So after three weeks of animals, we moved onto MASKS! AT LAST! We were told during work on animals that we would need to make our own mask (a simple paper mache one) and bring it in the first week of mask work. We then worked with our masks for a week and after fridays Autocours, the teachers picked which masks worked and therefore could stay to continue to play and whose masks were better off at home......So meet Rolf. 
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This is Rolf. We played with Rolf during the first week and people found differences in his personality, he played well....not well enough it seems, as after our performance on friday I was told to leave him at home. My pride wasn't hurt, I just felt sorry for poor Rolf sitting at home twiddling his thumbs when he could have been at school having fun, playing with lots of other masks...but hey ho. "That is the way the cookie crumbles sometimes", I had to tell him.
Along side playing with our character masks, we worked with Larval masks and expressive masks. I shall start with Larval masks. Larval masks are huge white masks that aren't quite human or animal, they are somewhere in between. They tend to have huge features like a giant nose or huge pointy chin. They are very curious creatures and do not follow human logic.
Expressive masks are much more complex than Larval. They are very human. They are so well made that any slight tilt or turn of the head reads as a different emotion/thought. Of course it is not just the head but the body that needs to move and reflect what the mask is thinking. I learnt a huge deal during our three weeks on mask and enjoyed my pants off!
This week we began work on objects and how to manipulate objects. We have also been learning stage combat and have been working on a fight scene in Autocours. It has been a two week Autocour. The first week (last week) was setting the scene, characters, establishing relationships and the build up to the fight stopping before the first punch is thrown and this week is that (with changes, notes that the teachers gave to us on friday) plus the fight. They seem to have timed this Autocour well as it is week 10 of 11 and people are staring to get very tetchy and need to let of some steam...so what better way to do it other than kicking the shit out of each other. 
Week 10 of 11, Jeeeeez Louise where is the time going? I dunno, but I am having fun, learning a lot and becoming a better theatre creator. Lecoq has definatley changed me as an actor and my opinion on acting. There isn't just A PROCESS, something I was so sure of when I graduated drama school....I have my process, that is all I need to be an actor, a successful one. FALSE. There are other ways to approach acting and approach a role and approach creating theatre...much more freeing and expressive ones. At Lecoq every muscle is trained to perform, the body is our tool of expression not our mouths and our psychology. I am not saying there is anything wrong in this style of acting but for me it can be constraining and I have realised at Lecoq there is so much the body can say and do and it does, so much more effectively than words. 
A member of Clout (a Lecoq trained company)  sums up what happened to me before I came to Lecoq...
"A lot of people go to Lecoq, because they crave a living theatre and are dis-engaged with a neck-up psychological acting style."

 





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