In my life I am moving and evolving… dancing and flirting with acting, teaching actors, directing actors, script writing and now documentary/film making. It’s fascinating. And as I move and shift and jump from fiction to facts, from facts to fiction I realise that it is all the same thing… It’s about sharing truth. Because, like the elements, some things just are. To make a good documentry, just as to make a good show, structure is needed. These are some of the things we look at:
We are born, we exist, we die. Three act structure. Aristotil made the connection, he understood about the drama of life…
FARC guerrilla women in Colombia
I am about to go to Colombia to shoot a documentary called ‘Process of Peace’. I’ll be talking to ex-combatents and victims of the war that are trying to get back on their feet with the help of the ‘Peace Education Program’.
And then, two months later, when I get back I’ll be teaching at The Actors Space on the International Summer Theatre & Film Workshops for actors and directors.
And every time it is new. Fresh, exciting, like every single breath…full of life!
Here are three thoughts for aspiring artists:
1/Learn from the best or from those that feel right to you.
2/Practice your art, experience it!
3/Trust your self and enjoy.
And here is book for those who want to write but don’t know where to start form by Natalie Goldberg ‘Writing down the bones’. I suggest you read it slowly, like eating a good meal, savouring each mouthful. It’s a short, easy to read book and it’s so potent that, like a good session of love making, it is good to make it last.
Yes we are all different and yet we are all the same. When we see a tree, a sunset, climb a mountain…The Neutral Mask allows the actor to be present in the space. As human beings we have been given good imagination. Instantly the images come, we just need to let them in. As if for the first time the Neutral Mask sees, touches, hears….It has a state of awarness…technically the mask raises the level of tension of the body and teaches the actor to project physically. The movement becomes clean, clear and amplified. It finds an economy of movement which is precious and poetic. It engages the whole body and it finds the attitudes (strong dramatic moments of stillness).
Jacques Lecoq with The Neutral Mask
A well-worn Neutral Mask is beautiful. It shows us the essence of men and women. It’s a very precious tool for the actor. Not just physically (actors will benefit a lot in terms of ‘cleaning’ their body), but also emotionally and psycologically. When we come from the Neutral Mask we are detached. When we play a character we don’t need to come from a place which is personal. We can understand that as human beings we have anger, hate, rage as well as tenderness, love, kindness… If we can tap in that which is common to all (because we are humans and is part of our spectrum), we can have a distance and actually even ‘enjoy’ playing someone nasty… This is very helpful for film work as well as theatre. The Neutral Mask taught me this. This is why I love Lecoq’s approach because it is so healthy!
Theatre is an Art. And when it is carefully cultivated and understood it can tell us about Truth.
Marian Masoliver- Teacher, Director.
When I was little I wanted to be a dancer until I discovered the power of theatre and how good it felt to be angry on stage. At primary school I had a fantastic drama teacher, Joan Anguera (today a renowned Catalan actor). My big success came when I played Satan at the age of 8 for the school Christmas play.
During my childhood I spend a lot of time at my family’s farm. I remember the Shepard, an old man with a wrinkled, dark face and huge ears. He was wild, knew about the weather and had a female dog that looked like a black sheep. One day I found her breast feeding a piglet! One of my favourite things was to put my hand inside the mouth of the baby calves, they didn’t have any teeth and would suck and suck onto my hand…It produced a feeling of both danger and pleasure in me (something I also experience in performance)…
At 17 I went to study Theatre in Barcelona and from there to Paris to train with Jacques Lecoq at his international theatre school. There I met my partner Simon Edwards.
Lecoq was followed by 10 years of working as an actress: I travelled across half of the planet and had a thrilling bohemian lifestyle. At 22 I was hanging naked from a crane in the middle of ‘les Rambles’ in Barcelona with The Theatre Company ‘La Fura dels Baus’. While touring with Kneehigh Theatre in one of the shows that Simon directed, I ended up in the township of Soweto in South Africa. In New Mexico I played in community centres and old peoples homes with the Puppet Theatre “Los Titiriteos” (which my dear sister runs).
One day, as if by magic, the animals of the farm left. And the actors came…!!!
Simon and I rolled up our sleeves and transformed this place into our artistic adventure.
It’s been 14 years and I feel that The Actors Space is more alive than ever. We must have done around 50 international workshops, with approximately 1000 participants from over 50 different countries (you can click here to find out about this years workshops).There has been a lot going on here, Theatre, Film, Clowning (of course), Artists, Musicians, Flamenco, Magicians and Feldenkrais to mention some. Many shows and films have been made. One thing I know: it’s been fun! My future plans? To continue walking the path of artistic creation, and, hopefully, say something worth saying to the world.
I am now directing an outdoor Mask Theatre Show. It will be performed during Carnival to an audience of 4000 people. Fun, fun, fun!…
Simon Edwards- Teacher, Director.
A blog? What exactly is a blog, it sounds like something my cat might do in the corner of the room if she were locked in all night.
You will have to forgive me, I think Im suffering from cabin fever (not to be confused with cabin phobia which is fear of small buildings, two completely different things).
OK, so the plan is to share on this ‘blog’ some of our creative adventures and experience, including tips, techniques and videos so that this can be a further resource for training and creative expression.
This is a little taster of something I am working on at the moment.
I’ve been creating shows for more than 30 years and I have to say that something extraordinary is happening. A revolution is unfolding in the way that we connect and communicate with each other. This phenomena is clearly visible (on the political side of things) with those recent shifts of power around the world. From an artistic point of view new horizons are appearing. As Jung pointed out we are way too dependent on science and technology, civilisation needs art to help guide the way…. This more so than ever in this age, as we risk becoming corrupted by the art of power rather than freed by the power of art.
It’s a very exciting time to be creating work, with the new technology for making and sharing dramatic art now being more accessible than ever. It’s time to get into action, to get going with all those creative projects that we have only been able to dream about until recently. There is an opportunity for creative artists to get their work across to a previously unimaginably huge audience, by passing the established hierarchies of tv and film and being able to share directly with ‘your’ audience. This of course also applies to theatre artists, as by engaging online with the audience you can get them to know about the next show and share when they can see it.
It all comes down to two things WHAT do you want to share and HOW? How creative do you want to be?
For Marian and I The Actors Space has been a dream come true and as we continue to realise that dream we aspire to help other artists realise their creative dreams also!
If you have any comments or questions to ask (personal or professional) please post them below and we will try to answer as swiftly as possible. Happy new year of the Dragon!!!