the fourth part of the two-hour consciousness session with actress Bella Baca. BY FRANKLIN GREEN 1 SEPTEMBER 2006
HOW WE WORK: GESTAL NETWORK AS THEATER AND PROPHET
GESTAL WORK CONNECTED AS PREPARATION FOR PERFORMANCE
Since 1975, I have been using Gestalt for awareness, dreams and personal relationships as a way of educating and directing performers. The basic principle is simple. I use gestational work to peel the onion layer after a layer of social clichés, ego games and unfinished personal affairs, and then I do the reverse process that restores onions in the form of characters or other artistic structures. The existential message of sleep becomes a super-selective or tragic action, and then I build the way the performer deals with the characters and the plot around it.
My usual procedure is to start the workout with three Gestalt sessions, one by one. The first session, which lasted for two hours, deals with the three areas of awareness. In the first hour, I just let him know what he knows, because I want to know how he works before I start interfering with his life. This is important because, as a whole, during Gestalt's sessions we put the onions of clichés and games to get to authentic action, and later we will need all of these layers to restore the onions as heroes involved in the unfolding action of the drama. We need his clichés and layers of play for the beginning of the Act in the First Act as far as we need his authentic action at the end of the dramatic action for Acts 4 and 5 of a tragic drama.
During the second hour of the first Gestalt awareness session I try to focus it on the balance of awareness zones: awareness of the external environment, inner awareness of his body and awareness of the fantastic area for his dreams. The second and third Gestalt sessions are held every three hours and each is a typical Gestalt session presented by Fritz Pearls at Gestalt Therapy Verbatim. The performer tells the dream here and now, identifies with (plays acts) several of the main images of sleep in dialogues with each other, and experiences the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. This means that after each main dialogue of the polarized sides of himself (the contact part) he is instructed to close his eyes, enter into the consciousness of his body and dream (the phase of the rhythm withdrawal).
Since my goal is theater, as well as healing when possible during the Gustalt dreams, I encourage a lot of expression using sound and movements. I work with a palette of about 200 different types of recorded musical excerpts and whenever appropriate, I ask him if this image or emotional state is part of a movie, what music can be the soundtrack. Then I find something close to that in my palette of musical colors and I asked him to express the mood using music together with his vocalizing and expressive movements. As he performs the entire session, I spend most of my time recording close to verbal notes and making figures of his poses and movements as I will later put it back into work and encourage him to use it as creative. material for acting, dance or whatever its medium. Capturing the session is less useful, since then I will have to spend a lot of time playing the recordings. Taking live notes forces me to straighten the wheat from the chaff very effectively, even at the cost of not observing or marking every detail.
WORK FROM YOUR CENTERS
After the three introductory sessions of one Gestalt session, session four is for feedback and discussion of the results. I show him in the notes and diagrams all stages of racing and unfinished activities and together we look for characters in theatrical literature that have similar patterns of action. Is it Hamlet type or Oedipus type, for example? Unlike the usual practice of acting, his first acting role is likely to be a monologue of serious tragedy, as I want him to start with a dramatic action that can be fully identified. In this process he uses his great gestalt moments, as what Michael Chekhov in his book "Toward the actor" refers to "psychological gestures." Perl calls them "essentials" of the patient's personality, or we can say that he works from his "centers", stretching these sounds, movements and psychological motivations in as much creative direction as possible. I watch closely to make sure he does not pretend, as most actors do, because they do not have the centers.
Before the performer starts working with others who make improvisations and scenes, there is an important transient stage in the work in which I help him make the most of his personal gestalt material freely as a creative material. He has to go from himself as a patient to enjoying the role of theater actor freely using his life as a creative material. He has to distance himself from hot personal things, using alienation techniques usually associated with the epic theater of Bertold Brecht. Particularly useful here is the exercise on "mocking forms". First he performs one of his most personal forms, movements and sounds, and at the same time he observes carefully (visually and kinestically) exactly what his body and voice do. Then he moves about ten feet, and from the new position he turns back and imagines that he observes himself by doing what he has just done. Then, in such a critical way as he can risk, he begins to make fun of this image of himself who makes the form. He uses the form to make fun of the form, exaggerating it in a grotesque way, as he can risk. "I see you there, Joe, you crack your hands just like a fish, you do not know what you're doing, and so on." The more cruel he may risk in his distortions and denunciations, the more he is released from self-consciousness, and even more the initial physical and vocal form gives birth to a family of related forms. Other techniques that help to expand and loosen hot psychological material are: (a) the use of different types of music as the basis of improvisations, (b) the stretching of forms in naturalistic shorts such as swimming or basketball, or (c) a short text like "Yes, but".
He has the core of his personal qualities, and having achieved some distance and versatility in using his material, he is ready to work with other performers of improvisations and scenes. I can direct several artists at once because I know the sources of their personal material. I direct them from inside and outside, so it's not just guessing and self-deception, like most studios. Here again, there are some exercises that are especially useful for developing communication between performers and creating a group improvised structure that allows each person to use their personal material in a creative way. Major acting or dance improvisation exercises used by all studios work much better, since each performer has a stock of essences to guide his research. The exercise of the mirror and the exercise of the mirror are excellent for establishing contact and carrying out the process. In the exercise of the entertainment mirror, a performer, the guy, does a simple activity in real life, washing his teeth while his partner grotesces the lead. In the conductor's exercise, lead only makes movements, while the orchestra group only makes sounds that fit those movements. Doll exercises are the reverse of the conductor's exercise. Lead makes sounds while the band acts like puppets cut off by strings. Each sound of lead causes a corresponding sharp movement from the group, as if the sounds pulled the strings. World Exercises are an opportunity for a performer to explore using all his personal gestational material while a group uses all of the improvisation techniques above to work with the lead in their "world." Once every performer has done the world exercise, the last exercise in the series is the worldless exercises. Here every performer is both a lead and a follower. The whole group strives to function as a group organism following "him". Each of them actively becomes a leader, and then passively refuses to be a leader to enter the world of each other. The result is a deeply active-passive state, known to philosophers as a middle way and as performers as a pure mode of process.
THE IDEA OF THEATER
Until now, we have a combination of four different ways of working: (1) individual Gestalt labor as a preparation for artistic experience, (2) expropriation techniques for moving away from hot personal material, (3) group improvisations for the transition from therapeutic results. to artistic results and (4) initial work on characters as close as possible to the centers of this center. This mix leads the student through a powerful and completely natural, organic introduction to the theatrical art. Each performer stays in the personal world he has discovered during dreams while simultaneously expanding and intermingling this world with the world of other performers. In a sense, this process develops the type of ritual space found in "primitive" tribal societies. The artwork is in line with the life of its actors, as was the case when the little world of Greek politics gave birth to the classical Greek tragedies that correspond to the fantasies and personal actions of community members. In "The Idea of Theater," Francis Ferguson contrasts with this ideal ritual function of the theater with today's theaters, which in most cases have lost the organic link between the community and its arts. Today, we have lost the all-encompassing "idea of theater," and we must be content with productions that represent only what individual blind men can grasp from the whole elephant. Fergusson writes,
Drama can flourish only on a human stage, universally recognized as the focus of life or awareness of its time, and such a focus no longer exists. , "We have no theater in the classical sense, nor do we see how we could have it. But we can still explore the cultural sights – the drama of Sophocles and Shakespeare, Dante's Divine Comedy – in which the idea of theater has been realized briefly so that we can learn to recognize and appreciate the fragmented perspectives we have; collecting the pieces, keeping the idea alive in the preliminary, wrong and impressive light of analogy. FF225
What we have especially lost is exactly what Gestalt returns our dream, the ability to know the objects by fully identifying them, and then "speaking with our whole body." That's what Antonin Arto wrote in "The Theater and Its Couple".
We can not continue to prostitute the idea of theater, whose only value is in its tortuous, magical connection with reality and danger. "The Theater and Its Couple," 89. For our uninterested and inert idea of art, authentic culture opposes a violently selfish and magical, ie. an interesting idea. Because the Mexicans are looking for contact with the Manas, the forces that are hidden in every form, not emancipated by the contemplation of the forms for themselves but arising in magical identification with these forms. ibid., 11
Ferguson and Arto use theatrical and philosophical jargon to tell what Perl says in psychological jargon. Fergusson uses the term "histrionic sensibility" to mean "identify with the image and say it with your whole body." Ferguson also used Aristotle's concept of "pre-prophecy perception" to refer to Perl's perception of consciousness before Ozism. First, connect with reality and then evaluate it or add your comments about it.
