Acting class is always one of my favorite places to be, so my growing excitement about the upcoming July Summer Acting Lab may not seem peculiar at all. However, one of the outcomes of the time spent in the Acting studio this July will be a student driven piece and there is something about facilitating the student devising of this piece that I am finding uniquely thrilling.
Upon reflection, I suppose the excitement is coming from. . . fear. It is scary to jump into the unknown and to recognize that the actors will share a short performance on Day Ten, but on Day One have no clue what that performance will be . . . or be about. I find that fear and excitement really are two sides of the same coin! It is kind of like riding a roller coaster: if it weren’t a little scary, would it really be any fun?
Second, I am learning a lot in my preparation, which is exhilarating. Digging through readings and gathering some new ideas to bring into the classroom allows me to grow and expand along with my students. I feel inspired by the some of the brilliant devising companies like Complicite, who say on their website in regard to their process, “there is no Complicite method- what is essential is collaboration . . .”.
Third, I am excited for the students to glean that, as actors, they are truly artists. What better way to emphasize this notion than through devising, creating a performance essentially from scratch, as a team. In devising, actors are not just breathing life into other people’s words, but are actually creating the language, content, and structure. How exciting!