Mon 4/22: Warm-up adding hip opener exercise. Discuss Hackney. Partner work observing breath with arrow/bow stretch. Introduction to the tremor.
Assignment: Your journal is due in class on Wednesday. Bring your pillow to class! Also you will need to have purchased Joanna Cazden’s book for Wednesday (you don’t need to bring it to class). There is a Kindle version. You can download a Kindle app for your phone or tablet.
Woe is I will need to be purchased for next Wednesday, 5/1!!
Remember: Your active participation grade is not just participating in discussions and fully engaging in all the exercises and activities but it is also bringing you mat/towel (and starting Wed. your pillow) to each class and being dressed in clothes for movement; especially pants with elastic waistbands (sweats, yoga pants, shorts).
Class 10, Wed 4/24: Warm-up. First position tremor exploration. Opening the tweeter in child’s pose. Crab stretch.
Assignment: Read Joanna Cazden’s book. Write three questions down and bring them to class. Read the chapter from Arthur Lessac and put a one page response paper on Blackboard. Rex Barks chapter 4 is due in class on Monday as well.
Find a Sonnet by Shakespeare and memorize the first four lines (the first quatrain):
www.gutenberg.org or http://shakespeare.mit.edu/
- these are off limits:
“My mistress eyes are nothing like the sun”
“When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes”
“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”
“Let me not to the marriage of two minds”
All the rest of the 154 are available.
Class 11, Mon 4/29: Discussion of Joanna Cazden and Arthur Lessac readings. Speak first quatrain of our sonnets. Warm-up adding iliopsoas stretch and 2nd position tremor.
Assignment: DAILY PRACTICE! Everything that we do in class should be done daily (even 2-3X). This is part of your progress grade! If you want to get ahead: “Rex Barks” ch. 5 is due next Monday.
Woe is I will need to be purchased for Wednesday, 5/1!!
Class 12, Wed 5/1: Warm-up adding woofer and blending. Exploration of vocal support: partner work with the ‘frenemies of voice:” rectus abdominus, obliques, spinal muscles and intercostals (these are breath muscles). And then discovering the transversus abdominus.
Assignment: Rex Barks chapter 5. Woe is I (again, all books for this class are under course reserve in the library) introduction and chapters 1-4 and put a one page response up on Blackboard. Coloring assignment is due on Monday. As well as your vocal critique paper (please attach to blackboard or bring a hard copy to class).
This is a critique of the vocal life on stage during the performance.
This is not a review of the play, no synopsis please, nor is it a critique of the acting choices, nor is it a critique of the production elements.
Specs: 2-3 pages, no headers just the name of show and your name on the same line. Double spaced. 1 inch margins. Composition style: first paragraph states your thesis, the next 3-5 paragraphs support the thesis and this is followed by a concluding paragraph. The concluding paragraph is where you may bring in other observations: the set/costumes/lights/writing/directing/acting, but be sure to support those observations! No bibliography is needed as we have a shared library in class. If you are quoting from the readings in class just put the author’s name in parenthesis directly following the quote or paraphrase.
Chose one or two actors to observe for the entire show. Take notes. It is often best to see the show more than once. (As a young performer taking advantage of the proximity and low (often free) prices to see shows more than once is encouraged as live shows change from performance to performance.) If observing one actor please write about a myriad of vocal techniques, if observing 2 actors please limit your observations to 3-5 specific techniques to keep the paper within the page limit.
The vocal critique is specifically based on the techniques you are learning in class. I want to see that you can articulate their uses and observe them in the medium in which you perform. Correct use of language is necessary.
There are many vocal techniques to observe: alignment (tensions anywhere in the body that affect it), specifically the atlas/axis relationship, i.e. bobblehead, 3D breath or lack thereof, listening with breath, circular or synchronized breathing (and how this affects the vocal life), the pitch availability from tweeter to woofer and in between, and the use of the muscles of support or are the “frenemies” taking over?
