This Saturday January 16th, I had the pleasure of conducting the first workshop offered by The Border Theatre. The range of participants was wide, consisting of experienced local actors, first time participants, and even a six year old boy. For those of you intrigued by the workshop experience, I would simply like to de-mystify any preconceptions you may have about the process.
With a group of such varied backgrounds it was important to find a common thread that could be applied to all the participants regardless of their age and experience. The universal commonality that I felt could be attained by all participants is the ability to heighten their sensory awareness. The process began with something as simple as laying down and taking in all the immediate stimuli that we normally filter out on a daily basis. From this point we moved on to gauging the appearance of our hands.
After a break we were able to demonstrate with boldness our heroes and our antithetical villains. This simple exercise is very similar to charades,only instead of seeking a correct answer, one only tries to display the qualities that their hero/antithesis possesses. Awareness of space followed next with the usage of some chairs. Even our six year old did an outstanding job with this exercise.
We followed that up with a demonstration of a simple Grotowski listening exercise and concluded with some Meisner honesty exercises.
All in all it was an extremely fun and productive day, one that I feel better educated and informed the potential audiences of El Paso and I hope that the community comes out in support of our future workshops which will be offered on a monthly basis.