ACT2MOVE MOVE2ACT:Not So Same Old, Same Old

Jan 15, 2014
Tagged with: ACT2MOVE MOVE2ACT:Not So Same Old, Same Old

Dr. Bloom and I have now been meeting for 18 months, nearly every Monday, for at least an hour.  I have a 43 page journal documenting these meetings from the first one in June of 2012 when the idea of acting as movement work was an experiment and we were not sure if it would ever happen again all the way to now, January 2014.  The experiment continues.


Sometimes we do great work together.  We examine Shakespeare’s text and discover something new, like all the ways that the word “green” is used; from the character Iago as a green eyed monster in Othello, to green as in new or green as in young.  Some days our Yes/No Exercise leads to funny looks and exasperation as one of us accidently gives in.

Other days, Dr. Bloom feels energetic and tells me stories from dental school and the name of the muscle that extends from the upper lip through the nose, the levator labii superioris alaeque nasi, as he touches his lip, nose and eyebrow.  That is some feat, Dr. Bloom’s hand going that high!

Then, there are the other days, when we do the Yes/No Exercise and it’s just the Yes/No Exercise.  We sing in our fake opera voices and forget about our fake opera and go back to speaking the lines.  There are days when we go through the motions, the lines, the exercises and that’s it.

Yet, we need the days of the ho hum.  I know we do.  Without those days, the breakthroughs would not come.  None of us are brilliant all the time.  That is why we need to practice.  A pianist plays their scales. Dr. Bloom practices his lines.  We need to show up and do the work every time.

When we keep showing up, something shifts.  The Shakespearean line “Well, forward, forward! thus the bowl should run, and not unluckily against the bias,” makes sense.  We know exactly what is happening with the character.  The right gesture, inflection, and intention comes to us and we leap ahead in the work.

Could the leap have come without the seemingly same old, same old?  I think not.  The creative process, as chaotic and random as it may seem, relies on us showing up.  So, during these gray winter months, even when things might seem so-so, let’s keep at it.  Spring will return. The tulips will bloom.  Don’t we want to be there to see what else might happen?

Author: Elizabeth Vander Kamp

  • bobl07

    Once again Elizabeth you and Dr. Bloom bring a whole new perspective to Shakespeare. Thanks for all you do. Keep up the good work.

  • Bob McKenna

    Elizabeth and Dr. Bloom, You bring so much to those who see you act. The depth and complexity of Shakespeare’s characters are revealed in new ways simply because of your self awareness and life experience that you bring to every word and gesture. Thank you. We want more! Peace, Bob

  • julia

    fabulous. I too, want to be there.
    and yes, just as the sculptor hits the stone again and again…and one day, it cracks. I love hearing about this process, and it reminds me of the value of a “practice” not just an event. practice implies conscious participation in the great adventure…and it means we can say we are part of it, not just bystanders. bravo and thank you, Elizabeth and Dr. Bloom!

  • Elizabeth Vander Kamp

    Julia, thank you! Bravo to you and conscious mediocre! participation! Elizabeth

  • Elizabeth

    Bob, thank you! More is coming! Elizabeth

  • Elizabeth

    Bob, thank you! More Shakespeare to come – we hopeth thou wilt be pleased!

  • Gene

    The process that you and Dr Bloom are using sounds fascinating. Please let me know the next time you perform in public. Would love to sneak a peek!

  • Harold

    Thank You Elizabeth! Brilliant! The famous actor Michael Chekhov, noted for his work ethic, believed that creativity, ironically, takes hard work, patience, and perseverance. He said, most people will get a pretty good idea, and then just stop. But to get to the net level, KEEP GOING. What you can actually do is use your first good idea as a “scaffold” to open up connections in your mind and greatly improve: push through the ho-hum to get to the brilliant. God Bless!

  • Elizabeth Vander Kamp

    Harold, thank you. I love the scaffold of the first idea and building from there. Your comment is much appreciated.

  • Elizabeth Vander Kamp

    Hi Gene, we will be sure to let you know about the next performance! Thank you.