15 June 2008

Italy 08: Day 3


Last night, I finally slept well. I woke once, but immediately feel back asleep. When my alarm finally did go off (after almost eight glorious hours), I was in the middle of dreaming that I was on the phone with my sister. When my alarm went off, I said 'Denise, I have to go now. My alarm is going off, and it's time for me to get up.' We said a quick goodbye and I woke up. Thanks, Denise, for being so understanding.

Between when Jaymi and I walked up the hill last evening and when we got back last night, the other two rooms in the B&B had been filled. This morning, I ran into one English speaker (Irish? British?) in the bathroom and three eastern Europeans (Hungarians?) in the kitchen nook. All very pleasant, but we didn't talk much. The Hungarians and I don't share a language, and the English-speaking woman was scrambling to get out the door to an appointment.

Michael picked Jaymi and I up at 9.30am to take us to the rehearsal space. The hall was packed with artists - Holly, Michael, Jaymi, Cambria, Benny, Eli, me, and about 35 would-be clowns. Eli did an amazing job getting the actors to discover their inner clowns, and I played a big part in helping that happen. We worked with about 25 clowns in this fashion: Cambrian would call their name, and Benny would give them a pep talk while he helped them into nose. When they first emerged for the audience, Eli would give them some initial direction while I did a quick read of who they were. In about 45 or 60 seconds, I usually had a good enough idea to start throwing sound at them. 90% of the time, I was pretty dead on with the music or sound I used. Sometimes I'd use music pulled from CDs, sometimes I'd use my mic and voice, and sometimes I'd use the step sequencer that I built. We had an amazing afternoon, and I'm impressed at what Eli was able to pull out of them. Here are some shots of that the session:

An Irish clown:

An Italian clown:

Another Irish Clown:

Two more Italian clowns:

The class:

One of our favorite clowns of the day:

Me working:

After rehearsal, we scoped out the ampifeatro, which is a 1st century amphitheater in town. We'll be performing there next week. The space was smaller than I expected, but the sound gear is better. Phew. Here are the 1st century walls:

And Here is the stage:

Then, we went to lunch, where we more or less cast the show, had some good food, and played Scopa!

After lunch, Eli led Cambria, Benny, Jaymi and I through town...

...and the valley...

...and past an ancient Roman aquaduct...

...to the Academie, where he and Holly are staying. The Academie is an arts school loosely associated with the Festival. It's a 20 minute walk from downtown (here's the Arezzo church as seen from the Academie:

), and it's deep in the heart of Tuscany. Eli napped while the four of us hung out, and then we all caught a ride back with a Festival staffer.

Back in town, Jaymi and I chilled at the B&B with a bottle of wine while waiting for a meet up with Holly & Michael. Michael and Holly thought the meet-up time was different than we did, so we ended up not meeting with them. Instead, we met up with Cambria, Benny, and Eli at the ampifeatro. Along with the Californians, we meet up with the Irish folk, and we all went for dinner at a great Italian (natch) place. I had the tagliolini con tartufo nero, which was basically pasta with black mushrooms. Mmmmm.

Jaymi and I were invited to hang with the Irish students after dinner, so we decided to prove that we weren't stodgy by obliging them. Here's Irish student Fiona at the bar:

We stayed for a beer, but when the Irish students got up to leave the bar, we joined them. All in all, it was a great day, but now there's less than five hours before I have to be up tomorrow morning. Oops.

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