Thursday, February 07, 2019


This morning is forecast to warm up to ten degrees above (f.) then the arctic air will return for more days.    The house is a reeking mess because I am still crippled by dislocating my shoulder which also tore muscle and made bruises.  I'm still typing one-handed.  But still reading and thinking.  What follows are notes to develop later.


A play is the big gestalt metaphorical context, often very rational, structured and even objective.  It is the context for everything else.  The actual acting is quite opposite.  Each character has its own metaphor that draws on the penumbra of meaning around a symbolic entity -- a gun, a ripe peach, a thunderstorm, a silver fork.

The modern understanding is that there is no final God-determined "reality".  This is because the process of on-going reality is always changing its interaction between mind-patterns and the flow of information events.  But the aim of the stage is to capture something truer, more real, and more memorable than daily life.  The philosopher's attempts to define and "nail" reality are irrelevant.  Of no use.

A psychotherapist, Carl Rogers, famous for echoing what clients said, was convinced that getting into their mind-frame would illuminate their thoughts.  He did this in part by going near them, assuming their posture, muscle tension, expression, as closely as he could "be them."  Sometimes this worked very well, even for people thought to be catatonic, unreachable.  They suddenly made contact.

Similarly, the acting classes of Alvina Krause were assigned to visit the Field Museum in Chicago.  The Hall of Man by Malvina Hoffman was then intact with life-sized statues of all "types" of people.  We were assigned to "become" one of these people, taking their pose, building empathy, studying their culture and times.  Their depicted bodies were our access to them.

"The Method", a theory for acting that depends upon the actor calling up from the past a moment that echoed the moment being enacted, depends upon the body's way of "filing" such moments complete with the surroundings, so that a sensation (sound, smell, taste), weather, someone's face -- would bring back the memory as if it were happening in the resent.  Today this is also referred to as "triggering" or "flashback" in terms of trauma in the past.  It's pretty well known as an aspect of combat PTSD.  It is physiological.

One of the differences between analytical logical patterns and embodied patterns is that the latter are emergent -- they arise spontaneously.  Sometimes they are a surprise and even unreasonable.  People express a hunger for experience, even if it is intense or via empathy, story, imagination.

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