As we come close to opening night, I look back on all of the fun, stressful, and learning experiences I’ve gained in this kyōgen production. I feel like I have become more knowledgeable and much more proficient in kyōgen. It has been a major learning curve for me and I have enjoyed each and every step of the process, challenges and all.
After hours and hours of practice, I had finally learned how to just let myself go and let Eliana take over my voice, body, and movements. That may sound a bit odd but what I mean is that, I was able to become more comfortable with exaggerating my forms, being loud, and also holding my kamae stance a bit longer. For those who don’t know, that is the form in which the kyōgen actors move across stage and also stand. They do it by contracting their core, holding their knees bent, and the top half of their body is slightly leaning forward. It is a lot easier said than done, but eventually it does get easier and you get the hang of it. Although, I do not recommend doing a leg workout before performing in that stance, your legs might give out! I know mine almost did and it was hilarious.
Another challenge I had to face was the technical side of things. I am not a tech or computer savvy type of person, so it was definitely a struggle to learn how to operate things from home. By the way, I also do not recommend spending any of your money on a HP chromebook unless you already have a pc/mac as a primary laptop source. To all of my Zoom actors, the camera quality is not the greatest and it is not compatible with a lot of the Zoom features such as, “virtual backgrounds.” But I do want to give a major shoutout to all of our crew members for coming to the rescue and helping us out whenever we did encounter a mishap.
Through all the camera malfunctions, lighting issues and wifi lags, we were still able to make it a great performance. Team work had definitely made the dream work. We were able to make this a successful production because of everyone’s patience and dedication. Cheers to an amazing cast/crew, we did it!
– Chrisslene Jimerson, Mask Confusion