Sunday, 18 November 2007

Student-led Discussion of the theme 'Fear'

Fear discussion
Facilitator: Ella. Note-taker: Emma. Time-keeper: Georg

What have we found out about fear?

Various people had two different definitions for fear, and we found that they were actually all relatively interchangeable.

· Chloe’s two categories were: 1. Social – watching something disturbing/upsetting/moral
2. Primal – fear for yourself and your Safety

· George’s categories were: 1. Rational, such as a fear of death
2. Irrational, such as Vaseline

· Emily’s categories were: 1. Psychological, such as phobias
2. Chemical, anxiety and adrenaline – fight or Flight

Gemma said that fears start in childhood, yet we pay to go and be scared as adults. We want to be scared – it is a morbid fascination, yet we are intrigued by out fears.

Should we be afraid during the performance?

· There is a difference between involving and relating experiences within a theatrical circumstance. It is important not to cross the line into getting too personal.

· Other related questions were brought up, such as do you run because you are scared or are you scared because you run? And there are also physical reactions to fear, such as hairs sticking on end.

· There are various different types of fear that have been experienced by us as a group over the weeks, such as fear of our ideas being rejected, trying to be original, and not accepting ideas, and people were keen to bring these experiences and feelings into the process. It was also pointed out yet again that Improbable are scared and are willing to be scared within their process.

· Chloe brought up the fact that occasionally this can go wrong – such as if you are being asked to think of the pain of a loved one. What we don't want is for the audience or any of us to be traumatised by the experience.

We decided that we didn't want the audience to be complacent, yet we didn't want them to just be shown something, we wanted to give them the actual mental notion of fear. The painting ‘The Nightmare’ (pictured below) was brought into the conversation as well as a possible stimulus for the piece. Artaud was mentioned – and the idea of purging the audience of all emotion – Catharsis, as another possible starting point.

Ailee was saying how actors by definition face more fear by they day than most people – going on stage and being in such a weakened state in front of people is very scary, yet we do it anyway. We are already incredibly brave, and so putting actors into a scary situation could be an extreme.
Posted by Emma Fielding

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