Week 5 July 18 - 22
Updated: Jul 27, 2022
This week, I really enjoyed getting help from my friends. Bouncing ideas to collaborate with Jesus Gonzales for the "29" performance was so fluid and easy. I was fully inspired by the dedicated and detailed work of Katie Berns in creating a fictional character named Clau the Cloud. I have a trade going with Nancy Ross on Mondays, and she is coaching me in theater/character/plot development.
Turning toward these theatrical elements like costume and plot have been a shift of emphasis with the project. Originally, much of this 10AM concept was based on glorifying the norm, and sometimes, this theatrically developed space feels excessive. I imagined the great art of folding laundry (which will definitely happen soon), bending paper clips, or just sleeping and breathing in the window. I once said "if everything is art, then art is super crazy art." I am a little worried I am losing track of the initial sentiment by developing the performances too much and to the point of super crazy. However, there is so much pleasure in unearthing more and more potency with each experience. Friday's performance "Echeveria slap" was just the concept of slapping a succulent, but it became so much more because of these heightened standards I held this week.
Monday July 18th
Title: “They don’t care about you”
It doesn’t care. The meteor. The extinction event. The crash. The bacteria. The virus. They don’t care about you
Instructions: State 3 things at a time that don’t care about you in this format “The ‘,’ the ‘,’ the ‘.’ They don’t care about you.” Think big and small. Do some mundane task.
Why? To make jokes. To make fun of that which is overly sensitive. An exercise of the brain. To organize a pile of papers that needed organizing.
Rehearsal discoveries: Look at the audience present, and state it to their faces plainly without excess motion. Work to touch on multiple themes and categories.
Performance write up: Jeeze. Ending promptly at 10:15AM keeps being a funny issue. This time, even though I thought I was set up much earlier, I accidentally set the alarm to go off at 8:15AM instead of 10:15AM. At 10:22, I stepped out thinking I’d continue putting stuff away and check the time, after which I promptly ended the performance for my one audience member, my uncle Eric.
I was basically delivering this message over and over to the same person, and that was intense and different than I expected. Before the performance, I imagined the possibility of saying it to no one or a group of people potentially, but for reasons of more direct line intensity, saying “they don’t care about you” over and over to one person started to feel brutal in a different way. It maintained its funniness, however.
I wish I had brainstormed ahead of time. I think, in the future with these types of prompts, I want to prepare more with brainstorming. I have been more mentally acute in the past, and I think stress and lack of sleep have been chunking away at my mental capacity. It would do me and these performances a great service if I were to take on a more solid health routine. Also, self doubt really inhibits creativity. So ironic that this piece should be about not caring, yet I was inhibited by enough ego to have self doubt in the first place. What an art it is to experience a block of the mind.
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Tuesday July 19th
Title: “Subtle Breeze”
Instructions: Set up two fluttery plant arrangements. Position one in front of a moving fan for 5 min. Whenever the fluttering occurs, play a tune for that plant. Swap plant arrangement out, then change the harmony. In the last 5 min, Put both plant arrangements out and play for them.
Why? To get bug bites, apparently. To delight in fluttering leaves. To cross sensory experience of visual and audio imagination. To experience a progression and expansion of elements.
Rehearsal discoveries: Hold the curtain to the side, and you can pretty much see the plants okay from the piano. Luckily, Vince came and let me know the audio wasn’t loud enough, so has been adjusted for the street
Performance write up: Oof, looking through the curtain to get a good visual without being visually apparent was pretty difficult and frazzling. I thought also I didn’t really need to warm up, but when it came down to it, my fingers were feeling pretty dumb because I just hopped right in without any proper movement ahead of time. I’m sure to a sensitive listener, that faulty element came through. Either way, I think the concept is delightful. I heard it was for the people present. In the future, if I really work to warm up and set up a good visual line, I can do performances with similar elements better. Or get a baby cam.
Ultimately, I think the performance concept was beautiful when I had the fan and plants under better surveillance. Not having that line of sight contributed to me overplaying in moments of doubt and the vision of the performance as a whole being executed poorly. It could have been more beautiful. It still was. I think this time, the angle of the gopro did not do a good job capturing the fluttering beauty of the plants in the wind.
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Wednesday July 20th
Instructions: Lexi spins and circles Jesus 29 times. Lexi is dressed to represent the earth, and Jesus, the sun. Jesus creates a celestial inspired vocal loop. Following 29 revolutions, Lexi cues Jesus, on the 29th, and the two embrace in a hug. Jesus conceals flowers under his wardrobe that Lexi removes one at a time as they represent the bounty of earth and sun.
Why? Lexi turned 29 years old.
Rehearsal discoveries: Capture the expression of faces when hugging by keeping face turned out. Jesus doesn’t hug so he can use two hands to help manage the removal of the flowers.
Performance write up: Over lunch, a few spoken notes from Jesus… “When I was the sun, I felt like an anchor. I felt so happy to give, but also, I felt the joy of receiving from those that I give to. The earth was receiving my light, and I was so happy to shine for something. I was so grateful to shine and even just as grateful to have something to shine for. I felt powerful. I felt steady. I felt holy, but also so easily touched and moved over the fact that I got to be the sun at all. It's almost like the planets around me are children, my children, and I got to be a mama."
Lexi's spoken notes "You remind me of little details I had going on which were the years. Like when I got to 16 or 17 I was a little confused (about what number I was on), and I was making a metaphor for how time just passes by. I started really slow, you know it's like when we get older, the years go by faster. There was a point when I was moving faster and thinking 'yeah it just flies by" and moving slower and thinking about more moments in slower time. uhh yeah.. yeah just remembering being 16 when I went through the number 16 (chuckles) and being 20 when I went through 20. I was going pretty fast at 20, I was like oh shhhiit. So those are little memory lane sort of vibe. Not even specific memories of what I was doing at those times, but just what it was like to be..." Jesus responds "the feeling of it" Lexi responds "the feeling of the age! Yeah I don't even think I have very specific memories about that."
