Day Seven - #30daysofinfluences - Michael Chekhov
I took a little break because I was doing a lot of admin, and I find it hard to switch brains when I am doing that - but I spent this weekend as a student in an acting workshop working on #amidsummernightsdream , but through the lens of #michaelchekhov and his #archetypes - and I’m feeling much more creative and inspired than I was at the end of last week. As I’m usually the teacher, I definitely needed a hit of #maxspiration from the wonderful Max Hafler!
I’ve been a Chekhov teacher for years myself, having studied his technique both at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts #GITIS in Moscow (where they teach it all interwoven in with #Stanislavsky and #Meyerhold ) and also with #MICHA , the American organisation started by the students he taught after emigrating to Hollywood. Added bit of coolness, he was actually in a #Hitchcock film starring #ingridbergman that I was obsessed with before I even knew who he was. And it’s so wonderful to have a teacher as dedicated as Max here in Galway with whom I can continue to explore it further, and bounce ideas off too.
In short, Chekhov’s technique is #psychophysical - which means you’re working with that very sensitive membrane between physical expression and internal experience/imagination. You work through the body to access images and information, that you might discuss intellectually in table work, so it really helps you to get to what is essential and embodied rather than conceptualised. It’s also a great way of taking table work onto the floor, and it turns up and transforms your presence and energy as a performer.
I use archetypes a lot in my teaching myself - but it’s so rare I get to play with them. And I was delighted to get to work with the very talented Jeremie Cyr-Cooke, as #Titania and #Oberon in the scene where she wakes from her infatuation with Bottom. It’s a difficult scene to navigate, due to Titania’s seeming lack of reaction to his cruel trick, and so trying lots of different options really saved us from getting bogged down in discussion, and we really found our way through what felt right. Also, it was the perfect way to mark the #solsticeweekend - 14 hours ago