Living out of a suitcase and Spilling Ink

First, I was disturbed and intrigued to hear of the violation of Mike Daisey’s work. A troubling and violent event in a community of artists; I wish him the bravery to remain open as he continues to perform.

I’ve been living out of a suitcase for the last two years. My wife and I live in Vermont, I’m a full-time student in Cambridge. I go back and forth a lot. I spent three months in Moscow. I’ve become an excellent bag packer, but I do not excel at unpacking. The bag hits the bed, the laundry is extracted, and then the bag gets pushed to floor so I can sleep. Half the stuff slops out of my bag, half stays in. Usually I have to pack again in a few hours, so it all works out. But right now I can’t believe I have to pack and go to New York City for the final round of Showcase presentations. Our No Man’s Land rehearsals have really hit stride, and I don’t feel like leaving them, if only for a day.

I’ve started to spill a lot of ink over Foster, which is always a good sign for me – I think best when my pen is in motion. Pinter’s text is wonderfully rich, but also baffling and full of seeming contradiction, and it has taken a while for me to unravel it even enough to really dig into my analysis and preparation.

Half the work of my rehearsal process happens at home. Sitting at my desk or pacing around talking to my dog, I try to get into the text and lay out a possible palate of intentions and actions and stories for each scene of the play. I take these things into rehearsal so I always have something productive to commit to in the room. But yikes, it’s been difficult. And I’ve brought some real sludge into rehearsal! (Foster is a Vampire, bit by Hirst and dedicated to serving him as master.) But that’s OK – the point is to be constantly revising the ideas and the actions and the intentions, constantly alive and flexible in the room. Anyway, in these last few days I feel that I’ve broken through some layer of understanding that has allowed this work to be really very fun and fruitful, and I’m itching to keep going.

Paul and Max and Lewis and David have been so open and giving and helpful, and we’re really cooking as a team. It’s a terrific group of people to work and experiment with.

Back soon!

-henry david clarke

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2 Responses to Living out of a suitcase and Spilling Ink

  1. Doug says:

    I see this post as a poem:

    I’ve been living out of a suitcase:
    my wife and I live in Vermont, sometimes
    student in Cambridge, I go back and forth a lot.

    I spent three months in Moscow to
    become an excellent bag packer, but
    I do not excel at unpacking.

    The bag hits the bed,
    the laundry is extracted, and then
    the bag gets pushed to floor so I can sleep.

    Half the stuff slops out of my bag, half stays in. It
    all works out when I go. But
    I have to pack and go to New York City,
    final rounds of Showcase presentations
    rehearsals, if only for a day
    agony

    A lot of ink over Foster:
    I think best when my pen is in motion.
    Pinter’s text is wonderfully rich, but
    also baffling
    unraveling me
    to really dig

    Pacing around talking to my dog
    I try to get into the text,
    lay out palates of intentions
    stories
    something productive to commit to in the room

    But yikes, it’s been difficult —
    real sludge in rehearsal!
    (Foster is a Vampire,
    bit by Hirst and
    dedicated to serving him as master.)
    But that’s OK –
    to be revising
    constantly alive and flexible in the room.

    Anyway, in these last few days
    I feel that this work
    is really very fun and fruitful, and
    I’m itching to keep going.

    Paul and Max and Lewis and David have been
    really cooking as a team,
    a terrific group of people to work and experiment with.

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