Waiting for the Ink to Dry

A series of journals describing the day in the life of Kelley Bright, an aspiring actress, director, writer and all around artist. Hiding and, more often, displaying unbecoming emotions at the most poignant times is my specialty. This should be interesting...

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Alright, I don’t want to forget my process- so I wrote it down.

Okay. So the new adaptation project thing was interesting. Poetry is stupid. I think it is a bunch of messed up people making up a form of writing with no rules, stupid free spirits... Anyway, the point is we had to pick a poem from a list and adapt it. At first, I was like golden, we can do it. And then I saw the selection. I only understood three of the 8 poems or whatever (I am sure, if I took the time with the others… but who has time anymore). So that pretty much narrowed down the scope for me. I only related to two of them. It became a 50/50 chance for success.

So I had the whole first page to work with: Chartless, the Psalm, and Old Poem. I began reading each one, emphasizing different words because I am a dialogue girl. When that was beginning to produce fruit, I began to walk around reading each of them. This became interesting.

For the Old Poem, I felt like I needed to be in heels. It seemed to me to be a very feminine poem, maybe because it is about love. So as I read, I did a lot of womanly mannerisms. The poem, at least what I got- it’s all subjective- is about being suffocated by too much “love.” It was about getting love in all the wrong places, and being so far away from anything that resembles love that she could never taste it. This theme, along with the womanly gestures gave me the idea of a prostitute, selling “love,” and having or getting so much, but never being able to really love. It could really work for an adaptation; at least, I thought it could.

The excerpt from the Bible was interesting. I have heard it so many times that I just kind of write it off. When I walked with this poem, I basically did what it said, “you lead me,” “walk through the...,” and “lie down in green pastures.” I just wasn’t feeling it. To be honest, I just thought about the stuff I could do with it, the workable possibilities. The process was lacking. I came up with a kid waking up from a nightmare, getting up, obviously distraught, and then going back to bed, finally finding peace. I don’t know. I struggled with this whole project.

Finally the poem I used, Chartless. I was surprised that I liked this poem because most of Emily Dickinson’s stuff is morbid/death oriented. I just don’t dig that stuff. I read it, and automatically got it. To me the poem said, “I am Kelley. I can’t do math. I am no good at sports, save tennis. I can’t dance. I can’t look at a spider without crying. But God loves me, and its all okay.” It also reminded me of a few lines from a Christian Rap song by DC Talk. It says something like I may not be able to see God but I know he is there. It’s like the wind; I can’t see the wind but I can feel the effects of it. I think the second thought was more poignant that the first. When I read it, I was in my garage. My mom’s car was there, so I didn’t really have a lot of work space. There were piles to my left and right. When I read it out loud and walked around, it took a long time. It felt like I was going through a maze. I took the ideas from my reading, and then the movements and meshed them together, which is how I got the finished product. I took the idea of life’s obstacles (not being able to do math), the idea of being loved by God, and then the line from the poem about being able to find heaven with a map and did it. The heart was symbolic of God (you know God=love). I walked through a maze of obstacles, and I knew exactly where I was going to find God/love. I don’t think I need to connect anymore dots.

The feed back I got was good. I was surprised it turned out as well as it did because I was expecting to be doing this in the auditorium. There was less to work with, and more people than I anticipated. I liked the way the piece didn’t make sense until the very end for some people. I think the ah-ha moment did something. What I hoped to get across was that I wasn’t being a character. I wanted it to be me because religion is personal, and God is personal. It worked better than I had anticipated.

The thing I can’t seem to wrap my brain around is the conflicting feedback between Weber and Sean. One said, everything but the beginning was sincere, the other said the exact opposite. I think I struggle with what sincere is. I think one used it as a believable character, and the other used it as a reflection of my movements- being careless rather that purposeful. I wasn’t trying to be a character, so I don’t know how to take Weber’s comment. I think it might be that I didn’t take a long enough moment before to start. I could be wrong. I could have been acting as someone else. It is hard to be natural with everyone watching. If I assume that sincere was meant in regard to my movements, I need to change something. I need it to be purposeful, as if I know where I am going. I just… don’t know what to do about that note or if I should do anything at all. And if I do need to change that, then how because I thought I was doing that anyway.

I am glad I choose the one I did. It was very me in the end. And it was fun. It was a fun process (for this one, not the others). It was also a super fun adaptation. That whole where is she going, where is the heart, she is smiling, come take a journey with me thing made it fun for me and I hope the audience.

It was interesting to see the direction that Nick took. We did the same poem and our adaptations were so similar but so opposite. They both had similar themes. I thought it may have been because I am so religious. I would like to know why his was so serious and mine wasn’t.

Anyway, now I won’t forget.


Blogger Nick said...

Hahaha! Hi!!!
OMG. So I'm going over our old bogs from senior year. We (Trifecta) were all so pretentious!!! I love it.
I never explained to you my performance piece. If I remember correctly mine was about God as well. At least that's what I was feeling. What I was communicating was more of finding that secure place in life in general. I was in a deserted area. Vast. Empty. I looked out, saw nothing. I looked up, empty sky. I looked down, dirt. Wait, a flower. Kneel down. Pick it up. Smell it. Beautiful. Look up at the sky again. Close eyes. See heaven.
That was kind of my thought.
I wonder if you'll ever see that I commented on it.
I loved your performance btw.

5:55 PM  

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