Susana and I have returned from the MAJOR JAMBOREE 2014 at UCLA Conference Center in Lake Arrowhead. It was six days of the most incredible experience any of us have ever had! We have been doing Jamborees for decades, and they have all been very successful and fulfilling. This one went beyond all expectations; it ranks as one of the best ones yet. It was ensemble and harmony at its best. There were eighteen actors in attendance and all of them did a liberating instrumental, a monologue, and a scene. Susana worked with them on the monologues, and the scenes, while I spent more than a dozen hours teaching the craft. We did a sense memory workout, discussed affective memory, and spent hours on the other “megapproaches”, Subpersonalities and Externals. I had them apply the techniques to material. Susana worked with each one of them on addressing the responsibilities of their monologues and scenes, starting from her own process “First Impressions” all the way through the lines of the piece. On Wednesday the work was so intensive and specific that Susana and the group worked from 9:00 am until 5:00 am on Thursday morning and everyone stayed for the entire time and was excited and committed. When I was invited to see the scenes I was blown away by the level of the work categorically in every scene: “Doubt” by John Patrick Shanley, “The Glass Menagerie” by Tennessee Williams, “A Place Beyond The Pines” by Derek Cianfrance & Ben Coccio, “Frankie and Johnnie in the Claire De Lune” by Terrence McNally, “August: Osage County” by Tracy Letts…. It was a feast. Everyone, and I mean everyone, did work that was organic and experiential. I was proud of every single actor in attendance. At the end of every day we did a “round” where everyone sits in a circle and expresses their feelings and discoveries. The amount of affection and love that was shared was extremely touching. Each day we took a two hour lunch break and at that time everyone enjoyed the Lake, the pool, the hot tub, and the real health conscious ones went to the fully equipped gym and worked out. In the “rounds” everyone expressed their gratitude for the quality of the meals and the way the staff pampered us. We took a lot of pictures and they will appear on the website soon. At the end of the Jamboree no one wanted to leave. The bonding was impressive. We had actors from all over the world and they all wanted to stay connected with one another. We are of course tired but it is a kind of delicious fatigue. Many of them have already signed up for the September “Mini Jamboree”. Susana and I are very grateful for everyone’s commitment and work. We wish you all a beautiful, healthy and happy summer.
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