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A heritage. - The house that Fleur built [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Fleur Susannah

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A heritage. [Mar. 25th, 2007|08:01 pm]
Fleur Susannah
[mood |soresore]

All the characters I have played, that I have truly been for a brief moment or for several months, are my ancestors. They become part of what brought me to this place. In my history, my blood, there lie the memories of Auschwitz concentration camp, of the animalistic strength which kept Fania Fenalon alive, of the rape of Persephone. I came from a woman who felt the hands of a terrifying, unknown god upon her body yet grew to accept her fate, as Queen of the Underworld. Emily Webb of New Hampshire lies in the narrative of becoming me. The tale of her wedding is as familiar as that of my parents. The Country Women’s Association catered for them and did not provide enough plates. Guest had to eat off of saucepan lids. Emily was terrified at the door of the church and it was only the comforting words of her father and husband-to-be which kept her from fleeing. Victoria’s sexual revolution led to my creation. My heritage is in her leaving her manipulative husband. I came from a fox, a cat, a dog, a bear and a bird. Skin and bitten fingernails grew from feathers, fur and claws. I am the product of animalistic fear, fight and lust.

However, I am not these characters. They are my ancestors but are not me. When I relinquish these roles, they become part of the process which created me but a process, a memory, a heritage and not my life. The terror of Persephone belongs to her, my history, and not to me as Fleur. One cannot hold onto all their characters. We must shake them off, bid them a fond farewell and leave their instincts, their urges, their passions and neurosis behind.

Being the fox taught me much. I responded with my body, not my mind. I became more primitive; more truthful. However, being human is responding with our minds, morals and intelligence emotions. The fur was borrowed, just as the protective skin of Victoria, hardened by the misery her husband inflicted upon her, was borrowed and the fluttery, panicked hands and quivering lips where borrowed from Sylvie Moon.

Each characters brought me a step closer to where I am today but to linger as them is t not take the next step. It is to become sick and insular, too caught up in someone else’s life to live your own and return to Self.

I lingered once, as Fania Fenalon, locked in her experience of survival, hunger, weakness, fear and anger for the entire duration of the performance run. I did not step out of her after each night’s show to return to Fleur. That week I spent much time alone, angry when I was disturbed and fearful in the light. I lay for two hours, curled up in the darkness between the floor and the stage, feeling strangely disembodied and weak. Her reality became more real then my own. That week taught me much.

There must be a transition, a moment when the slumbering Self returns, when the body unfurls and becomes human. I do it through breath. The transition is very physical. As the body adjusts, returning to its usual posture and breath, the mind resumes ownership of it and Self takes over. Laughter or self-critic help some people but I prefer the moments when I can simply step aside and, without reflection or embarrassment, make the experience part of my heritage and continue to be Fleur.
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Comments:
From: jickle
2007-03-25 10:07 am (UTC)
Ah, Fleur, you sure do write well. I will always be both friend and fan of you.
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[User Picture]From: reulf
2007-03-25 10:08 am (UTC)
And I shall always lust after you, my dear Jickle.

Thankyou.
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[User Picture]From: reulf
2007-03-25 10:15 am (UTC)
And love and respect you, by the way. The lust doesn't cancel out the other things!
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[User Picture]From: tiquetoque
2007-03-25 11:44 am (UTC)
This is going in my bookmarks. Thanks for not making it friends only :)

First lines from a song I wrote about 15 years ago:
"I was born today,
Made up of little pieces of yesterday."

That, combined with the aspects of roleplaying spilling into real life (which we've spoken of before), and your creation/development of Charlie in "The Last Days of our Species" are all fascinating, and it's scary/awesome to hear that it has happened to you too, from dramatics.
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[User Picture]From: reulf
2007-03-25 09:57 pm (UTC)
Suddenly people keep mentioning 'Last Days'. I've suddenly discovered that people liked it much more then I thought they did. Its nice. I had sort of dismissed it.

Thankyou very much for reading. I didn't except anyone to.
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From: the_van_dyck
2007-03-25 11:54 am (UTC)
The kind of experience you're talking about has only happened to me a few times during improv, moments where things that you remember just take you over and your freewheeling, rudderless and insane until the end.

In a book I read once about acting(which was written in part by David Mamet and Ian Mackellen, but I can't remember who said what part) it recommends that in order to find that emotional well you have to find an analog for your characters experience because if you become that role so directly then returning to that emotional state night after night can make you go crazy.
For a good example look up the stuff written about Dustin Hoffman's experience making Tootsie.

It's always served me well to try and do that.I'm usually loathe to talk about like it's serious fucking business, but it does have the capacity to affect the actors as much as it does the audience.
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[User Picture]From: reulf
2007-03-25 09:55 pm (UTC)
I'm thrilled that people actually read it! I only really posted it for one person and figured no one else would bother with it.

Thankyou very much!
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[User Picture]From: globox
2007-03-25 06:07 pm (UTC)
Fluer Dax!
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From: almerie
2007-03-26 01:55 am (UTC)
This was amazing, Fleur. Very, very well written.
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[User Picture]From: reulf
2007-03-26 12:06 pm (UTC)
Thankyou! I'm so glad people enjoyed it. I didn't really expect anyone to.
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[User Picture]From: simma14
2007-03-26 03:11 am (UTC)
Its amazing the difference in life that we lead. My world is data and paradigms and theory and experimenting, yours is identity and the changing of it and different roles and really graceful arty stuff which is just all kinds of not anything i have ever experienced

You are incredible
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[User Picture]From: reulf
2007-03-26 12:07 pm (UTC)
*blushes* But then you should have seen Jarrod and Paul trying to explain the MRI to me today. My summation in the end was 'something inexplicable happens to me with magnets which causes other inexplicable things to happen... odd'.

Thankyou.
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[User Picture]From: not_in_denial
2007-03-26 07:29 am (UTC)
We have much in common, and some friends, too. Wanna be LJ friends, zomgz?
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[User Picture]From: reulf
2007-03-26 12:08 pm (UTC)
Love to, although I must admit that my posting efforts have been rather random lately. Deviant Art has almost stolen me.
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[User Picture]From: not_in_denial
2007-03-26 12:12 pm (UTC)
DA does tend to do that :)
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[User Picture]From: shraka27
2007-03-27 05:45 am (UTC)
That's 'cuz DA pwnzorz. In fact, it's in your base, and it's killing your mans right now.
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[User Picture]From: reulf
2007-03-27 08:40 am (UTC)
You said that purposefully so I would kick something and stub my toe, didn't you.
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[User Picture]From: shraka27
2007-03-28 01:25 am (UTC)
No, I said it 'cuz it's the funniest thing ever. Give in to the random funnyness!
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