I’m sad right now. I have just learned that a favourite professor of mine passed away yesterday morning.
In my first year at Laurentian I took the Introduction to Theatre course offered at Thorneloe University. I chose the class taught by Ulrich Sikora, a well-spoken of professor who lived up to his reputation.
We learned the history of modern theatre, absurd theatre, lighting productions, stage sets and how to create our presence on stage. My favourite moment in our class was during our commedia dell’arte presentations. Our class had made masks of different characters found in this Italian Comedy and grouped together to perform in front of our peers. I’m quite long and very careless with my limbs; I was acting out Arlecchino, a dimwitted fool who is perpetually hungry.
While on stage I was nervous and intimidated about acting behind a mask. I moved about, trying to impersonate the physical characterisitics of this simple-minded character. In my haste to perform as well as I thought myself capable, I ended up loping..which is a natural movement for me. Ulrich congratuled the use of the lope, accrediting it to a well-thought decision on my part.
This minor interaction, which could have personally been held as an embarrasment to myself, has always stood out in my mind. The acknolwedgement of how I used my body in the creation of a character has stuck with me both on and off stage. I’ve learned to develop a more thorough sense of bodily posture, gait, and how jerks and steps define elements of my personality. Though Ulrich didn’t know this, his attention to detail influenced the way that I thought of my personl presence.
In the 2 years since this incidence I am more confident in how I look, move and even appreciate the simple-minded lope I tend to fall back to on occassion. I am comfortable as a long, awkward being who moves her arms too far and trips over her own legs.
I never really thought about it until Ulrich brought attention to my characterization..which was really just bad acting.