So yesterday in rehearsal we were instructed to line up in lines of rotating pairs and first trade observations about each other (you are wearing a hat, you are wearing a scarf), then trade honest compliments (I like your eyes. I enjoy your laugh), and then on the third round, we were to tell each other we loved each other (I love you. I love you).

This was a instructive exercise on so many levels. It's easy to connect on neutral observational levels. It's not even that hard to come up with something nice to say about someone, even if you don't know them well. It is harder though to offer and express the I Love You without "acting". I suppose in some cases, there was acting involved. Can you honestly express love to someone you actually don't know at all? What if you don't actually like them?

Or, if you do know them a little bit what sense of love can you find in yourself to tell them about. Perhaps its a maternal feeling, or one of best friends, or that you "love" performing with them, or maybe if you don't know them well, a sense of general love of humanity.

What the fuck is love anyway?

We weren't asked to offer the phrase in an actory kind of way, nor were we expected to deliver the words in terms of erotic/romantic attraction.

Just...I love you. It's both quite easy and terribly hard, as least for me. And it was hard for others, too. I guess one reason I found it challenging was that I didn't want to just deliver the words in a faked out way, acting as if I was seriously delivering a statement of honest love towards someone, but doing it without really loving them. I found myself wanting to love (in some way) each person I spoke to. I wanted to tell them something honestly.

There were several levels of intimacy boundaries to negotiate at any given time (stereotypically and heteronormatively speaking.....male to male expressions of love are often hard, female to female usually pretty easy, male to female carry with them a particular frisson that can get confusing). And then I wondered, when I received the phrase back, how was it delivered, did they actually love me? How? Was it simply the words? What if they didn't love me? Did I love them back? Really?

Shouldn't we all talk about this?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! ;)

(and then the cynical voice of doubt and doom...Jules, this is just a fucking acting exercise. No one loves anyone in the room. Chill the fuck out.)

So much opportunity for risk and mis-communication from just three little words. Which I presume was part of the point of the exercise. Not only to stand and look into each others eyes and just rest there for a second, without goofing it up or making fun of the awkward, but to say those very emotionally charged words in such a way that the words weren't really what was important, just the meaning behind them.

Or...maybe not even that. Who knows. I do know that it feels good to be loved. It feels good to love back. And I like saying the words and hearing them. And I liked seeing everyone, even for a short time, love each other.


  1. That sounds awesome. Which rehearsal was this? Who brought the exercise?

  2. It was apocalypse and Brandon brought it. I think it is connected back to Meisner technique. It was awesome.

  3. I absolutely LOVE the exercises you guys do in rehearsal. "I love you." How fantastic is that?!

    I love you, Julie!


Post a Comment