Friday, September 19, 2008

19 september 08

Good Morning everyone,
I'm in St. Cloud, MN this week with the SITI company performing our RADIO MACBETH. Next week in Calgary. And then we'll do a 1 month sit down at the Court Theater in Chicago, IL in November. It is a pleasure to be touring this production. I think it is something and should be seen more and more. I was saying to Anne (Bogart) last night that this is one of those pieces one feels one wants to grow old with. (I feel that with DEATH AND THE PLOUGHMAN too.) I believe in works against which one can measure oneself over a long period of time - to measure one's growth, one's progress, one's belief system, a lifetime in and with an art work. I imagine one can think this way about a painting one sits with at home every day and mark over time the changes in response, or a book one reads over and again through the years and finds new information, new and REnewed interest, and of course with a dance. And that is what this is about.

I simply wanted to note that I've had the luxury of practicing I'LL CRANE FOR YOU on the stage pre and post SITI company training before the performance of RMcB. There I am off stage right doing my practice and working through ICFY while the other actors are doing their own work: Ellen doing work she did in rehearsal with T. Suzuki this summer, some doing yoga, some working over the language, some also working on other productions in repertory at the moment, and me doing practice. It's beautiful. Everyone is very curious about the dance and the practice and anxious for me to do the dance, but I remind them that I am contracted to practice for at least 3 months before a showing. And so they watch me work out of the corner of their eyes (as I do them.) They are curious of course. We are curious about one another. I think too that curiosity is essential in any work and in any relationship. It's fantastic to be on stage with professionals like this doing one's own work. We are all growing together. We've been through the trenches together to be sure over the last 16 years and some of us for even longer than that. We have our own interests - and we make room for one another which is the really big deal. Maybe we've matured over the time together. I hope so. And so we cheer each other on (and up) in our private work as we do in our work together. It is a great source of energy to be there with them. Believe me I know how lucky I am. It doesn't come easily; it costs and has cost personally over the years; but it is sustaining and gives back in spades.
It occurs to me that any work, anything one chooses to do, is, works as, can be a kind of lens through which we see one another (and ourselves) AGAIN for the first time. Each production. Now I'm on stage with Ellen or Barney or Akiko or Kel in THIS way. How do I see them now? And what am I this time 5 or 10 or 16 years later? Which brings me to Leon. I simply want to acknowledge that Leon is taking on quite a fight. He is assaying the scottish king this week while Stephen has been doing another production. Leon hasn't had much time to rehearse, is swinging wide at it, and really moving to watch negotiate this terrain day after day. It certainly does change one. It's fun to watch him "practice" and change and make little baby steps which play out like victories in the moment. (And then I get to "kill" him in the end.)

And so "practicing." What are we all practicing?

I'm practicing with this group.
I'm practicing alone I'LL CRANE FOR YOU.
We are all practicing something. We adjust. We lose interest and energy. We find renewed interest and reasons for doing.
We win little battles and modest victories.
We keep going.

Which I'm going to do now.



D said...

dude! great post!

I have finally worked out space to practice in that isn't my living room or a sheep poop covered mountaintop.

Hope the show is great - break legs all of you.


LMR said...

Hi Will,
I love the idea of channeling little battles and modest victories through the practice of our solo.

I started this week and was feeling very lonely for everyone, but then I started to dance and could feel everyone's presence welling up and pouring out. I can't wait to go back today. Alone, with everyone.

Merde for your show.
Yours, LM

Poem of the day (or whenever I change it)

Always the setting forth was the same,
Same sea, same dangers waiting for him
As though he had got nowhere but older.
Behind him on the receding shore
The identical reproaches, and somewhere
Out before him, the unravelling patience
He was wedded to. There were the islands
Each with its woman and twining welcome
To be navigated, and one to call ``home.''
The knowledge of all that he betrayed
Grew till it was the same whether he stayed
Or went. Therefore he went. And what wonder
If sometimes he could not remember
Which was the one who wished on his departure
Perils that he could never sail through,
And which, improbable, remote, and true,
Was the one he kept sailing home to?

By: W.S.Merwin