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Get your rocks off


This whole Slipper thing got me thinking.

I remembered an exercise I loved to use with actors. You basically craft a small two hander between two partners and you get actors out to perform the piece. Say the lines are

ACTOR ONE: Where the fuck are the tickets

ACTOR TWO: How the fuck should I know. You would lose your own head if it wasnt screwed on.

ACTOR ONE: Whereas you just screw around.

On its own the actors are already making decisions about their character and composing how they would get up and act this out. They have made assumptions. They are guessing at how their acting partner will deliver a line so they can deliver the one they already set in their head.

A very dangerous thing to do as an actor -expect something and therefore rehearse for that. Hence the reliance on all those improvisation games.

But expecting the unexpected is prempting yourself to expect something. So while you should be ready for anything, you should also not be. The actors paradox.

Anyway, a pair would volunteer and would be just about to start when I change the scene they have in their head. They are probably expecting a row in the privacy of the characters in the scenes home. An intimate place. One where they can get all shouty at each other.

I tell them I want this scene to be at a crowded line entering an event. I tell them that they don’t want to cause a scene. Of course it can end in a scene. My instructions are to try to avoid one.

Suddenly what they had expected to come and may even have rehearsed in their head is gone. The context of the scene changes from an intimate row to a discreet one. Same lines. Same intent. Different situation.

And that got me thinking about context. The text messages released in the Slipper/Ashby matter is a script. But what is the context? What is the situation?

For example. Allow me to pen a piece of script. It is a SMS conversation between a character called John and a character called Mike.

John: You getting your rocks off?

Mike: Shit yeah! Charlie is about to explode! Its fantastic! You should be here.

Now lets paint in some context. John is checking on a date Mike is having with Charlie. Rocks off in this case could beĀ literal.

Lets shake up that context.

Lets say John, Mike and Charlie are talking about a football game.

John is not watching as he is at work while his house mates are watching at home. John and Mike support one team and Charlie supports the other. John and Mike’s team are winning.

Same words. Completely different meaning.

Something to think about while you all get your rocks off on the next juicy piece of gossip.


A. Ghebranious 2012

  1. Catching up permalink

    Like them XX’s that have been made a BIG thing of.

    To me they mean little. I come from an era that one finish most communication between friends with a couple of XX’s.

    It was only in love letters that one could have put any in depth meaning on them. Then it would only be a sign of love, nothing sexual.

    Teachers spent much time convincing kids that XX’s were not appropriate on business and non personal communication.

    Mr. Slipper is not that much younger than me.

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