Sunday, February 15, 2004

Serious Improv (2 of 3)

Guy and Matt start trying to talk out how to break out of here, which gives me an opportunity to go off to the sides (on pretense of playing with an invisible friend) while I figure out what the hell is up with my character. I mean, somewhere there's a reason she's mentally flipped and started acting like a child. I need to find it. I decide it was caused by physical abuse from a parent, which caused some sort of mental reversion to a time of safety. I figure this can govern some of my character's choices in the future, but also figure there will be no way I can actually convey this idea to my fellow actors, not to mention the audience (who, at this point, I've completely forgotten about anyway).

Guy and Matt have come up with a plan for breaking out, but they need everyone's assistance. Matt asks me to help; I refuse in my very best Petulant Child manner. But Matt has a temper, so he raises his voice and grabs my arm.

And there it is. I actually paused for a second, because I couldn't believe I was so lucky that my acting partner had just handed me EXACTLY what I needed.

"Please don't hurt me, daddy," I say.

Matt tries it again -- he knows what I'm going for now, so he's more angry, more threatening. I repeat the line, then break down crying.

And right there, I've been able to establish my character and, at the same time, create a further problem the others will have to overcome in order to escape the ward and finish the scene.

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