Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I was at the San Francisco Theater Festival this weekend promoting my classes. I had the good fortune to be placed next to Michael Rice, the creator of the Cool as Hell Theater Podcast. He produced the interview with me that is accessible from the home page of my website. The Podcast is an ongoing series of reports about Bay Area theater happenings that is presented in collaboration with KQED. He gets invited to pretty much everything, and sees a lot of it. I asked him if there was a company whose work consistently impressed him. As a jaded New York theatergoer and Drama School grad, I am always on the lookout for theater that is genuinely inspiring, so a strong recommendation from someone who goes to a ton of it means a lot. He said there was a company called mugwumpin that he really liked, and that he would go see anything they did. That's exactly the kind of recommendation I am always in the market for. And if course I immediately wanted to pass it along to you, dear readers, so that you could go to the theater and be inspired as well.
A visit to the mugwumpin website doesn't tell you a whole hell of a lot (although the site is visually compelling!), but I did see somewhere that they were residents artists at the Exit Theater. Since the Exit is the home of the SF Fringe Festival, I figured it would be a good bet that they would have a show in this year's Fringe, which happens in September. And sure enough, there is: it's called Tesla's White Pigeon. The link to buy tickets didn't work when I clicked on it, but I am sure there is a way. I know I am going to get on the phone with the Exit and get some tickets.
And check out the Cool as Hell Theater podcast. Michael is an engaging (and tough!) interviewer, it's always worth a listen:
Posted by Andrew Wood Acting Studio at 9:00 AM
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tim Bauer is a Bay area playwright. I don't know his stuff, but he has a blog covering bay area theater happenings. Checkit!
Posted by Andrew Wood Acting Studio at 4:39 PM
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Mother of Invention newcomer is acting in a production of Midsummer Night's Dream in the woods! Congrats Jay! Details from Jay below:
i'll be performing "a midsummer night's dream," directed by stuart
bousel and presented as part of atmostheatre's theatre in the woods
that's right, it's theatre-in-the-frickin-woods! we've got a beautiful
plot of land, about 30 miles out of the city, just off of skyline.
beautiful amphitheaters in the middle of a redwood forest. [honestly, i
feel better as soon as i get out of the car, but i'm from the forest,
you know? when i get back to nature i just feel calm, and free. but
the show's great. it's a LOT of fun, briskly paced, highly
intelligible, and it's got a great cast. it's a fun way to spend two
and a half hours on a summer day. and did i mention it's in the woods?
and on a personal note: i don't usually like to pimp my shit, but i'm
really proud of some of the work i've been doing on this show. i'm doing
two smaller parts, mainly for comic relief, but this shows just...feels
right. so, if you have a chance to make it up to the bay this august
[and let's face it, the only people who don't want to spend august in
norcal are northern californians], please come check it out.
tickets are going fast. i found out today like half of our dates are
sold out. so, my bad. but there are plenty of other performances. we
preview the last weekend of july and then do saturday/sunday through
labor day. all performances are matinees [duh, the woods are scary at
night], 1 o'clock curtain. here's the website:
i believe i've got a couple comps as well, so if you need one, ask early
and be poor. but come see the show.
Posted by Andrew Wood Acting Studio at 12:55 PM
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Longtime Mother of Inventioner will be playing Francisca in the upcoming Arclight Repertory production of Measure for Measure. Right on Leigh!
Posted by Andrew Wood Acting Studio at 11:08 PM
Sunday, July 08, 2007
In the body work portion of the class, I introduce the jaw as the actor's public enemy number one. Most of us carry tension there habitually, and the jaw is wired to the back and the rest of the body, so tension that originates there can easily spiral downward and create all kinds of physical static for the actor. Further, the jaw is a kind of gateway, so that impulses that originate in the gut or elsewhere are either allowed or disallowed by the jaw. And, for some reason, when we are engrossed in doing something that requires a lot of our concentration, like, say, playing a difficult portion of a scene, the jaw often tenses up to make sure that nothing is released that isn't supposed to be. However, this also (often) has the effect of making sure that nothing comes in, and this means that the actor has effectively isolated him or herself from his or her environment, which is bound to bring about stiffness and lifelessness. So learning to be aware of, and to release, jaw tension is indispensable
You can explore this yourself by choosing an activity that is challenging for you and paying attention to your jaw while you try to do it. I like to go out dancing, and when I start to get going, and feel inspired to show off some fancy footwork, my jaw will invariably tense up in some kind of misguided effort to "help" by stablizing me (a phenomenon sometimes known as "white guy overbite"). I also notice this in my T'ai-Chi practice. This awareness is the first step towards freeedom. The next is cultivating the habit of letting go of this tension when it arises. Do this enough and the letting go will become an unconscious habit This will probably take years, but Rome wasn't built in a day, right?
Posted by Andrew Wood Acting Studio at 12:32 PM
Friday, July 06, 2007
I reported recently that longtime Mother of Inventioner Jeremy Mascia was just picked up by Look Talent, and now he has been cast in a play called Eavesdroppers. Find out more by clicking on the title of this post.
That's fantastic Jeremy! Keep it up!
Posted by Andrew Wood Acting Studio at 11:46 AM