Sensory memory is the underlying element of method acting. During classes, our coach told us to tap into our past memories to bring out a certain emotion into the monologue. It has to be hidden, and not revealed to the audience. The audience cannot know which memory we are tapping on to bring out the characterisation and emotional undercurrent and inner fire to the performance. It is a underlying inner life that is unique to the actor. Hence two actors when given the same script, will enact the scene entirely different from each other based on their sensory memory that they bring forth to the performance.
A question was posed – how does a child actor tap into his sensory memory when he has not experienced life in it’s entirely? It boils down to authenticity. In method acting, the general rule is not to tap into any sensory memory that happened the past seven years. It is no wonder most actors hit their prime towards their thirites – leveraging on their sensory memory that they had gained over the course of years.
I had made the mistake of tapping into recent memories when I started out my YouTube channel and it seriously messed me up. Now, I no longer tap on recent memories, but the allowance is that we are allowed to tap into recent body sensations (pain, cold, pleasure, hot). When I write my books, I use the same technique in writing. I will repeat the motion of my characters while writing. Eg: Picking up a fork. I will imagine picking up a fork to cut a fish. If my character has to do a vigous workout and then start a dialogue. I will do the same, do a walkabout and a workout and go back to writing the dialogue to get the sense of how a person speaks after a workout. If I am unable to act out a scene, I will watch videos of actors enacting similar scenes or tap into my sensory memory. I would say Purple Python is the best book I had written as I had only learnt to apply the techniques I learnt over the past few years and crystalise it into a complete narrative.
I am glad to have been given a rich chaotic teenage life that I can tap on to write my works and enact my rebellion. I am no longer that crazy, or full of madness as I once was. I would say I had reached a pretty zen stage of my life where my number one priorty is my family followed by my friends. They ground me and stablise my random bursts of creative energy. Without them, I would lose my balance. They help me find myself, and regain the missing parts of my identity to form a complete whole me by just accepting the way I am. I was never able to dance the way I do before – only this year I had finally unleashed my inner soul song to be the passionate dancer that fires the dance floor.
Yesterday someone called me a “beast on the dance floor.” I was being filmed dancing. I am getting filmed regularly by dance patrons, as they watch me across the floor. To admit, I had never receive this level of “dance” attention since actively competing when I was a teenager. Only now, I had rediscovered my inner fire and happiness in dance. That I dance not to applease others, or be someone else that I am not. But to dance is to be myself, and dance for my own self actualisation, and the greatest enemy is myself. There is no one else who can stop me from being the dancer that I am. For this, I am able to be completely at ease even when dancing in front of thousands of people, it’s a completely natural act to me. The nervousness disappates and I am at one with the universe while on stage.
The very first role I got as a lead actress was when I was 14 years old in a school play production. It was a grueling intensive that I spent my summer holidays reciting lines and doing exercises in front of large groups of people. The coach would reprimand me on the spot in front of others, “if you forget your lines, we will replace you,” was the echo of his words that haunted me in my sleep. We dedicated hundreds of hours to perform at Victoria Theater. I was finally on stage in a lead role at a young age. The school play was advertised in the news as the theater could seat a few hundred people.
My mother watched the performance. This time, she was the audience and I was on stage. She was usually on that very stage I was on, performing her classical piano pieces, leading a choir and being a prominent musician in the scene. This sudden reversal that my mother was now at the audience supporting me was a revelation that I am all grown up. I had taken my baby steps on stage by giving flowers to musicians after they played their piano pieces. The musicians gave me a hug and carried me off the stage mostly, as I barely crawling and half walking. The audience clapped for the musicians and my mother. I was a tiny little flower girl walking next to their knees. I enjoyed the shared attention they got and relished in it.
When the play I acted in ended, the audience stood up to give a round of applause. This time it wasn’t for any musician, it was for me and my troupe. It was deeply satisfying I was now performance ready. I lost my stage performer virginity that night. My mother drove me home. She commented my make up was thick, and that I could make improvements to my hair. Nevertheless, she was beaming in happiness. She shared with her friends, “Oh, my daughter was the lead actress at Victoria theater. She is a dancer too, and appeared on television.” None of her friends could believe my mother, looking like she was barely in her 30s had a daughter, let alone a daughter who was established in the arts scene, like herself.
Fame came too quick and I was too young to handle the attention. I was mostly stalked in public to the point I had no more privacy in my life. Everywhere I went, unwanted attention from my fame followed me like a shadow. I got bullied in school for being an actress and dancer. I acted on some side roles on television, and after the shows were aired, my schoolmates would make fun of me and call me nasty names and whisper behind my back with suspicion, “Oh that girl is an actress, she was on telelvision.” They distrusted me for being a public figure and I sat mostly alone during recess time and no one wanted to be my friend. I fell into a deep depression and was sent to the school consellor, who initiated a transfer for me out of that school.
After transfering to another school, I excelled in humanities and developed an introverted personality whereby I spent inordinate amount of hours dedicating myself to writing essays and reading books after books. To the point my teachers would read my essays out aloud in class and set them as example essays to follow. Although I no longer appeared on stage or danced, the attention now shifted to my writings. I registered averral.com in the year 2007 and this blog is now live for ten years.