ARISTOTLE AND FRITZ
Ferguson quotes Bush's translation of Aristotle's Poetics.
The plot is an imitation of the action – for plot I [Aristotle] here means arranging incidents. But the most important of all is the structure of the incidents. Because tragedy is an imitation not of people, but of action and of life, and life is in action, and its end is a mode of action, not a quality. , Tragedy is an imitation of action. , by compassion and fear, which makes the proper cleansing of these emotions. "The conspiracy, then, is the first principle and as the soul of the tragedy. FF229
In the preparatory Gestalt dream that I do with each performer, the 3-hour session often ends with engaged action, deep insight or "existential message of sleep". This is "aha" the moment of a strong gestalt. From the point of view of this ultimate idea or action, everything that happened earlier in the 3-hour session brings about and is covered by this integration experience. Fritz tells clients to "identify themselves with the forthcoming solution" as an act of faith. This is Fritz's version of Aristotle's understanding that what is actually is before what is just potential. The action, in other words, is already unfolding since the beginning of the session, although it does not appear until three hours later. The same idea that Aristotle brings into his notion of acting in the theater as a form of poetic art. When he says that "the plot is an imitation of action," he says that the series of conflicts and resolutions that lead to the final choice or revelation in tragic action are somehow an imitation of this last insight or action. They imitate the action in the sense that it is analogous to it or corresponds to it. The idea or action of the drama exists at the ideal Platonic level of truth, in which stage action can best respond only as a code or symbol. Theologically this means that while one is made in the image of God, he is not GD, and he can only seek to intuitively manipulate Gd and seek to manifest this process in his being and action. To the extent that he succeeds in this ascent, the performer serves the role traditionally assigned to the prophets. Contemporary theater visionaries such as Ferguson and Arto will be content with nothing less than a theater that updates our prophetic potential.
Aristotle's vision of the story as an imitation of action justifies the use of the Gestalt Dream (peeling onion) as a basis for the theatrical process (recreation of the onion as a tragic action). For dreaming events that unfold for three hours, they are, in a sense, a conspiracy of tragedy, which is a code, an overlay, or a symbol of the overall action, idea, or existential message of dreams. I transfer the plot and the action of the dreamer from the healing arena to the art. But only in our schizoid, "fallen," fragmented, de-ritualized contemporary society, art and healing are separate events. Humpty Dumpty has fallen from the wall and utopian, holistic philosophers like Hegel are trying to reunite Humpty-Dumpty again. For Hegel, the arts, religion and philosophy are subdivisions of the enclosing realm of the Absolute Spirit, and their general dialectical framework allows the free movement of theory and practice from one discipline to another. Gestalt therapy, which leads clients from clichés and habits to the sphere of pure thought (the existential message of sleep) through the creative use of imagery, has such holistic aspirations. That is why the Gestalt dreams fit perfectly into the interdisciplinary manipulations necessary to serve as the foundation of a theater that embodies the prophetic vision of "the idea of theater." VIDEO OF THE WORK OF BELLA BACA IN RELATION TO CONSCIOUSNESS
VIDEO AND ESAY OF FRANKLIN VEZNER, 2005
VERSATIBLE SESSION NOTES ARE INCLUDED AT THE END OF THIS ESSAY.
The essay is an accompaniment to two DVDs that I shot in April 2005 and finished editing in November 2005. Two days on DVD they present two gestalt work on "awareness" of a young actress named Bela Bacca, who recently completed a bachelor's degree. in Theater at the University of Central Florida. My audience is mostly those who have seen these DVDs, but I will try to make them understandable to those who have not seen them. The specific process I'm describing here is a way of work that I started in 1975 and since then I have been doing essentially the same, first in New York, then in Philadelphia, then in Israel and now in Miami, Florida. That's why what you read here is the result of a 30-year experience. Returning farther from this, Fritz Pearls developed the techniques of gestalt therapy around 1950. Turning much further than that, according to my own research, I believe that techniques very similar to those have been used for many centuries в лечебните и религиозни практики по целия свят. свят, например в средновековието в юдаизма и християнството от свещеници и равини, които изгонваха демони и диббуки – които сега наричаме „интроекции“ или „прогнози“. И обратно през 500 г. Хераклит и други философи вече пишеха за лога (диалектика или дума) и за самопрекъсванията на реката на осъзнаването (самопрекъсвания, които сега наричаме "тревожност" и "невроза"). Гещалтската работа също има корени в традициите на медитативните практики, като например концентриране върху дишането в Дзен манастир. "Медитацията" в този смисъл означава да останем тук и сега и да се справим обективно с всичко, което се случва във вашия опит, както се случва.
Подчертавам дългата история на този процес, тъй като искам да кажа ясно от самото начало, че не правя това, което днес се нарича "терапия". "Терапевтичното" нещо е ново изобретение. Това предполага формално и правно споразумение, при което някой поема отговорност да ръководи живота на някой друг според правилата на определена група хора, които са се наложили като организация да предоставят пълномощия на своите членове. Този "терапевтичен" елемент, който след това може да се продава като стока, носи големи финансови ползи на практикуващите, независимо дали има много стойност за потребителите, които го купуват. Не са основани на каквато и да е световна традиция на мъдрост и морал и с малка отчетност, освен на членове на една и съща клика, тези морални предприемачи се оформят като самостоятелни богове, движещи се в божествени колесници, задвижвани от платинени кредитни карти, а не с истински идеи. В моята работа, от друга страна, молим хората да подпишат споразумение, в което се посочва, че изобщо не правим терапия. Информирам ги, че излязох от медицинското училище през 1963 г. и бях изхвърлен от училище за социална работа през 1974 г., че не съм лицензиран терапевт и че изобщо не поемам отговорност за техния живот. Аз наричам колегите си изпълнители, а не пациенти. Казвам на хората от самото начало да не ми вярват повече, отколкото те решат, че искат, докато вървим напред. Всъщност тяхното недоверие към мен е важна част от нашата работа, както видяхте в тези DVD-та на моята работа с Бел Бака. От този момент през м. Декември 2005 г. досега съм извършвал тази серия 10 часови семинари с гесталт един-на-един с около 610 души през последните 30 години, т.е. общо около 6200 часа, в допълнение към другите техники за обучение на изпълнители, които използвах.
(Б) РАБОТА НА СВЕТА НА БЕЛА
Нека да обобщим сега първия час на работата на Бел, каква е работата ми върху "неуправляваната осведоменост". През първия час не „насочвам“ работата, тъй като исках да науча откъде започва Бел, как обикновено работи, когато е сама в нова, непозната среда. Бел от самото начало ни показа ясно как работи. След няколко минути видяхме като цяло доста добре дефиниран модел ("гещалт"), който започваше да се появява: Бел имаше склонност да се разпадна в себе си, да се заеме с истерично състояние на напрежение и тревожност, а след това да се спаси с някаква избягай от фантастичен образ, всичко в рамките на 15 минути! В началото на сесията Бел имаше определено количество контакт с външната зона, балансирано с някакъв акцент върху вътрешната зона. Но до края на първия час видяхме, че дори и след обратната ми връзка, повечето от нейното внимание влезе вътре. Гесталт директорите говорят за „дупките“ в функционирането на човека или в картата. В случая на Бел, където можеше да има очи и уши, ние открихме в началото – до известна степен – дупки. Особено видяхме как тя избягва да гледа директно към хората, в частност с мен (партньорката ми на сцената).
