REQUIRED FOR ALL CLASSES
INTRODUCTION TO ACTTRUE CLASS/WORKSHOP
Following is the First Assignment: This is REQUIRED!
EXERCISE #1. Physical Destination: This Exercise tests the cause of Truthful Action.
Let's look at the Facts of your daily life as a foundation of the Truth of your future imaginary life on camera/stage. Facts first!
Choose a specific day from your own life, NOT A CHARACTER, when you folded laundry. That's right, that's what you will do: Fold Laundry. Everybody folds laundry. So we all have an opinion on what real, "Truthful" folding behavior will look like. The simple is the profound.
You will investigate your Thoughts, Circumstances, Relationships, Wants, Obstacles and Actions of your chosen, specific day, from your past. All that happened before you folded. All you did after you folded. This before/after is our past/future, our what we've done/what we expect to do, that defines our everyday life.
For Rehearsal: Set aside a 1-hour period for rehearsal. Set your alarm clock for five minutes. Then fold. When the alarm rings, stop. And answer The Six Steps of Investigation (below). Answer each question as it pertains to your chosen, specific day, from your past. What went through your mind on that past day? What happened on that past day? Your Thoughts create your Behavior. Then, set the alarm again and fold. Do this alternating fold/investigation for 1 hour. As you answer the Six Steps each Investigation reveals the thoughts that filled you according to your specific Circumstances of your chosen, specific day, from your past. This will lead you into the clarification of Action, and the Specificity of Behavior. Keep a journal of advancing understanding.
For Class: Bring the basic object requirements, i.e., your clothes, your clothesbasket or bag, your books, magazines, pictures, whatever are the aspects of your life that you will discover and clarify through The Six Steps. The Six Steps when answered truthfully will leave no stone unturned in terms of reality. They will establish the internal and external facts of your moment in Truthful Behavior.
DO NOT IMPRESS US!
Just investigate your specific thoughts one moment to the next. I dare you to be truthful in the simple. Without the accumulation of simple truths in the work, how can you be truthful in the "big, dramatic" moments of the work? How? You can't. You will not have engaged the audience along the path of dramatic life, and they will not accept your "great conflict", your tears, your screams, your heroic fight at the end of the movie. The audience will not trust you. Truth in the Simple is the foundation of Truth in the Conflict.
This is professional investigation, not a parade or charade or a performance or opportunity to "look at me".
UTA HAGAN SIX STEP PROCESS
OF CHARACTER INVESTIGATION
1. WHO AM I?
What is my present state of being? How do I perceive myself? What am I wearing?
2. WHAT ARE THE CIRCUMSTANCES?
What time is it? (The year, the season, the day? At what time does my selected life begin?) Where am I? (In what city, neighborhood, building, and Room do I find myself? Or in what landscape?) What surrounds me? (The immediate landscape? The Weather? The condition of the place and the nature of the objects in it?) What are the immediate circumstances? (What has just happened, is happening? What do I expect or plan to happen next and later on?
3. WHAT ARE MY RELATIONSHIPS?
How do I stand in relationship to the circumstances, the place, the objects, and the other people related to my circumstances?
4. WHAT DO I WANT?
What is my main objective? My immediate need or objective?
5. WHAT IS MY OBSTACLE?
What is in the way of what I want? How do I overcome it?
6. WHAT DO I DO TO GET WHAT I WANT? How can I achieve my objective? What's my behavior? What are my actions?
WHAT TO PREPARE
The Assignment for Class:
Fold Laundry, investigating your thoughts of a specific day from your recent past life, when you are home alone. Think you can do it?
Read A CHALLENGE FOR THE ACTOR by Uta Hagen.
This is REQUIRED! Read Ch. 10 & 11, specifically, which introduce the process and the first exercise.
Watch the following sequences in these Films:
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Where Charles Laughton, who is on the flogging wheel, is given water by Maureen O'Hara. Watch Laughton as he decides whether to take a drink of water.
Grapes of Wrath: Opening of the movie - Where Henry Fonda meets the preacher on the road. Watch Fonda as he throws the bottle away and invites the preacher to walk with him to his parents' home.
Jeremiah Johnson: The very last scene of the film, where Robert Redford waves. What does he mean?
Bridges of Madison County: Opening of the movie - From where Meryl Streep fixes breakfast for her family to the moment she finally sits down at the table.
Castaway: Watch Tom Hanks create his truthful human behavior in imaginary circumstances on the island when he is opening the Fed EX packages.