We started off with an exercise we have also done in the past. The twirling your hips exercise. Hope you remember by now.
And then we attempted this:
We were supposed to be in a Parisian Cafe, in the 1960s. We first had to walk in a serious, inexpressive manner. After a while we were instructed to nod and pronounce a completely inexpressive “Bonjour”. We would then have to move to a seat of the amphitheater as if we were occupying a seat of the cafe. Normal movements of lighting a cigarette or drinking coffee was what followed. I chose to read a newspaper and light up a pipe. I felt like a man. Inexpressive, introverted and serious.
The females of the group were supposed to live and reenter the room one by one, sitting on their seats. The rest of us followed them by standing as they walked in and sitting as they sat on their chairs.
This evolved into a conversation among us and a debate: “Who stinks this much?”
We basically were instructed to accuse a person of stinking and lead him out of the “Cafe”.
I loved this exercise for one not that meaningful reason. It was the first time in a while were I was improvising.
I created a character. I was a man. Even though the setting would mostly remind me of a woman I still chose to impersonate a man to embody male characteristics of masculinity. I chose to have a newspaper and a cup of coffee to represent the French underlying atmosphere and a pipe to add to the mystery.
The biggest failure of this activity was our inability to communicate and make decisions as an assemble. When asked to decide upon one person to be thrown out, by working individually we ended up kicking out multiple people. The irony here is that even before Kate instructed us to do that I had already started developing that relationship with Giulia, so it all became 10 times more natural.
Lastly, the most important factor for me was the music. Throughout there was this instrumental music that accompanied our acting making it easier to embrace the atmosphere and enter this new Parisian world. The music also stopped when Kate instructed and continued along when we were to act. I acknowledged the impact music can have to your acting. It changes everything.