Нека да бъда много конкретен за това. В началото Бел ограничаваше контакта си с външни зони само за няколко секунди, докато се чувстваше комфортно да прекарва много време вътре. Отвън виждаше общи свойства на предмети, които не предизвикваха голям интерес, а вътре в нея се появиха убедителни подробности. Поддържане на очите си наполовина затворени голяма част от времето се вписват в този модел. Например, докато не го посочих, тя не обръщаше особено внимание на цветовете или даваше време за асоциации и фантазии относно обекти в околната среда. Също така, тя имаше тенденцията да възпира естествената прогресия от усещане на обект до достигане и докосване на този обект. Осъзнаването на усещане за студ, например, не се свързва с достигането на нещо топло, за да се носи, докато не направя връзката за нея! Не привлякох вниманието й към назалното изливане, което продължаваше през по-голямата част от сесията, и вместо вместо кърпичка или кърпа за кърпи, която без съмнение беше на разположение в рамките на 10 фута от мястото, където седеше в собствения си апартамент, Бел практически всяка повърхност на ръцете й да се справи с проблема по време на двучасовия видеоклип! Тази тенденция да остане в пашкула си е особено очевидна, когато става въпрос за справяне (или по-скоро не с работа) с мен, нейния партньор за сцена. Обикновено тя изчака, докато се обърна, за да погледна бързо в моята посока, но когато се върнах в нейната посока, отново се върна вътре. Никога не съм виждал прерийно куче, но мога да си представя, че те трябва да са разработили подобни техники за оцеляване, за да се справят с мародерските вълци в прерията.
Според гесталтската теория, хората, които не виждат и не чуват, вероятно ще запълнят празното пространство с въображение по не-творчески, самоунищожаващ се начин, като извиват критични преценки на други хора и в същото време проектират критични очи върху другите. , След това те си представят, че тези други ги оценяват критично. Този обичаен модел на поведение под нивото на съзнание, или това, което Ерик Берн нарича "играе игра на хора", е вредно за актрисата, тъй като в крайна сметка тя е толкова заета, че се притеснява от това, което аудиторията мисли за работата си, че е отвлечена от идентифициране с ролята. В случая на Бел в DVD-то видяхме, по класически начин, как след около 5 минути работа Бел се беше придвижила в състояние на тревога и мрак. Незабавни сълзи! Заедно със сълзите дойде и срам, тъй като безмилостните прожектирани очи настояваха тя да се срамува дори от плач. Скоро Бел се притесняваше, че няма да бъде достатъчно привлекателен (за да задоволи очакваните критични очи), а след това нейните асоциации я накараха да се появи поп певицата Кели Кларксън и думите на песента на Кларксън "Заради теб".
ПЕСЕН: "ЗАЩОТО ОТ ВАС"
КЕЛИ КЛАРКСОН, ДЕЙВИД ХОДЖЕС, БЕН МУДИ
Няма да правя същите грешки, каквито сте направили.
Няма да позволя на сърцето си да изпитва толкова много нещастие.
Няма да прекъсвам начина, по който го направихте. Ти падна толкова силно.
Научих по трудния начин никога да не му позволя да стигне толкова далеч.
Заради теб аз никога не се отдалечавам твърде далеч от тротоара.
Заради теб се научих да играя на сигурно място, за да не се нараня.
Заради вас ми е трудно да се доверя не само на мен, но и на всички около мен.
Заради вас се страхувам.
Загубявам си път и не е твърде дълго, преди да го посочите.
Не мога да плача, защото знам, че това е слабост в очите ти.
Принуден съм да се преструвам на усмивка, смях, всеки ден от живота си.
Сърцето ми не би могло да се счупи, когато не беше дори и цяло.
Наблюдавах те как умираш. Чух, че плачеш всяка нощ в съня си.
Бях толкова млада. Трябваше да знаеш по-добре, отколкото да се облягаш на мен.
Никога не си мислел за някой друг. Току-що видяхте болката си.
А сега плача посред нощ, за същото проклето нещо.
Заради вас, заради вас, заради вас се боя.
Заради теб аз никога не се отдалечавам твърде далеч от тротоара.
Заради теб се научих да играя на сигурно място, за да не се нараня.
Заради вас се опитвам най-трудно да забравя всичко.
Заради вас не знам как да пусна някой друг.
Заради вас се срамувам от живота си, защото е празен.
Заради теб се страхувам, заради теб.
Забележете как думите в удебелен тип са резултат от чувството, преценено от критичните очи и как те са водили Бел все повече и повече от реалния свят и в въображаем свят на самоунищожение. В това тясно пространство на пашкула Бел се чувства безпомощен да се справи с извънземния свят "там", там, където се страхува дори да погледне. Но това първоначално не е проблем, тъй като след като веднъж се изгуби в Бел, има много неща, за да остане заета. Тя никога не се уморява да се съсредоточи върху съзнанието на тялото, „ickyness“ например, че тя се свързва с „корема“. Също така, повечето от нейните движения на тялото се свързват със себе си, като например да държи ръцете си, да подрежда пръстите си, да се свива на стола, да се обвива в кърпа (обезопасяващо одеяло) и да манипулира малки предмети близо до себе си. Тя играе на тялото си и дишането й, сякаш е акордеон, върви напред и назад между свиването на дишането и отпускането й, достатъчно, за да получи въздух. Цялата тази ретрофлекция (напрежение и свръх-контрол на нейното тяло) допринася за нейното безпокойство и след известно време откриваме Бел в състояние на отчаяние, размишляващо за самоубийството на Мерилин Монро в Лос Анджелис на 36-годишна възраст. „Холивуд и лоза“, както и веднъж Мерилин Монро, Бел сега прави кръгове от прослушвания. Очевидно, като Шери (героя Мерилин Монро играе във филма "Автобусна спирка") Бел има права посока, водеща право към Холивуд. Сега, когато тя е там, способността й да генерира мигновени истерии и сълзи е може би голямо предимство за нея като актриса, стига тя да не го приема прекалено лично и да свърши като Мерилин Монро. Друг резултат от всичко това е, че чрез свръхконтролиране на дишането и без особено използване на ушите си, Бел започва нашата сесия с много ограничен обхват на физическо и вокално изразяване. Нейните физически движения бяха общи и неясни, а не фокусирани и специфични, докато гласът й през повечето време беше мека монотонна.
Но за щастие Бел има изход от пашкула, която се върти около себе си. Подобно на Пепеляшка или като принцеса Жасмин в мюзикъла на Уолт Дисни Аладин, Бел има сърце и глава, изпълнена с фантазии за спасяване. Нейните любими теми са плаващи, летящи и откъсващи се, и тъй като тя е много музикална, тези теми често влизат в съзнанието й под формата на текстове на песни от поп песни, които познава – особено тези на Кели Кларксън. Първо, разрушителната и отчаяна спирала навътре като вихър, пренасяйки Бел безпомощно в тъмна, меланхолична празнота, а след това – "всичко е толкова магично!" – Идва и спасителната фантазия, която я транспортира отново – пасивно – от тъмнината и от светлината – като пеперуда, излизаща от пашкул. С оглед на всички тези паралели в действието, си позволих в DVD-то си да вкарам в сценария сцена от версията на Уолт Дисни на Аладин. Аладин в тази сцена пристига на своя магически килим, спасява принцеса Жасмин от замъка и я пропуска към "един цял нов свят" на външни за този свят перспективи. Като актриса Бел, в нейния емоционален и фантастичен живот, със сигурност може да се възползва от това циклично пътуване на влакче в увеселителен парк назад и напред от собствено генерираната меланхолия до самостоятелно генерирана еуфория, стига тя да не губи контрол над машината и да се поддава на отчаяние себе си.
(В) ОБЩО РЕЗЮМЕ НА БЕЛ
Какви общи наблюдения можем да направим? На първо място можем да кажем, че работата "работи". Бел беше отворен към моята посока и въпреки монументалното препятствие, което й дадох, поставяйки видеокамера Canon XL-2 с мигащата си червена светлина, около 8 фута от носа й, изглежда, че е стигнала до някакво затваряне по време на работа. На езика на гещалтската теория можем да кажем, че тя е постигнала определено "действие" през двата часа, които е прекарала с мен тук и сега. Имаше усещане за движение напред във всичките три зони на осъзнаване, а също така се появи и течна връзка между трите зони: (1) външната зона на обектите в околната среда, (2) вътрешната зона на съзнанието на тялото и (3) фантастичната зона на мечтаните изображения. Тази флуидност на зоните на осведоменост разкрива потенциално здрав и креативен индивид, докато липсата на движение между зоните би характеризирала крехка, много ограничена шизоидна ("разцепена") личност. Сега ще бъда по-конкретен за напредъка на Бел и ще добавя малко тълкуване относно това какво означава всичко това. Но не се притеснявайте. В това кратко есе няма да кажа много за философията, на която се основава моята работа. Няма да се опитвам да ви накарам да ви дам някаква философска или религиозна система. Разбира се, за мен лично теорията на тази работа е много важна. Така че, ако се интересувате да чуете повече за моето възприемане на процеса, надявам се, че ще проверите някои от интерпретиращите есета, които съм написал, където гледам на гещалт процеса от гледна точка на различни секти – светски и свещени. Да се върнем към общите наблюдения за работата на Bel, тук са някои забележителни тенденции, които забелязах, които се появиха по време на двата часа работа по осведомеността.
