Long Form Immersion, Day 4, with Susan Messing

Focus and energy will take something from a mediocre place to an awesome place.

Susan’s Nuggets
Symmetry pleases the eye

We did the group choreograph with only three of us, where we choreograph a bunch of moves together in beats of four. I suggested we start at the end )i.e. one beat of 4, then decide on another beat of 4 to end where the first one started) to make it easier to remember. However, this was less organic and more problematic to create. In future, I would develop it from the start to the beginning, but once the complete had been decided on, start backwards so that you are always working towards something you know better.

Susan’s Nuggets
Our biggest obstacle to joy is ourselves.

Everything, including hate, is a gift

If you have been mal endowed, there is no reason the thing cannot be a diverse version of that endowment – that is your gift to the scene.

We then did groups of 6 choreographing. This was easier than 3.
It required:
Commitment to the piece;
Commitment to having fun;
Commitment to no judgement;

There is a reason kaleidoscope symmetry is beautiful and compelling to watch.

Symmetry can be in the background, in the foreground, wherever. The audience will see it and enjoy it. This is important to be aware of.

Shock, hurt and fear are also compelling (I can’t remember the point here!)

Copying is a good choice in scene work. Copy energy, physicality, scenework.

Being in the moment is being committed. Don’t think about the audience, that is not the moment, your scene is the moment.
Taking care of your partner is commitment to the moment. Give permission to yourself.

The simpler we kept things, the easier it was to do. Make the creation organic, let it develop.

One group of 6 showed 3 couples fighting before joining – Love and War
One group had a mass orgasm – Is this the time?
12 of us in a circle raised Susan into the air, she was centre circle, centre of the exposition,

Susan’s Nuggets
Concentrate on the joy, unify the teamwork

Joy and commitment will take you from a mediocre team to a brilliant team.

Joy is contagious
Don’t take things personally, give it all up for comedy.

Always play with the trickiest person. This is training. If it is difficult, that is the person to play with, get the fuck off on them, love their shit. Support them with joy.

Relish where you are.

Accept the group mind. This is a very organic way of being, let it flow.

“What if I dealt with what’s in front of me rather than try to in vent something better?”

3 on a plane
3 of us were in a row, we take on a character in the plane, and Susan asks us questions from the straight man position.
Always asking for more – personal, detailed, how we react, why?

Commit to the reality. You must remember the reality. Keep the same reactions (so remember them). This is important.

Susan’s Nuggets
Be specific in the personal, specific in the reaction, specific in the because.

Listen. This is the reality. Listen, and remember.

Everything is both a metaphor and a clue.

When you are in it, properly believe it. See it in Technicolour. Believe this stuff in front of you. Be joyful with all these reelations.

Make this the richest thing. Heighten through specificity. Do not change to the better thing.

Keep going back to the thing you see – the creative is both in not in trying to be creative, but also in trying not to be creative.

See what you see / hear / feel / fuck, and do so again and again. and again.

Focus on the smallest thing…

Remember, listening does not mean waiting to talk next. Listening is not preparing to react, it is preparing to respond. Response is  more thoughtful.


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