Tuesday, October 11, 2011
My Discoveries in Movement Class by Shannon Kringen
The feeling of Déjà vu comes to mind when I look back on the overall experience I had in Freehold’s Movement class with George Lewis. While the exercises and philosophy were all new to me, the dynamic, kinesthetic, use your whole body and mind and be fully present and aware attitude felt familiar to me.
I learned so much about myself. Over and over again I had to allow myself to feel vulnerable, feel all my fears and insecurities and know that underneath all of that, I have tremendous courage and strength and the ability to be present. I learned that I am mostly an introspective kind of person who likes time in solitude and that I also really like being with others, watching actors work and play and act with them. Working with actors mirroring back and forth stimulates me in a way I am so hungry for. I found myself thinking that people are so unique and fascinating. Each person has a different way of moving and speaking. While there were different cadences in our voices and bodies, we all had similar fears and challenges. I found myself having to deal with my assumptions and projections and realized that most of my problem is my own self holding me back.
I love and admire the work that actors do. My forte is visual arts. I am very moved when I look at paintings or create paintings and photographs and yet when I hear music or see a play or movie I really am affected in a more specific heartfelt way.
This class helped me get a feeling for my weaknesses and strengths both within my own body as well as in working with others, whether it was making eye contact with fellow actors or projecting out into an audience. Meeting twice a week was a benefit as well. Something about the consistent rhythm of meeting for 4 hours twice a week really helped snap me out of my comfort zone and into something new. The class also reminded me of being in a place where who we “are” is flexible and we can decide to add or subtract aspects of ourselves. I particularly enjoyed the movement exercise towards the end of the course when we got to use the set with props and a door and at the same time respond to our scene partners’ movements as well. I learned to be aware of my gaze and to look outward around the room and notice and be OPEN to what is around me and yet stay centered. Doing both in a balanced way felt so good. I was centered in myself in a grounded solid way and yet open and playful and connected to what was around me.
After this class, I am feeling compelled to keep taking acting classes and see where that takes me. I really want to incorporate visual with performing arts for my BA degree and might continue on and earn my MFA in multi-media visual and performing arts. Feeling more connected to community is one of the biggest benefits I gained from taking this course. It made me feel more alive and part of humanity to do this work. This class provided a safe, supportive environment to do this challenging work and I’m very grateful I took the opportunity to study at Freehold.