(1) Балансирането на трите зони на осъзнаване води до "голямата картина".
На първо място, Бел успява да балансира трите зони на осъзнаване, като привлича в работата си повече фокус на външната зона и богат опит във фантастичната зона. В фантазиите тя започва с малки предмети, които се плъзгат и постепенно разширяват обхвата й, за да се справят по един траен начин с определен човек (Мерилин Монро). Накрая се съсредоточи върху изображението на котенце в някаква дълбочина. Отначало отношението на Бел към други предмети и същества беше далечно и отбранително, но в края на сесията тя протегна ръка, докосна и призна, че се нуждае от контакт с другите. Накрая тя каза: "Трябва да бъда по-близо до хората, за да мога да споделя едно обичащо чувство". От гледна точка на теорията за драмата, разработена от Аристотел и разработена от Фъргюсън в "Идеята за театър", можем да кажем, че това беше откриващо действие и достигане до топлина и любов, като действието на цвете, когато слънцето сутрин свети. This need to open and reach out for love was, as Stanislavki would have called it, Bel's "superobjective" in this tragedy. The character Sheri in Bus Stop and the character Blanche in "Streetcar Named Desire" share a similar superobjective. But while Bel and Sheri succeed in overcoming the obstacles and completing the action, Blanche does not succeed in overcoming the obstacles. Blanche is driven back even further inside herself to psychosis by overwhelming environmental factors – especially the obstacles imposed by character Stanley. Why would Aristotle or Stanislavski call the completed action of Bel or Sheri a "tragedy"? Because in some sense the main character undergoes a death and rebirth of ego, or discovers a new point of view about life. The non-contactful insect style ego which needs to spin a cocoon in order to survive in an alien environment must die, we might say, in order that the human child can be born into a loving world inhabited by other human beings, just like so many classical Greek tragedy heroes need to die in order to fulfil their dramatic function.
(2) Good contact results in a wider range of physical and vocal expression.
Another area where Bel demonstrated much progress was in physical expression. Contacting and then finding the voice of each body part led to excellent results. This carried over also into vocal expression. At first she was stuck in a soft monotone, but later she began – to some extent – to vary the pitch, dynamics and tempo. She did this not merely technically like a virtuoso musician, but contactfully in response to here and now momentary concrete physical and emotional needs. In her own life and as an actress this is a technique she also can apply to vocal readings to keep her audience from falling asleep – if she is willing to risk that!
(3) Bel moves from having abstract "ideas about the scene" to living concretely here and now in the moments.
As Bel balanced the outer, inner and fantasy zones of awareness, there was a shift from regarding herself as an ego style Self, a Self with a capital "S", a Self which is a large precious thing that needs to be protected, towards a non-ego self, a self with a small "s", a self which is merely a process of exploring and discovering reality. The Self with its deliberate "ideas about the scene", such as "I am going to die one day" and "don't you dare to reach out and touch strangers", yielded to a less rigid "self as process" which could risk surrendering to the circumstances of each moment. The shift from Self as thing to self as process was an important result of Bel's work today. We saw how this shift of point of view towards that of "the big picture" was, paradoxically, the result of dealing with tiny details of her experience. Her "faith in a grain of mustard seed" (each moment of concrete awareness) was rewarded by holistic progress as she became more and more grounded in reality. Like Sheri in "Bus Stop", she discarded her childish rulebook with its rigid principles, and grasped more holistic ideas, such as "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts" and "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" (of good contact). She discovered that in this wider frame of reference she could find her own support, her own grounding. Being more grounded in reality helped her to deal with the gloom that led to crying at the beginning of the session. As more and more moments of good contact converged into a rich encompassing contact boundary, she no longer had the need to implode into hysterical emotions and a sense of helpless despair.
(4) The "rhythm of contact and withdrawal" leads Bel to an overall action or idea of the session, a "superobjective".
Aside from basic work on awareness itself, the major structural component of Gestalt work is known as "the rhythm of contact and withdrawal". By "contact" in this context is meant awareness of specific objects such that one can say "I see that" or "I hear that". By withdrawal is meant ceasing the "contact" experience and, one might say, "getting lost" without any specific focus. Usually this implies closing one's eyes, going into one's body awareness and allowing a daydream to percolate up from the "fertile void". The new image oftentimes gives rise to personal associations to events from one's life, especially events involving close family relationships in childhood. The Gestalt director then can guide the performer in an exploration of unfinished business involving that relationship. This all happens in the here and now, without stopping to analyze or talk about what is happening. The performer relives the important event as though it is happening in present time, putting himself in one chair and the other person in the other and going back and forth play acting the roles and the dialogue. One cycle of the rhythm of contact and withdrawal constitutes one "beat" of the underlying (dialectical) logic of the dramatic action. During today's session on awareness I led Bel back and forth between the contact stage and the withdrawal stage, through several beats of the action. I do much more of this sort of work during the second and third sessions, where acting out the dream images and dialogues between them deepens the experience. During the first session on awareness I merely ask the performer to shuttle between outer zone and inner zone awareness and give an opportunity for daydreams to emerge along the way.
An indication of how well Bel's work progressed today is the lovely manner in which each cycle of the rhythm of contact and withdrawal led her organically on to the next step and onto the superobjective in what turned out to be the final leap of the series. It was as though a higher or deeper force was propelling the inner logic that was unfolding from the outset. Why did it appear "as though" this was occuring? Answer: because it actually was occuring. There was, "in truth", a higher or deeper force propelling the inner logic that was unfolding from the outset. This, again, is what Stanislavsi means by the word "superobjective". Hence, we can see how dumb it is for actors and directors to expect to grasp the superobjective of a major tragic (or comic) action merely by fooling around with literary minutia or intricate cerebral analyses of a script. Even Brecht demanded that actors first contact their superobjectives before adding on layers of formalist devices and alienation effects to the acting score. Clever shticks, virtuoso technique, literary and intellectual erudition, and "knowing the business" certainly are important in the theater, but an actor (or dancer or singer or poet, etc.) who is floating on the surface of his life in a dinghy full of shticks, information and aboutism is merely paddling aimlessly on the great ocean when it comes to organizing these surface details into a coherent, credible artistic action (Aristotle) or idea (Plato). Rather, an actor needs to discover as many of his own centers as possible, and harness the powers of the great ocean (or whatever you would like to call it in your own cultural context) for his own purposes and the needs of his art. Later stages of this gestalt theater process attempt to do just that. My essays present my own particular way of finding a cultural context for this work within Judaism.
(5) The series of withdrawal images reveals the beats of the action, the "acts" of Bel's tragedy (or comedy).
I will go through the series of withdrawal images with you now, so you can see exactly what I mean by the beats of a dramatic action or superobjective. At the same time, as we examine the content of the images we will notice that other changes also were happening in a way that moved the process more and more profoundly along the banks of an underlying river. At the beginning Bel's images were fleeting, but they became more and more sustained and developed as the focus of her fantasy zone increased. Another gradual shift was from images that served passively as a release from despair to images that involved committed actions that Bel undertook as part of her existential, or some might say "spiritual", attempt to grow. Let's take these images one at a time.
