Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Hungry for It" - Elizabeth's Freehold ETI Experience

We are just beginning our fourth week of ETI. It already feels like we’ve been doing this forever. I don’t remember what life was like before Ensemble Training Intensive (ETI) and I can’t imagine what life would be like without it. I marvel at how we are all adjusting and molding to our new reality. On Day One, we showed up and there were cubbies with our names on them, and people just put their stuff in the one with their name on it! I know I did that in 7th grade with a locker, but now it seems remarkable somehow, that we accept what is put before us and adapt to the system we find ourselves in. And truthfully, there wasn’t much time to think about it, we were immediately swept up in the forward motion of the program.

People are bonding and starting to get to know each other to varying degrees. Solo Performance really helped jump start that process. The first couple of writing assignments were autobiographically based so we started to hear each other’s stories and what we each have to say about the world. This is good because when the longest break you have in a day is 10 minutes, there isn’t a whole lot of time for chatting between classes. Yes, you read that correctly, we have class on one day from 12:30p-11:00p with no break longer than 10 minutes. I feel we are like stagecoach horses in the harness together. We run and run for a leg of the journey, and then they turn us out for food and water. Then it’s time to run again. So, we get strapped back into the harnesses and we are off. Sometimes, the thoughtful Freehold elves leave little snacks out for us on the counter in the lobby, and you wouldn’t believe how a little bag of gummi bunnies can spur me on through the next leg of the adventure.

It’s amazing how quickly connections between classes began to materialize – and not in the ways I assumed. Related ideas surface in Yoga and Voice; in Acting and Stage Combat; in Solo Performance and Yoga. And one thought follows me into every class, something George Lewis said in Movement that I’ve been paraphrasing for myself ever since, “You have to be hungry for it!” Because let me tell you some common themes for all of the people participating ETI is being spread too thin, juggling class & work & life, a lack of sleep. It would be easy to get bogged down in being overwhelmed, to succumb to whining and helplessness. To avoid that trap, to keep going, I am consciously reminding myself to be hungry for what we are doing in the moment. And when that moment is passed to wonder, “What’s the next thing?! What’s next?!” Because George is right, you have to be hungry for it! And we all are – we had to be to get this far and to take on this great challenge. The best part is all these great teachers have spread out a wonderful feast before us, and I know we’ve barely dug into the first course.

-Elizabeth, ETI Participant - 2010-2011

More Information on Freehold's Ensemble Training Intensive Here

Photos of ETI students taken by Jesse Putnam (ETI Student 2010-2011)

1 comment:

  1. Just reading that made me hungry. Beautiful work, Elizabeth, and everyone. You are all an inspiration!