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask in class or email me. And if you are in the production the above still holds true except the paper is about your vocal journey.
Class 13, 5/6: Discuss “She Kills Monsters” using complete/incomplete. And discuss “Woe is I.” Warm-up adding modified plow tremor. Work on support(transversus) and explore tuning fork and bone conduction.
Assignment: Read chapters 5 & 6 from”Woe is I” and put a one page response on blackboard.
Class 14, 5/8 Wed: Discuss “Woe is I” chapter 5 & 6. Warm-up adding the Five Flood Gates: 1. neck/shoulder, 2. jaw, 3. lips, 4. tongue, 5. soft palate.
Assignment: Read ‘Woe is I” chapters 7-9 and attach a one page response paper to Blackboard. “Rex Barks” chapter 6 is due on Monday.
And define all the words in your sonnet (all 14 lines) using the resources discussed in class: “Arden Shakespeare”, “Riverside Shakespeare:”,CT Onions “Glossary”, Schmidt’s “Lexicon”, Crystal’s “Shakespeare’s Words” and Shane Anne Younts’ “All the Words on Stage” (this one shows how to pronounce the archaic words, but look up all the words in a regular dictionary too for pronunciation). These will be in my office on the chair across from my desk all weekend. DO NOT REMOVE THE BOOKS from the office. Also these books are in the library. And Barnes and Noble often has them on the shelves. Please look at other editions of the sonnets as well.
Please look up EVERY word, don’t assume you know what it means. Please use the following online resources, too, :
If the link doesn’t work look up – Onion’s Schmidt Shakespeare - in Google, you should be directed to the perseus website.
And David Crystal’s: http://www.shakespeareswords.com/
DO NOT USE (under threat of direst repercussions) ‘No Fear’ Shakespeare series. It is crap.
Class 15, Mon 5/13: Warm-up adding ‘f’ in healthy cow, discussion of blend and the passaggio, forward placement: mmmm to bbrrrrrr to huh playing with pitch. Partner tremor work.
Assignment: Journal about the partner tremor work! Read the final chapters of “Woe is I” (10-end) and attach a one page response to Blackboard. Continue working on your daily practice!!
Class 16, Wed 5/15: Warm-up adding articulation: the stop-plosives. Partner work exploring the consonant action in the sonnet.
Assignment: “Rex Barks” chapter 7 & 8 are due on Monday. Please read the chapter from Arthur Lessac and the interview with Catherine Fitzmaurice, both up on blackboard, and write a one page response. DAILY PRACTICE of all the work we do in class!!!
Class 17, Mon 5/20: Discuss Lessac and Fitzmaurice. Full warm-up! finishing with images: paper poppy, baby bubble. David Hammond work at the board.
Assignment: Read the David Hammond handout on Blackboard. Take the first sentence of Corinthians and image structure it using the tools in the handout.
Class 18, Wed 5/22: Full warm-up in 30 minutes!!! Partner work on support: skinny jeans, zip, ‘sh’, blowing out 109 candles and coughing. Work at the board: image structure the first sentence of Corinthians.
Assignment: Image structure your sonnet then paraphrase within the brackets using all the tools in David Hammond’s handout and the tools learned in class. Image structure the next two lines in Corinthians. And your paper on Urinetown is due on Monday. See the above specs. Be sure to include the new work we’ve been doing: support, forward placement, articulation and image structuring. Even on mic all these things are necessary. A mic only amplifies the work you do, it isn’t a substitute for it.
Class 19, 5/27 Monday: 30 minute self warm-up! The next two lines of Cornithians on the board. Work with a partner and go over your image structuring
Assignment: Be prepared to speak the entire sonnet with clear images. We will be working in class on it. Look up any word you that you may perhaps mispronounce. Make sure you go over your 30 minute warm-up.
Class 20: Congratulations!!!!! Warm-up and rehearsal. Make sure you have taken your mat and pillow home.