Image 1: the song "Because of You"
During her work on unguided awareness Bel is quite proficient at talking herself into a quagmire of tension and despair. Soon she ends up feeling helpless and judged by critical eyes. Then suddenly pops into her head the Kelly Clarkson song "Because Of You". Miraculously, Bel finds some release from her sense of constriction and helplessness. How does this happen? Certainly the words of the song are not all that cheerful and full of hope. My hypothesis is that suddenly Bel shifts her way of thinking from subjectivity (worrying about causes and effects) to objectivity (dealing with life here and now in a meditative manner). The strong image gives her here and now an objective contact boundary, a strong "gestalt" (pattern, focused idea) to grasp. This releases her from cause and effect style anticipations of painful judgments and imminent catastrophes which might occur in the future. "If", for example, "I do not lose weight or get my lines just right (the cause), then soon people will see me as uninteresting (effect number one) or unattractive (effect number two), and then . . . (effect number three, etc.)!" But now, by involving herself in actually hearing the tune in her head, Bel frees herself from self-interruptions (projections, introjects, demons, etc.). She no longer is possessed. She now is able to use her mind and body in a natural human way to restore balance and homeostasis. Bel relaxes her muscles and soon she is breathing freely and concentrating on the task at hand, contacting the three zones of awareness.
Image 2: passively floating and flying away on a magic carpet
Next, as she begins to discover the power of this new awareness technique, Bel says "I am picturing myself flying". The first time the flying image occurs it is merely a fleeting notion, but the image comes back a little later in a more developed form, and Bel now is able to sustain the focus and see herself lying on her back on the carpet, with her arms outstretched in the shape of what she calls a "cross", passively floating out the window and flying through the air. Nevertheless, the image still is a relatively weak one. For example, there was no music accompanying the image. After the session I asked Bel if she had any musical associations to the image. What came to her mind was the Walt Disney musical animation "Aladdin". But during the work itself Bel did not volunteer any particular musical background. Here is the text of the song Aladdin sings to Princess Jasmine as he whisks her on his magic carpet out of her palace and into a magical new world. I see this song as being entirely appropriate to Bel's state of mind as it appears to me to be at this moment in her work.Therefore, I have taken the liberty of interjecting both the song and the magic carpet ride visual track that accompanies it in the Disney flick into my DVD's of Bel's work. Since my intent here is helping people to grow, and not to make a profit, I hope this use of the Disney clip falls under the heading "fair use".
SONG: "I CAN SHOW YOU THE WORLD"
FROM WALT DISNEY'S MUSICAL "ALADDIN"
I can show you the world; shining, shimmering, splendid.
Tell me, Princess, now when did you last let your heart decide?
I can open your eyes, take you wonder by wonder,
over, sideways and under on a magic carpet ride.
A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view.
No one to tell us "no", or where to go, or say we're only dreaming.
A whole new world, a new fantastic point of view.
A dazzling place I never knew.
But when I'm way up here it's crystal clear
that now I'm in a whole new world with you.
Now I'm in a whole new world with you.
Unbelievable sights, indescribable feeling.
Soaring, tumbling, we're weaving through an endless diamond sky.
A whole new world.
Don't you dare close your eyes!
A hundred thousand things to see.
Hold your breath. It gets better.
I'm like a shooting star. I've come so far.
I can't go back to where I used to be.
A whole new world.
Every turn a surprise.
With new horizons to perceive.
Every moment gets better.
I'll chase them anywhere. There's time to spare.
Let me share this whole new world with you.
A whole new world.
A whole new world.
That's where we'll be.
That's where we'll be.
A thrilling chase.
A wondrous place.
For you and me.
(spoken) It's all so magical.
Image 3: actively flying and breaking away with her own wings
A crucial parameter we need to monitor in regard to these daydream images is the extent to which the performer is actively involved rather than being a mere passive victim of circumstances. So far Bel's imagination is becoming stronger, but at the same time so far these images of floating and flying still have Bel casting herself in the role of passive recipient of energies from forces outside herself. But soon another "flying away" image emerges, and this time Bel herself takes responsibility for the action. She daydreams the melody and words of another Kelly Clarkson song, "Break Away".
SONG: "BREAK AWAY"
by M. GERRARD, B. BENANTE, & A. LAVIGNE
Grew up in a small town, and when the rain would fall down I'd just stare out my
Dreamin' of what could be, and if I'd end up happy, I would pray, trying hard to
But when I tried to speak out, felt like no one could hear me.
Wanted to belong here, but something felt so wrong here, so I prayed I could
I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly.
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky,
and I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change
and break away.
Out of the darkness and into the sun,
but I won't forget all the ones that I love.
Want to feel the warm breeze, sleep under a palm tree.
I'll make a wish, take a chance, make a change and break away.
Feel the rush of the ocean, get onboard a fast train,
travel on a jet plane, far away and break away.
Buildings with a hundred floors, swinging round revolving doors,
maybe I don't know where they'll take me,
but gotta keep movin' on, movin' on, fly away, break away.
I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly, though it's not easy to tell you goodbye.
I got to make a wish, take a chance, make a change and break away.
Out of the darkness and into the sun, but I won't forget the place I come from.
I got to make a wish, take a chance, make a change and break away,
break away, break away.
This time Bel herself is having thoughts of actively breaking away from her past and moving on to new adventures – though not without a certain need to hang onto her roots in the past. Her past she now sees as "darkness" and the freedom she is craving is the opposite, "light". Jet planes and buildings with 100 floors are strong attractions to a young actress who is on the verge of pulling up stakes in Florida and heading for the big time in L.A. Also, here we have music with a strong personal connection for Bel. The song articulates two of Bel's urgent needs: "I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly. I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky." To breathe and think freely and to reach out to touch and find love are two objectives which are crucial components of Bel's superobjective, two parts of the emerging whole. In terms of the overall tragic/comic action of this two hour gestalt session, we can say that we now are in Act Two of a five act drama. Bel now has a clear objective: to break away into the light. Her obstacles are the forces or demons symbolized by what she regards as "darkness" and "because of you". The action still is far from complete.
Image 4: Marilyn Monroe as symbol of deep personal conflicts
It is only in the next image, that of Marilyn Monroe in "The Seven Year Itch", that finally we have a fully human situation linking specific imagery and emotional needs. This is Act Three of Bel's tragicomedy, and it is no longer just an adolescent cartoon scenario. Now the obstacle ("to disparage myself into a colossal flop") seriously confronts the objective ("to overinflate myself into a superstar"). Bel is moving the action towards an X/-X impasse, a "stuck point" crisis in Act Four. At first Bel can identify superficially with Marilyn Monroe as a happy and attractive star, but soon depressing and ugly thoughts of Marilyn's suicide at age 36 in L.A. intrude and turn the Hollywood dream into a nightmare with which Bel will not identify. From the point of view of her conflict and resultant misery at this point of the action, Bel concludes that the main thing, what she really wants, is "just to be happy". This certainly is a superobjective that seems to resolve the conflict, but actually this superobjective is only a vague and abstract "idea about the scene". Identifying with such an objective as "to be happy" is merely playing a quality of pumped up hysteria. The objective "to be happy" does not imply a series of specific concrete beats that can be used to articulate the action, either as Bel Baca or as any character Bel may want to play in her career as an actress. Marilyn Monroe herself plays a similarly muddled aspiring actress in "Bus Stop". The character Sheri at first is fixated on getting to L.A. at all costs, for the relatively superficial goals of "getting some respect" and attaining lots of success and happiness. But by the end of the movie Sheri resigns herself to dealing with the specific circumstances occasioned by her new relationship with a young man named Beau. Sheri decides that despite all the obstacles it entails from the point of view of her initial program of being a superstar, the prospect of marriage, security and concrete here/now satisfaction with this specific person named Beau affords her a stronger objective than does the vague spectral lure of "Hollywood and Vine". Sheri rips up the abstract roadmap which till then had been a rigid "story of my life", an "idea about the scene", and now she identifies with this emerging new concrete love relationship which here and no is giving her a rich, vital contact experience.
Image 5: a kitten as a love object safe to reach out and touch
Bel herself does not deal with a similar conflict until the next and final image of her session, the image of a blue-eyed very furry kitten. The content of this image is much less dazzling than either the Hollywood studio scene or the life of Marilyn Monroe, but what is new here is no less important in the deeper logic of Bel's existence. For now, for the first time, Bel is no longer only a passive victim of tragic circumstances. She is no longer breaking away blindly in the manner of a teenie bopper. Rather, as a mature woman Bel now is reaching out to another living creature (be it merely a kitten or a grain of mustard seed) with full contact and emotional involvement. How does Bel feel about the kitten? "I love it", she says.
