Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Not the best way to get your ironing done..

I'm moving up a step with my Meisner studies. I've been hovering for the past few days, and on Wednesday night I get to finally do an activity. I've been watching so many from the others in the class that I'm hyped up and ready to go myself. But first I have to think of one.

An activity, in the Meisner Technique is something you do while interacting with another person who comes to your space, either to hover, which I have been doing for the past few lessons, or come to your door with a specific purpose in mind, called a "door". Your activity is real, you have to bring props and actually do the thing, not just mime it or anything like that.

An activity needs to have 3 elements.

1. It has to be difficult. It has to be something that you have to concentrate on, like assembling a model, or fixing something that's broken. You have to do it for real, and not just fake it.

2. It has to have a time limit. You need to have a specific time that this thing needs to be finished. It can't be just something gotta get done some time, but that must be completed in 20 minutes, or an hour or whatever time you choose.

3. It has to have meaning. It has to be something important to you, that must be done or you will suffer consequences, like losing your job, or your place in university, your partner etc. If you finish it successfully in time, the consequeces are good, you get the job, the person you love falls in love with you etc.

So, for an example your activity can be that you need to finish sewing a dress in 20 minutes because you want to wear it to your grandmother's funeral, (which is today and considering the time to get there etc you need to be done by then) and if you don't wear that dress your whole family will disown you. Something like that.

Because this is my first one so I don't have to have to worry about #3. So I only have to sew a dress in 20 minutes because I want to wear the dress, not for anything particularly important.

Another element which wasn't addressed but can be added is #4, it has to be safe. Nothing that can damage anything in the workspace, or hurt yourself or another class member. As the exercises can get emotional and heated, if they're done right, this is good advice. Definitely no irons. They were popular when I started the class until one guy ironed something on a glass table and cracked it. No one is bringing them anymore, I'll have to think of something else.

But I can't sew, and don't have the materials for making a dress so I'm going to have to come up with another idea. I still haven't got the slightest clue what I'm going to do.


Don said...

How about taking a notepad and pen and writing a blog post? The props are minimal and it sure needs
concentration. Or if you cook, maybe you could take all the stuff that needs preparation, then you can cook it afterwards at home. It's the best I can do. Good luck with it anyway.

Michelle said...

I'm not sure the pen and paper thing would work, it's not precise enough.. too much thinking and not enough doing, and I'm pretty sure cooking would fall under the "could cause damage to the space, myself or other people" category... but thanks for the suggestions.. ugh!! I'll think of something. I have until tomorrow evening.

Don said...

I was thinking of vegetables and a knife. You okay with pointy things?

Michelle said...

I might do something food related.. but I'm afraid it might be messy. Pointy things are a no no, I think it would make the instructor nervous.

Don said...


El Cuervo said...

damn complicated. how about doing a video.. recording it with a camera, editing to tape, something like that has both the creativity side and the actual doing something part as well

John Wu said...

there has to be a distinction between tedious and difficult. so an activity can be a pain in the *** but it may still be easy. also, the difficulty has to lie in the activity itself, not in the scene partner or the time element. and my teacher said that it needs a "standard of perfection" (it's either right or it's not). i just started taking meisner lol