I just wanted to write a really quick note on our first day, which was yesterday. At 11:00 we all met in the portrait lobby of the Moscow Art Theatre to have a Russian History lecture with Anatoly Smeliansky, the dean of the school and associate director of the theatre. He is so amazing! he taught himself English in the late 80s and knows everything and more about Theatre in Russia, the world and the entire history of MXAT. The first lecture covered Stanislavsky, Pussy Riot, The Temple of Christ and the current state of the company. It really was inspiring and I can’t wait for more of his classes! THE NEXT ONE IS TODAY!
We also had our first acting class yesterday. we did concentration and rhythm activities devised to help us really get focused and concentrate on each other as an ensemble. our teacher is wonderful and has a real love for the art of acting! some of the tings he said in class that really stuck out are:
“Everything has already been done on stage. Everything. Except you”
“Make eye contact as often as possible on stage” the context of this is that sometimes, as actors, we forget to make eye contact but, when we do there is a real connection and the non verbal language can be just as, or more, interesting as the words that are being spoken. Eye contact is important.
So, some of the Russian students have been assigned to help us get around, find out where to buy food, groceries, clothes or electronics, and to just be there if we have any questions. They are affectionately called “The Angels” and they really are. without them we probably would cease to function. They wanted to go out last night and have a little fun with the Americans– perfect opportunity for them to practice their English and for us to get some practical Russian training. To say the least, last night was a blast, and of course I had a little vodka with my new friends!