The parallel to the "Bus Stop" movie is striking. When near the end of the movie Sheri's lover "Beau" tries to grab her in the way men have been grabbing her since she was age 12, Sheri takes charge of her life and demands that "this time it should be different", not just being grabbed as an object of someone else's lust. Beau has a similar revelation when he discovers that "kissing someone for serious is scary", scary because it involves authentic contact with another human being and not just blindly grabbing an object you plan to make use of. Like Sheri, who chooses motherhood over L.A., Bel associates reaching out and touching the kitten to holding her sister's baby. The mothering/loving feeling soon generalizes and by the end of the session Bel feels a need to reach out to people in general in a loving way. Perhaps soon Bel will move beyond an either/or conflict in this area towards a higher integration of the opposite sides, but for now the issues are only just emerging into consciousness. Along with this new perspective on life comes a mild explosion into joy and optimism about her life as she anticipates the long journey that "begins with a single step". This is Act Five, the denouement, of Bel's drama, at least on the deeper (or higher) level of the superobjective. We do not have enough current information from Bel to know how this existential action is translating into specific events of her life as it is unfolding now at "Hollywood and Vine" in Los Angeles.
If we look now for general technical terms to summarize Bel's existential journey during our two hours of work, we can say there was a transition from imploding to exploding, from closing in on oneself to opening out to the universe. The session ended with what Gestalt people label a mild "explosion into authentic joy", a shift from gloom to a mild euphoria, as energy tied up in tensing herself and imploding herself became available for living life creatively. This was a mini-satori or enlightenment experience. The implosion process was reversed merely by tuning into the larger context or envelope of here and now experience, the context of life itself. We did not need analytically to meddle with specific events in Bel's childhood or present life. True, in later dreamwork sessions which Bel one day may undertake there would be a place for zeroing in on actual dream images, past relationships and unfinished business, but these individual events are in Gestalt work usually integrated into larger and larger envelopes as a performer or pilgrim gets more and more grounded in the contact boundary and reality itself. Each new conflict along the way leads to its own resolution on a higher level by means of a certain kind of deeper (higher) logic that goes by many names depending upon the point of view of the person doing the theorizing: induction (versus deduction), ascent (on the right side of the tree of life), translation (moving up Jacob's ladder of angels), identifying with the coming solution (Gestalt), the final cause (Aristotle), return to origin via anamnesis (Plato), etc. And so we find that there is no way to avoid dealing with philosophical and religious matters in this work. Secular philosophers talk about how the two sides of a conflict – the thesis and the antithesis – get incorporated into a higher level idea called the synthesis. This way of thinking is known as dialectical thinking, and it forms the basis of most philosophical and religious traditions in the world, east and west. Religious leaders, such as Maimonides or St.Thomas, developed their own vocabularies to deal dialectically with the traditions of their own communities. For example, if we want to use the philosophical framework of Aristotle or Maimonides we could spell out Bel's series of beats as an ascent from conflicted lower, smaller spheres, envelopes or heavens towards encompassing higher and broader spheres of the universe. But I promised not to force feed philosophy or religion in this account. For those who find pondering deep causes of things to be more trouble than it is worth, and for that reason will "pass" on my other essays, this, then, may be the end of our shared journey. I'll conclude this essay now by quoting what Bel had to say about this session when a month or so later I asked her for a "reference". She sent me the following email from L.A. "Be open to a Gestalt session and you'll be amazed. I'd personally recommend Franklyn's Gestalt work to everyone, whether you have a personal emotion or issue you want to work on, or not. Franklyn used this technique in showing me my own awareness paradigm, which in turn helped me in all aspects of my life, including my acting. It served to give me more emotional freedom and helped me grasp the power I have to influence my thoughts, emotions and hence my decisions. Bel Baca, actress, Los Angeles, California, September 2005."
BEL BACA: AWARENESS CONTINUUM
MY NEAR VERBATIM NOTES TAKEN DURING THE WORK
APRIL 17, 2005. THIS SESSION WAS CONDUCTED IN BEL'S APARTMENT. THERE WERE NO OBSERVERS. THE PRESENCE OF HER ROOMMATE MOVING ABOUT OUTSIDE THE ROOM MAY HAVE AFFECTED BEL'S SENSE OF PRIVACY. THE VIDEO CAMERA WAS LEFT RUNNING BY ITSELF THROUGHOUT THE WORK. WE HAD AGREED BEFOREHAND THAT I WOULD TAKE THE TAPE WITH ME AT THE END OF THE SESSION.
UNGUIDED AWARENESS: ONE HOUR
B: Now I am aware of cool air. My feet are on the ground. I'm aware of my tummy, 'cause I just ate. You want physical things?
F: No questions allowed.
B: I'm aware of seeing you all in blue. Now I'm aware of feeling a little anxious 'cause I've never done this. I'm aware of my center. My stomach is anxious. You want more? I feel I have energy, but also my energy is zapped. I feel that often. TWIDDLING HER FINGERS. LONG PAUSE. I'm aware that my eyes look red. I have an irritation. It's from soap. SHE SPENDS MUCH TIME LOOKING DOWN AT THE FLOOR. I'm aware of feeling icky. I don't know why. SLIGHT SMILE. Like I want to cry. SHE CRIES, SNIVELS. IN GENERAL MUCH OF THE TIME BEL'S EYES ARE HALF OPEN. Now I'm aware of feeling embarrassed that I cried. EXHALES DEEPLY, AFTER HOLDING HER BREATH A WHILE. AS A GENERAL PATTERN, I NOTICE THAT BEL SEEMS TO PLAY HER BREATH LIKE AN ACCORDION, HOLDING IT AND THEN RELEASING IT WITHOUT BEING VERY AWARE OF HOW THIS OVERCONTROLLING GENERATES A STATE OF PHYSICAL TENSION AND AN ACCOMPANYING SENSE OF ANXIETY. SHE LEANS FORWARD AND LAUGHS. NOW HER EYES ARE ALMOST CLOSED. I'm aware of thinking it's funny that I cried. DEEP BREATH. I'm aware of feeling constricted, because I'm feeling stuck in my body.
F: I AM CONCERNED LEST SHE WORK HERSELF UP INTO A STATE OF HYSTERIA, BUT I WOULD RATHER NOT INVERVENE. I AM HOPING THAT SHE WILL WORK HER WAY OUT OF THIS IMPLODING. Let me know if you need help. In the meantime go on with what you are aware of.
B: LONG PAUSE I'm aware of the beautiful trees outside, blowing in the wind. I'm aware that I'm a human being, that I'm mortal and that I'll die someday. That makes me feel helpless. I'm looking at my finger nails. Now I'm aware of the taste of this nail polish. It's not good. I'm aware of feeling a little drowsy. I'm aware of the stress I'm putting on my toes. SHE IS PRESSING THEM AGAINST THE RUG. HER NOSE IS DRIPPING NONSTOP, WITH OCCASIONAL DROPS HANGING FROM THE END OF HER NOSE. I'm aware that I'm too aware of bodily feelings as opposed to higher concepts and ideas. MUCH SNIVELING. I'm aware that I probably have fears and anxieties that I need to release. OVERALL: MUCH HOLDING AND THEN RELEASING OF HER BREATH. I'm aware that I'm distrusting of myself and of others in life sometimes.
F: I NOTICE THAT BEL MOST OF THE TIME AVOIDS LOOKING DIRECTLY AT ME. WHEN I TURN BACK TO HER AFTER LOOKING AWAY, SHE QUICKLY TURNS AWAY FROM LOOKING DIRECTLY AT ME.
B: I'm aware that I'm hoping this exercise will help me in some way. PAUSE. I'm aware that I have a song playing in my head.
F: What song is it?
B: "Because Of You". I'm aware that I took a deep breath. That felt good. I'm aware that I'm very conscious of how I look, my body image.
