I slightly panicked when I realized we were pretty much half way through July and I was way behind my word count for July’s Camp Nano (like the one in November where you write a book in a month, only you have a lot more freedom to choose your word count, page count, or to simply edit something you have already written). I have been spending a lot of my time this week trying to catch up on that, but I also had class with Suzanna on Tuesday 🙂
If you remember, our scene is from the Social Network, and we break up. The scene starts out with us talking, he says some really mean, condescending things without noticing, so I break up with him before spending two pages telling him I have to go back to my dorm to study. I repeat it so often that you would be convinced my goal for the scene was to leave him so I could study, but if that were the case, I would have gone as soon as I first told him I was leaving. Instead, I needed to find the reasons why I would say I have to go, but still sit there and keep the argument going.
I did a lot of work on the scene before going to class, and realized that I was very much playing the ending. Yes, we break up and I don’t blame her, at all, but I kept forgetting that there was a reason I was going out with him in the first place. I could come up with a bunch of business to keep me sitting there while he talks, such as putting on my coat, or picking up my purse, but it is a lot more fun to play if I really like him and am hesitant to go because I want to give him chance after chance to show me the guy that first swept me off my feet. If my goal is for him to realize that he is being really mean to me and understand that he is hurting me, then I have a reason to stay, to give him the chance to figure it out and fight for me.
We did the scene 4 times, with the first one being just us, with no notes. I might have gone in with too much of the really liking him and wanting this to work, because I was too understanding with all of his condescending remarks. My note for the second scene was to be more affected by his comments; to be more confused when he isn’t making sense, and more upset when he says things that hurt me, which was fun.
In the third take, my scene partner called line, and I completely did not stay in character. In the first take, we hadn’t had anyone on book, so I had stayed in the moment, told him his line and then reacted to it, but this time, I actually looked towards and smiled at the person who was now on book for us. Definitely not what I was supposed to do.
For our final take, we did the moment before exercise, where we improvise a few lines to bring us into the scene. She probably had us do this because I was still happily offering up a suggestion every time we started the scene, forgetting that we were well into the conversation, and he had been going on about this for days. I was trying to use opposites for the beginning and end of the scene, but it doesn’t have to be happy at the beginning so the opposite can be angry at the end. I can just be exasperated and holding it in at the beginning, then let it all out at the end, without worrying about hurting his feelings.
“Use your smile to change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.”
Also, here is another promo picture for The Cohort 🙂