Oct 8 – Walk this way.

This past weekend I had my second class in both Stage Combat and Personal Clown. They were both fun. A brief summary of the weekend’s classes below:

In Stage Combat we reviewed the three basic back falls we had done the time before, plus added a forward fall. We also learned some more fake punches, so now we have the cross, the jab, the roundhouse, and the uppercut. I can do the punches pretty good, but what I have to work on is my responding to the punches.

We also reviewed the sword work we had done the week before, and we got to pair up with a partner, and actually hit swords against each other. Very fun, although I have to say one of my partners worried me a little. He had missed the first class, so he was doing this for the first time, and he was very enthusiastic. Having a highly energized person, who has had no practice time, waving a sword at you (even if it is blunted) can make one nervous.

For Personal Clown we did some of the same exercises we had done the time before. George would yell out a word, such as tomato, light, barbed-wire, butter, furry, and then we would act out the movement and sometimes sound of the work. We were also asked to act out nonsensical word. Be frommy, or blix, and you would just give your best guess as to what that would be.

Another exercise that I “like”, even though it makes you feel very awkward, is this walking exercise. What you do is walk around the room, just your normal walk, while everyone watches you. Their job is to watch your walk for charactersitics. It is rather uncomfortable having 12 other people watch you very intently as you walk.

But then it gets better. They start to imitate your walk. First resembling how you actually walk, but then exaggerating the tendencies that they see. Maybe your head tilts to the left a bit, so everyone tilts their head way over, or you have one shoulder raised higher, so everyone walks around with one shoulder hiked way up, or your right leg swings out further, so everyone swings the leg way out, etc. Whatever it is, they latch onto it and exaggerate it. Then it is your job to take on the exaggerations that you feel resonance with.

The others stop walking and then you exaggerate the walk even more, until your arms and legs are swinging wildly. So there you are with a dozen people watching you, while you are lurching to and fro, arms swinging, legs kicking, torso contorted. My favorite part is when the others who have gone before join in, and you have a hand full of people undulating around together. It makes me think what the TV show Fame would be like if it took place inside an insane asylum.

In addition to the patterns of contortion, an emotional component develops and begins to create a character. My walk morphed in to a panicky or frantic feel. Some people’s walk made them sassy, or sad, or innocent.

Our assignment, due this Wed, is to now go out and buy some clothes that the character who has this walk would wear. I am not sure what that is, but tonight is a trip to Value Village to see what I can find.


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