FEEDBACK: AT THIS POINT I STOPPED BEL'S AWARENESS WORK AND GAVE HER FEEDBACK. I WENT OVER ALL OF MY NOTES, POINTING OUT WHAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE "AWARENESS" ACCORDING TO GESTALT THEORY AND WHAT WOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE SOME OTHER SORT OF FUNCTIONING, SUCH AS JUDGMENTS, PROJECTIONS AND AVOIDANCES. I POINT OUT THAT SHE IS AVOIDING CONTACTING HER "SCENE PARTNER", WHO IN THIS CASE IS ME. BEL TOOK A FEW MINUTES TO REPLAY THE VIDEO TO SEE HOW WE LOOK DOING THE WORK. THEN WE RESUMED THE UNGUIDED AWARENESS EXERCISE.
B: LONG PAUSE. I'm aware of my face being itchy. I'm aware of you looking at me. AS A MATTER OF FACT, AT THE MOMENT SHE SAID THIS I WAS NOT ACTUALLY LOOKING AT HER. I'm aware of feeling more relaxed. I'm aware of some kind of sound outside. Cars maybe. I'm aware of your shirt. It says "Martin Guitars, Established 1833". Now I'm aware of feeling tired. I'm yawning. SHE IS TOUCHING HER FACE QUITE A BIT. I'm aware that I'm sniveling. I'm aware that I'm more relieved. I'm aware that I am self-conscious, that I am annoyed that I'm sniffling a lot. BEL LOOKS DIRECTLY AT ME FOR PERHAPS THE FIRST TIME. LONG PAUSE. I see that you're wearing glasses and white sox. They look clean. SHE CONTINUES LOOKING AT ME AS I WRITE, BUT WHEN I LOOK UP AT HER SHE QUICKLY LOOKS AWAY. SHE YAWNS. HER VOICE IS SO FAR AN UNEXPRESSIVE MONOTONE MOST OF THE TIME. I'm aware that my nails are pretty. I'm aware that my eyes might be half closed, that I'm smiling and that my shoulders feel sore. I'm aware that I am happy that I am doing this exercise. Now I'm aware that the fan is spinning. I'm aware that last night's show may not have gone well. I was too much in my head. BEL IS AN ACTRESS PERFORMING THE LEAD ROLE AT A LOCAL THEATER EACH NIGHT THIS WEEK. I'm aware of how this bracelet feels on my arm. I'm aware that I am sniffling and that I am touching this bracelet. HER CURLED UP POSITION IN THE CHAIR HAS NOT CHANGED FOR A WHILE. I'm picturing myself flying. I'm looking at that purple back massager IT IS GLASS, ON A TABLE ACROSS THE ROOM. It is very pretty. Now I am picturing what it would be like to touch that piece of paper you are writing on. YAWNS. I'm aware that I just yawned. WITH HER LEGS STILL CURLED UP ON THE CHAIR SHE STRETCHES HER ARMS OVER HER HEAD. I'm aware that I'm stretching. Your pen is an interesting shade of blue. I'm aware of feeling uncomfortable in this chair. I'm aware that I'm trying to keep my eyes more open. RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON OUTER ZONE DETAILS SHE IS FOCUSING ON KEEPING HER EYES OPEN. I'm aware of blue circles on the file box. WHEN I LOOK AWAY BEL LOOKS AT ME. I'm aware that I'm a little tired. I'm aware of what that blanket feels like. SHE DOES NOT GO OVER AND TOUCH IT. I'm aware of how my toes look. I'm aware of your thing holding down your hat, your berette. I AM WEARING A JEWISH STYLE SKULL CAP. BEL IS CHRISTIAN. I'm aware of your curly hair, that your shoes look like they are made of suede leather. SHE MOVES HER TOES UP AND DOWN A FEW TIMES. I'm aware that I am thinking. I am aware that my forehead is probably wrinkled right now. I DO NOT SEE ANY WRINKLES THERE.
AT THIS POINT I STOPPED HER WORK, SO THAT I WOULD AGAIN HAVE TIME TO GIVE FEEDBACK BEFORE THE END OF THE FIRST HOUR. I REVIEWED MY NOTES WITH HER, POINTING OUT WHAT WAS AWARENESS AND WHAT WAS NOT AWARENESS ACCORDING TO THE GESTALT POINT OF VIEW. BREAK: 5 MINUTES
GUIDED AWARENESS: 1 1/2 HOURS
B: I'm aware that I'm holding my hands. I'm aware that I am cold.
F: What can you do about being cold?
B: TAKES BRIGHTLY COLORED TOWEL TO WRAP AROUND HERSELF. CELL PHONE RINGS. I'm aware of my phone making noises. WIND BLOWS THE DOOR WITHIN ITS FRAME SO IT MAKES A THUD. The door made a noise.
F: That's the outer zone. Stay there a while.
B: I'm aware of the green of that shelf. It's a 70's green. It feels smooth. BUT SHE DOESN'T GO OVER TO TOUCH IT. My nails are black. My bracelet is made of brown wood. I'm aware that I'm on camera being filmed.
F: What do you actually see when you look at the camera?
B: I see the red light blinking.
F: Describe the camera.
B: I see a microphone.
F: A "microphone" is a complex idea. It's not something you actually contact. Be like an aboriginal who looks at a camera for the first time. Describe the microphone.
B: It's a black object. It's circular and long. It looks like it's soft.
F: Go and touch it.
B: TOUCHING THE MIC. It's not as soft as I had imagined.
THROUGHOUT THIS SESSION IN BEL'S APARTMENT I MYSELF AM AWARE OF THE SMELL OF CIGARETTE SMOKE SEEPING UNDER HER DOOR. HER ROOMMATE, WHO ALSO IS HER SISTER, SMOKES. WHEN AT THE END OF THE SESSION I MENTIONED THAT SMELL, BEL SAID THAT SHE IS SO USED TO THE SMELL SHE NO LONGER EVEN SMELLS IT.
F: OK, now let's shift over to working on the inner zone. Close your eyes. What are you aware of now in your body?
B: I'm uncomfortable in my gut. Maybe it's anxiety. It's my tummy. I can tell you why.
F: No, not "why". Just tell me "what". What's going on in your stomach?
B: I'm uncomfortable with myself.
F: That's an abstract idea. What is going on physically? Does it feel like hunger?
F: Do you sense something moving there?
B: No. Now I'm letting myself breathe. I feel better. I'm aware that my shoulders are hunched. HER FINGERS ARE IN A FIST.
F: Go into that. Hunch up some more, and make noise, like this. Squeeze your fingers also. I DEMONSTRATE HOLDING MY BREATH AND SQUEEZING, IMPLODING WHILE I BLOCK THE SOUND SO IT CANNOT COME OUT FREELY.
B: FOLLOWS MY EXAMPLE AND CURLS UP ON THE CHAIR.
F: The toes too. Curl your toes also. Now relax. Very good. When you are ready open your eyes and come outside.
B: OPENS HER EYES.
F: What's your reaction now to coming outside into the outer zone?
B: I want to go back inside.
F: What is there that you need?
B: I don't know.
F: What are you aware of now outside?
B: The green cabinet. It has rungs in front, rectangular, like bamboo. And it has a handle that looks like a pinapple. It's yellow, tilted.
F: Good. Now that you see it, let's go onto the next step. Do you have any associations when you look at it. Maybe it reminds you of something, or whatever.
B: It reminds me of when I painted it. If I picked it up it would be heavy. Inside it are videos and jewelry. What do you mean by associations?
F: It could be anything: memories, judgments, images, comments.
B: Like I could imagine little midgets jumping on it?
F: Right. That's called "creative thinking". You go from objectivity to subjectivity, not the other way around. If you do it the other way around it's psychotic thinking. Like maybe you imagine somebody is out to get you and you don't bother actually to see the person at all. OK, let's go back to the inner zone again. This is called the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. The contact part is the outer zone and the withdrawal part is going back into your body and the void inside.
F: Close your eyes now. First of all, are you comfortable in your body? Any tension?
B: I'm not comfortable. My thighs are sore from doing some exercises. If I stretch I'll feel better. SHE STANDS AND STRETCHES, BUT KEEPS HER MOUTH TIGHTLY SHUT AND EMITS NO SOUND AT ALL.