"the set up was funny. I'll probably comment on that. You know, we had a little rehearsal. It was all planned the night before. Taped that crown together. The part with the roses, we rehearsed that just to make sure we could pull those out of there without ripping them up."
Jesus: "that was my favorite part of the whole thing. it was so beautiful and emotional. "
Lexi "I didnt know it was the last one (rose). I would have dramatized it differently. There are so many layers I could have thought about at the time like expecting the years as a concept or expecting the relationship I was going to have with (Jesus). I knew I wanted to look at you, but I was like I cant keep this up for 29 rotations.... It worked out. I used looking at you as a way to get grounded again after I got too fast or I started to get too dizzy like I'm gonna fall. Do the head turn thing."
Jesus "I like what you said about the sun being like "thank god there's something that isn't moving"
Lexi " yeah that's how I felt like thank god at least there was something stable. I was like freakin rotating and spinning, and my thoughts were rotating and spinning and moving around. You're just there consistently the whole time in one spot, and then when we ended, your eyes closed. I was like I'm not sure if it's over. It was a silent moment I'm sure everyone appreciated...."
jesus "I thin the ending where we were both standing there facing each other in silence after the loop had ended was so nice."
lexi " it was nice. I broke it. I thought to myself well, if there's another action thats worth being silent for it might be picking the flowers up again, so I just started doing that, but idk it's hard to end without just like turning and being like (gesture of bow)
jesus "yeah I noticed people started clapping
lexi 'cause how else could we have ended?'
jesus" i was standing there with my eyes closed I guess waiting for you to be like"we're done" or the sound of something to go off. We could have also hi fived *chuckles
lexi we could have *chuckles
View on Youtube ----> https://youtu.be/sZLTgBHWD8I
Thursday July 21st
Title: “Clau the Cloud”
Clau the cloud
a piece constructed by Katie Berns (@bleuberrystudio) katieberns.com.
Clau the cloud is a cloud being who has never spoken, but the audience is given access to hearing her inner thoughts and world. We begin in the cloud-like audio realm of ambient tones that inspire feelings of fluctuation and movement. As if appearing through the clearing, Clau speaks to herself with a modest, calm tone throughout most of the piece. At points of questioning and self reflection, Clau’s inner dialogue pierces through the audio mix with oppositional voices of reasoning or dispute.
“But how do I let all of this happen, and how do I let it all go? It’s so much. It’s uh it’s so much.”
“You’re a cloud!”
“It’s just uh..”
“Ugh but I’m a cloud though”
“I don’t think you know.”
“I’m just a cloud, it’s just how… It’s just what being a cloud is”
“Maybe you do, and maybe that’s why I’m here, and…”
“I just wonder if you ever felt like this before”
Musical memories and delight give way at points for Clau to sing along within her own head, and we as the audience get to hear Clau’s feelings, responsibilities, dreams, and desires.
“To build yourself up and fall apart
It’s a big job.”
“How do I let this go? How do I know where to start and how do I know where to go?”
She reveals what she had been painting, her ultimate decree, “Give up,” saying,
“Just give up the holding onto thinking that it needs to be anything else.”
She leaves us with an empty remark,
“Anyways, I guess maybe I’ll see you around or you’ll see me. You’re pretty unrecognizable, no offense. I’m Clau. It was nice to meet you.
Her outro music is a mega banger and would beat deeply at the living hearts of animals wide and far.
Friday July 22nd
Title: “Echeveria Slap”
Dress up like an echeveria plant mama. Sing a kazoo song telling the story of brokenness that will come and the growth thereafter. Slap an actual echeveria until its leaves are all over the ground yelling positive “snap out of it” style things at it and telling of its growth to come. Pick up the pieces and arrange over dirt.
Sing a kazoo song for multitudes and blessing of growth until the timer goes off.
Why? Metaphor for the extremely capable propagators. Wanted to slap plants.
Rehearsal discoveries: Some brainstorming…..Dress up like a bee
Slap it saying you can do anything you set your mind to
You are made of tough stuff
The gods have called upon you for greatness
You’ve got to snap out of it
Nothing beats the sweet smell of success
Your courage behooves you
Understand the point of it all!
Run for your life and dive
Forget all that you once were
You are the tool of creation
Find it all out
You are the fractal of all imagination
You are bigger than you’ve ever been before
You are made of billions of years of chaos and organization
Slap out of it!
Snap out of it
Performance write up: This was a really nice experience. I felt so inspired by the metaphor this succulent plant variety serves to offer about fractals of growth patterns and the potential of recovery. I found myself adding parts to the performance such as words while arranging. People from the street stopped to watch perhaps because I was vocalizing/speaking from an open place. They may have also been more inclined to stop because of my costume. My heart felt open to the statements I was making. I think the words I was saying were relatable and resonate with others easily.
This was one of my favorite performances to do so far. The costume and character development of me as a “mother/spirit guide” echeveria plant made getting into the prompt easier. I improvised a bit of the elements in the performance by saying yes to whatever felt right to do and speak. I Met two local artists who stopped out of curiosity by the names of Bri and Janae. I got to level out some of the dirt in my indoor pothos plant container that had been contributing to me spilling water every time I watered the plant, so that was a functional benefit of this performance prep as well.
View on Youtube ----> https://youtu.be/46dksbs5YNE