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Indy Convergence Flash Blog: Day 6

By cindy on May 13, 2012


Day 6 was an unusual day, assuming there is ever a usual day at an intensive designed to stretch your creative boundaries.

Beginning with Pilates was typical, yet everyone noticed how everyone else in the room threw themselves into it. People who were

Puppets begin with string, newspaper and tape

hardly able to do simple stretches when they arrived kept up with every move and felt good about it.

The main difference between the rest of the week and Day 6: we don’t run directly to our coffee between warm-up and check-in. We grab our props in progress to finish before rehearsal, we check the callboard and finish any ‘homework’ given by a project leader. Day 6 had a particularly unique quality, because it was half workshops and half rehearsals, all culminating in the day off on Sunday. Past years haven’t given a day off in the middle, and I have to say, it’s incredibly appreciated. Just having the time to do laundry and walk in nature, or go to an art museum – whatever people planned to do on the day off – often including working at the theater –we all looked forward to the idea.

The first workshop of the day was Bunraku Puppetry lead by Leila Ghaznavi. After her initial instruction, for the rest of the day you couldn’t tear people away from their puppets. I was on documentation duty, taking pictures and video, but the lure of creating a dragon out of string, paper and tape overcame me and I hope to finish him today.

It wasn’t until the end of the workshop that Leila thanked us for being her first students, to which we all applauded. You never would have known!

A quick lunch and we launched into my own workshop, Self-Promoting Without Annoying Your Friends. I run this workshop for small groups all the time, and often larger groups. The whole point is to change it based on the makeup of the people in the room, and this time was no different. We spent a lot of time carving out our story in order to understand the long-term effect you can have towards your own vision of the world. No one wants to hear “Come see my show!” You have to make them buy into the whole experience, invest in the work and the possibilities it provides. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the workshop, and it always thrills me to see how people immediately change their habits to try things I taught. For instance, Ellen Denham said she signed up for Twitter after my workshop last year, but wasn’t happy with her handle, her Twitter name. We threw some ideas around and when she started following me an hour later, I saw that her name was now @EllenImagines . She’s still working it out, but the new name will help a lot.

A dance piece by Ashley Bennington had its first rehearsal after that, due to scheduling conflicts. Ashley admitted earlier that she was nervous because projects are hard to fully understand until you work with the people. I heard it went really well, and am very interested to see “Square” after last year’s exploration of “Circle”.

Then Tina Chauncey ran her workshop. It is hard to describe, except that she made us view sound and music through a wide range of lenses. Fascinated by the different talents of the people in the room, we paired up and one person told a story through their medium (for example, dance) and the other mirrored through their own method of communication (in my case, story-telling). The exercise didn’t always “work,” per-say, but we all understood how very intangible these creative expressions are, and how similar even when seemingly disparate. Amazing. After some more discussion and then making a medley through the Jabberwocky and the pattern on a rug – I’m serious, and it was awesome – we were all left a little more rejuvenated at our own special process within music and understanding the possibilities within Tina’s side project. A great experience!

Schedules often collide during this time as people and projects’ needs change. On Friday, Sarah Moon learned that her next rehearsal

Genia and Orrin puppeteers

had to be moved to the evening of Day 6. It was supposed to be around Day 8, so she hurried up her script revisions and made the best of it. Honestly, it ended up being the absolutely best thing. Rehearsing 8-10:30pm on a Saturday night may not seem like your idea of fun, but we had a blast. It didn’t hurt that when we got to the end, the fridge had been stocked with beer for load-in. Sarah smartly suggested that we all get a beer and work for fifteen more minutes to finish a scene. No one disagreed, and we actually stayed much longer than fifteen minutes, having a great time and feeling free to play. Apparently, if you’re going to have a late-night rehearsal, it’s best the night before people can sleep in.

A number of us went to The Sinking Ship afterwards, and I believe I’ll save that for the Day Off Flash Blog.

What do you think about our process? Is it weird to you? Confusing? Do you have questions?

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