F: What was missing that time? The sound. Would you mind doing it again, but this time add the sound. Do it harder and open your mouth and throat. Let all the parts of your body find a voice. Move your fingers. How does that change the sound? Listen to the sounds. Now your hips. Now your toes. Good.
GRADUALLY SHE ESCAPES FROM THE FROZEN VOCAL MONOTONE SHE HAS BEEN IN MOST OF THE SESSION SO FAR. HER VOICE BECOMES MUCH MORE EXPRESSIVE.
F: Sit down again, please, and close your eyes again. Now we are going to work on the third zone of awareness, the fantasy zone. So far you haven't used your imagination much today. If you don't mind I'd like you to do a daydream. Go on a trip or imagine something. Take your time. You're free to censer, but the more you share the more material we have to work with.
B: I'm imagining I'm lying on my carpet, touching it with my fingers. Then I have my arms spread out like a cross and I float off the floor. I float through the walls and out the window. It's like I'm flying. I land on the roof. I can see the road outside.
F: If the daydream was a movie can you imagine any kind of music that would go with the movie?
B: I am imagining a song, "Break Away" by Kelly Parkstone.
F: Can you sing it?
B: SHE SINGS THE SONG SOFTLY WITH HER EYES CLOSED AT FIRST.
F: Keep your eyes mostly closed and stand up. Dance along with the singing. Find a sound that comes from each body part. Make the sounds as different as possible. High sounds, low sounds, fast sounds, slow sounds, loud sounds, soft sounds. Good. Now zero in on a few key words of the song and drone them over and over. Trip on them and see how they develop.
B: SINGS REPETITIVELY " . . . out of the darkness into the light . . . fly away and break away . . ."
B: I burped. SHE CLOSELY EXAMINES ONE OF HER HAIRS. This hair is split in half. I just ripped it apart. It blew on me. Now I am aware of the red camera light blinking. That light THE CEILING LIGHT WITH FAN ATTACHED TO IT has a string hanging from it. SHE FOCUSES ON A SMALL "FAIRY" SHAPED DOLL ACROSS THE ROOM. The little fairy has feathers blowing on her head. There is a string hanging from her. I can picture touching that.
F: Go over and touch it.
B: It felt nice: hard, solid.
F: Now that you really saw it and contacted it, do you have any associations or thoughts or judgments about it?
B: Once I played a character that takes pleasure in little things. I wish I could be like that. She was not just concerned with herself. She lives each moment.
F: That is what I call "creative thinking". First you contacted the doll and then you got associations about it.
F: Now we're beginning to get some integration of outer zone awareness and fantasy zone awareness. Let's keep going with the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. Close your eyes and go inside one more time. Are you comfortable in your body?
B: Yes. INSTEAD OF CURLING UP ON THE CHAIR BEL NOW IS SITTING UP STRAIGHT WITH HER FEET ON THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF HER. SHE APPEARS TO BE MUCH MORE RELAXED THAN UP TILL NOW. APPARENTLY SHE NO LONGER IS CONSTRICTING HER BREATHING.
F: Try another daydream. Take your time.
B: I see an image of Marilyn Monroe. She has red glittery shoes and smooth legs. She's wearing her famous white dress, tightened on the waist. Her arms are straight. She has red fingernails. I see her collar bones.
F: What's your reaction to seeing this image? Is it pleasant or unpleasant?
B: Pleasant. She seems happy. She's smiling. She has pretty teeth and lips.
F: What can you say about how this image relates to you?
B: She seems happy but also sad. I know she ended up killing herself.
F: Do you have any associations when you think about the image?
B: I don't know if I want to share them. BEL CRIES. SHE OPENS HER EYES.
F: You have a right to censer and protect your privacy, but is there anything you feel you can share?
B: It's confidential.
F: Does this image tell you anything about what you need in your life?
B: I need to feel accepting of myself and like myself.
F: Would you rather deal with that question today or let it go for now?
B: That may be the area that affects everything. I try to help myself. I use all sorts of techniques, like yoga. I feel bad about myself. I feel I am unattractive. It's due to how I was raised. I need to take responsibility. I don't want to take medication for a chemical imbalance all my life. I just want to be happy.
F: Since our contract today is to work on the awareness exercise and not go into specific problems I want to return now to the rhythm of contact and withdrawal. What are you aware of in the outer zone now?
B: The sound of the wind outside and the door makes noises.
F: Take the wind first. How does the wind sound?
B: The leaves are rustling. It sounds windy.
F: Describe the sound.
B: It's a swishing sound. Also there is the dull roar of traffic.
F: Now the door sound.
B: The door is moving back and forth with the wind.
F: So they are related. What's your reaction to these sounds?
B: I don't like the door noise. The swishing is soothing.
F: You just closed your eyes. You keep wanting to run back into your box. Keep your eyes open for now. How do you encounter me?
B: I'm grateful, but
F: Wait a minute. I forgot to ask you for associations to the wind and the door.
B: The door noise reminds me of people who are angry. The wind is like freedom, nature.
F: What about nature? Do you deal with nature much in your life?
B: I do not have much freedom or nature in my life. I don't go outside. I'm either here in my room or rehearsing or driving.
F: Do you think you should spend more time with nature?
F: And what about the angry people?
B: I think of my roommates. ONE OF BEL'S ROOMMATES IS HER SISTER. They are always cursing. Also, my parents were always angry.
F: Was there a particular reason for that?
B: They hated each other. There was no money. SMILES. Too many kids.
SHE REQUESTS A BATHROOM BREAK.
USUALLY I AM STRICT ABOUT LIMITING THE FIRST SESSION TO TWO HOURS TOTAL. BUT BEL SEEMS TO HAVE TOUCHED ON SOME IMPORTANT AREAS THAT NEED SOME CLOSURE BEFORE WE END THE SESSION. THEREFORE, I OFFER HER THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO ON A WHILE.
F: Actually our time is finished, but we can go on a while if your want. Do you want to stop now or do one more round?
B: One more. I'm cold. SHE WRAPS HERSELF IN THE TOWEL AND CLOSES HER EYES. I curled my toes under. I'm taking deep breaths. I feel good. My head feels itchy. F: Any images coming?
B: I'm picturing my stomach going up and down as I breathe. It feels pleasant. I feel fat and "icky".
F: Keep your eyes half closed, stand up and dance "ickiness". SHE DOES A SILENT IMPROV WHILE WRAPPED IN THE TOWEL. Do it again. Add the sound this time. Open your mouth and your throat. Find the voice of each body part, for example the toes.
B: CLOSES HER EYES. I see a kitten, soft with a lot of fur. It's cute. It has blue eyes and white fur.
F: In the image what is your relation to the kitten?
B: I'm touching it. It's the softest thing I ever felt. I love it.
F: Just stay with the image and see how it develops.
B: I'm holding it.
F: Do you have associations to similar situations?
B: I'm thinking of how it was holding my sister's baby.
F: Does this work tell you anything about what you need?
B: I need to be closer to people, so I can share a loving feeling.
F: Good. We need to end the session soon. If you look back over the whole session, can you find an overall message that you got from today's work?
B: I feel I'm getting a better understanding of myself. I need balance as far as awareness goes, the outer and the inner. Also I need to be closer to people and not so into myself.
F: They are related. Seeing and hearing them helps to relate to them.
B: I used to be that way. A year ago I moved here, to a place where I know no one. When we balanced the awarenesses, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.
F: I noticed that you stopped the crying by yourself. What is it about the big picture that stops the crying?
B: We work on the little things and the big picture gets better. Usually I overdo it. I overload myself. A long journey begins with a single step.
F: That's what they say in acting classes. Go in for the moments, the beats. Don't try to eat the whole turkey in one bite. Don't play one big idea about the scene from the beginning till the end. Provide yourself with lots of real things you can contact here and now along the way, lots of outer zone environment objects and inner zone fantasy objects. You need that objectivity to balance all the subjectivity, all that emotional soup that you have a tendency to get lost in. The subjective stuff you are very good at, and a lot of the time that is what the audience wants, but if you do it too much it is overwhelming and boring. You need to give the audience all the realities in a balanced way. And you can't give them what you don't have yourself.