An Imaginary Impossible Happening

(Why am I naming days?)

3/04/14, Day 13,795: An Imaginary Impossible Happening

This day is so named because of something Emily Hartford (or, as we’ve dubbed her actor-within-the-play, Emily Smith) said at Faust rehearsal last night. Quick bit of context: We’re improvising rehearsal scenes based on certain prompts, both devising Faust and devising the rehearsal frame of Faust that will surround the play proper (it’ll make sense when you see it. I hope.)

So, Marielle and I work with the actors to develop all these secrets for the actors to explore as their “Smith” selves in their “rehearsals”, and Emily Smith decided that she couldn’t participate in the exercise because it was too personal. The exercise was to share your own personal connection to the bargain Faust makes with Mephistopholes: if he experiences a perfect moment, one in which he could live forever, then the devil may do what he will with Faust’s soul. So, what was everyone’s perfect moment?

After a lot of back and forth, Emily Smith said the following (transcribed by these furious fingers sitting beside the actors):

EMILY:
Oh, I don’t uh
It was an idea
It was sort of a, what if, I guess
You know
The thing that you
I don’t know if everybody has
The thing that you
Fixate on
If this thing
If this thing could happen
The thing that you are waiting for
Which for me is a personal thing
But you know
It’s an imaginary impossible happening
And
Uh

Then there was silence, as Emily Smith visibly worked through the longing of that imaginary impossible happening. It was one of many lovely moments in a rehearsal marked by the absence of three of our actors–an absence that makes this work even more difficult–and I found this bit of spoken text to be particularly beautiful, can’t say exactly why…

Technique never stands still: it only advances or retreats…

Writing: 55 out of 65 days (Angel Juice) 
Spanish: 55 out of 65 days

What small things did I do yesterday to help build the Honeycomb?
(And what does it mean to “Help build the honeycomb?”)

  • Rehearsed and devised Faust;
  • Asked Everglades Superintendent Dan Kimball to oppose the transfer of protection of wetlands in the Everglades National Park to a utility company;
  • For TCG, shared Alice Tuan’s Radar LA manifesto (among many other things in an intense day);
  • Emailed my legislators to voice their support of wind-power;
  • Cooked and ate all vegetarian meals (mostly organic, some local) and added no direct food waste (plastics bags, plastic water bottles, etc.);
  • Asked for freedom for Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3;

Categories: Uncategorized

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