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Christine
In short, this character malarky has really kicked off.  Since returning from our two week Easter break (spent under a gloomy Parisian sky, cursing, and sleepless sweaty nights full of dreams and nightmares of school.. Our first day back and we all have to do Movement class naked..Paola (big boss tutor) and I are best friends and spend a sunny afternoon wandering around the streets of Paris only to find we've wandered too far and have to get the helicopter back to school, which lands on a helipad in the middle of Rue de Faubourg Saint-Denis..at one point there was an elephant..) (that was a long parenthesis) we began work on passions which resulted in last weeks DISASTROUS autocours in which all but two groups were stopped (we had singing in ours...O folly..) and on the Monday of this week we had to make the journey from home to school in character - any character of our choice. I chose Christine..someone very different from myself (although I was mistaken for a drag queen which has actually happened to me before) and with my all in black, caked in make-up, strutting body, I thought I would receive lots of odd looks on my way to school that morning. Not the case. The strangest thing..the people on the street barely blinked an eye at me, and I realised "Oh my god, they think I'm one of THOSE women. The ones who live in the 16th Arrondissement. The only thing I'm missing is a scrap of a dog on the brink of nervous collapse." It was in the saunter and the strutt and the offhand manner that I earned my passport to this labelling. And my theory was proven upon making my journey home as myself, in my normal manner, yet still in Christine's clothes. People stared. Like dogs, they could sense something wasn't quite right. 

The work we've done this week is really at the heart of Jacques Lecoq's teaching - that is, it works from the outside-in. I have worked on characters before obviously but my previous training was like many other drama schools, from the neck up and psychological.  There is, of course, nothing to say that this method is wrong and the other is right, or visa versa, but I must say that when I hold my body in different ways, in makes me feel different things, and naturally leads me after some exploration to a character..through the body. The mind comes after. Or - maybe this is going to be controversial - do we need the mind to arrive at all? Instead of the mind, is what we need something we long ago lost as artists, something from childhood - instinct? 

Picture
Christine
Picture
Christine
 


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