Gestures, stories, and lovemarks: Wednesday July 18

A good day today, if long — Kristin, Cate and I spent 2.5 hours in the morning prepping for a 3.5 hour rehearsal. But, despite a long list of Things To Accomplish, we stayed on schedule and actually managed to do everything we set out to do! So go us 🙂

The gesture work went well, and we started creating a vocabulary of emotion-based gesture to complement the ones we learned yesterday that are derived from Arb, the system of hand signals used on some trading floors. Since Cate was documenting the gestures, I offered to call out the names of the upcoming gesture to the performers once we started stringing them together into drills. Things I learned: apparently I have great difficulty with counting to four repeatedly but periodically replacing the “three” with a word and not losing my place in the beat. My old conductor from boys choir, Mrs. Pray, would be severely disappointed in me.

Nice responses in the stories the students wrote. The TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) of the government and the story of firing the cuckholded worker who changed the watermark for the paper being made so it would read, “Mandy Daniel is an adulterous whore” stick in my mind particularly.

Lovemarks are so weird and ridiculous and wonderful, and I am pleased to report that I still feel that way even after having done the test many times in the last 4 months. We had thought about doing it specifically with regards to the $1 bill (arising from the bill vs coin debate) but the feedback today made me think maybe it should be about paper currency versus other forms — coinage, yes, but also credit cards, chip and pin cards, smartphones, PayPal. We'll give that a try later in our residency. I think that the specificity of the one dollar bill distracts from the fetishistic qualities of paper money versus the other forms of payment that underscore the abstraction of number, that fiat currency is really all just numbers on a screen, an idea of value that floats through the ether. It's not in God whom we trust, but rather the Full Faith and Credit of our government and economy. No one imagines a poor kid from the slums who, having pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps to make their first million, rolling around naked in a pile of AmExes. I think this tactile quality of paper currency is why the Lovemarks questions in the Sensuality category were both the most ridiculous, and the most uncomfortable — let's face it, our analytical brains may say that a $100 bill just smells like paper, but deep down inside we all want to believe that it has a special Money Smell 🙂

Qui arrived this evening, after a long day of travel from Minneapolis — his plane was delayed for two hours in Chicago, poor man. But he has some kick-ass plans for using The Odyssey in the Workers storyline, and even found a way for a full battle sequence that spills out onto the trading floor (along with all the other performances, for their own sundry reasons) creating a full cast chaos that resolves into the Dance of Arb. It looks beautiful in my head, so now we are obligated to make it happen on stage.

Off to bed, with the first episode of Downton Abbey, season two, for my bedtime story.

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