My writings were mostly filled with sadness, despair and I channeled most of my energies into and poured my heart into my words for I could no longer dance or act and be accepted for who I was. I avoided attention, the stage and the public. I am now making a dramatic return to performing live on facebook to overcome my fears and to conquer my past – which continues to attack my mind. I will eventually move into the direction in performing live in front of large audiences, and finally embracing who I really am – a performer in theater arts.
Objective: To get the individual to get in touch with themselves through the use of a painting.
Coach: There is no AVERRAL in your previous assignment, you have impersonfied Venus, but there is no you. We want to see AVERRAL coming out from the paining you chose. You have to do this assignment again.
AVERRAL: It is true, I don’t know myself. Hence, in my works there is no me. I disappeared myself completely. It is indeed my biggest flaw that I don’t bring myself out in my characters, in my works or anything. I take on the personality of another but there is no me in it.
Coach: We want to see you AVERRAL. Bring it out, use your natural voice and your story through the use of a painting.
Once upon a time, I was a little girl running on the beach towards the sunshine, leaping and jumping in joy while my parents were holding hands behind me. For the first time in my life, I tasted happiness in freedom in nature. Ever since then, I found refuge near water. When I am down or upset, I would be drawn to nature, the sun, the sea and the waves of the ocean.
When I was eigtheen years old, I gave tuition for pocket money. Outside the window of my student condo complex, I dream about how nice it would be if I started a business so I could travel and explore the world. When I graduated from unversity, I had my own business. But I was trapped. I had no life, except to work from day to night almost everyday my phone rang non stop and I replied to thousands of emails.
Inside me, my soul was dying. My soul was dying from the lack of dance. The lack of music. The lack of leisure. I was lacking the song and dance in my life as I pursued logic and reason throughout my university years. I was killing my soul song, killing my dance. I was smothering the flames of my passion for life by focusing on the digits and numbers of reports and maximising returns. I was headed towards the death of my soul as I delved in deeper into my endless materialistic needs for more shopping, more travel and more luxuries.
In losing myself to the material world, I ran to the far ends of the earth and travelled a few thousand miles but I found no answers to happiness. I wondered, what was happiness? Why don’t I feel happy? Why, why do I feel so numb inside? In my sadness, I sang a sorrowful song. I did a dance and leaped into the ocean, fully nude. In the ocean, I was finally free. I was embracing myself and feeling my body for the first time. That I had flesh and bones. I had eyes and a nose. I had ears and… I had emotions. I can feel my emotions once more as I twirled in the ocean depths. My soul returned to my body, and I finally am connected to the first state of my experience of pure bliss – happiness and freedom in exploration – of my soul song.
I emerged from the ocean depths as the Goddess of Love and Beauty. I am here to bring forth eternal sunshine to mankind. The world will worship me at my feet. Humanity will never know what is love, till they have met me. They will never know what is beauty, till they experienced love. For this, I dedicate the remaining years of my life to my artistry and community to spread love and beauty far and wide.
I was narcissistic, self absorbed and I spent long hours looking at myself in the mirror dancing and touching my body while imagining it is someone else’s hands doing so. I was exhibitionistic and had a few million views on YouTube. I took photos of myself everyday with precise selfie angles. I loved showing off my dance moves and displaying myself publicly uninhibitedly in a way that is empowering to the world who watch the way I move. However I had transcended my artistry from serving my need for validation to the disappearance of my ego by being the mirror of what the world has created me to be. I had chosen to pursue happiness by disappearing my ego into the universe, to find myself in the eyes of others. From the eyes of the universe, I see myself dancing in the cosmos – that is true happiness and bliss – my soul lives forever in the cyber galaxy.
Too famous, too young
Hated myself in the mirror
Became socially awkward
Almost mute, dysfunctional
Was used as a replacement
“Toy” was my name
Destroyed my free spirit
I ran too fast, too far
Till I lost myself in the desert
Plunged into an oasis
I saw shadows of the demons
In my nightmares that haunted me
daily, I wasn’t dead but half asleep
How I wished a knight would save me
From the monsters chewing on my flesh
In my half conscious state, I summoned
the last remaining will to untie the rock
on my ankle that was sinking me down into
the abyss. No one could save me but myself.
I swam up to shore and rose up as the goddess of love,
Venus, to humanity – to fill the world with love and beauty in my song and dance.
In my rebirth, I had chosen dedicate my life to art and serving the community
like a Vestal Virgin tending to the sacred flame in the temple.
This is my ultimate expression of love for the world.
Objective: To get the individual to get in touch with themselves through the use of a painting.
The Birth of Venus – Sandro Botticelli (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_Venus)
I am Venus, I am born in the ocean, rising out as a goddess of love to all mankind
I am fully nude in the waves of the sea, there is nothing to be ashamed of as we are born and die fully naked
The long waves of my golden hair wraps around my body, it’s a gift from the sun to wrap the world in eternal radiance
Don’t be afraid of love, men, welcome it with open arms and take my body into your strong arms
Let your arms wrap my body, feel my white flesh on your skin.
I am here to liberate you, to welcome to you paradise
You had never known paradise till you met me.
You will experience freedom and a state of bliss, unknown to most as long you surrender your will to me.
In this euphoria, the estacasy that unfolds is far greater than any song or dance can bring to you.
Why be afraid of love, when you can have love?
Why be afraid of women, when you can have beauty?
For without beauty, what is the purpose of life?
I seek to beautify the world around me in glorious light.
Welcome to eternal heaven, for I am the goddess of your one and only heart desires.
You will find home when you give your soul to worship me.