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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Zen of Theater Games

You should read the whole thing, this excerpt is just to whet your appetite:

The first exercise was the mirror - one that I had done many times before. However, she coached us into the mirror urging us to “follow the follower” - where no one is leading and both are following. I knew the sidecoach phrase ‘Follow the Follower” and I thought I had an understanding of it but, I had never been coached like this. Viola’s coaching seemed to keep me constantly off-balance. I didn’t seem to have a chance to copy the movements of my partner. Yet I was doing the movements. Viola’s timing and other comments began to have an effect on me that I had never experienced. I started to loose control. I began to tremble. The harder I fought to accomplish the mirror the more I trembled. Viola yelled into my ear, “Follow the follower!” “Let it flow!” “Let it Flow!”

I really was shaking now. It was a vibration like trying to hold a jet in flight while crashing. The harder I yanked on the stick to gain control, the more I shook. Eventually she called the exercise to an end and released me from this condition. I was ‘shaken’, literally. I sat there dazed. Viola came up behind me put her hand on my shoulder and addressed the class. “Now you see, this young man here had a direct experience[1]. He actually got to see Marty.” (The woman I did the mirror with). She went on “I would guess it was the first time he ever really saw anyone in his entire life.”


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