Posted on November 21, 2015 by Haymaker
NOVEMBER 21, 2015 – AMERICA FOREVER REHEARSAL
Last rehearsal for “Phase 2″ — thank you all!
Two topics: Posing and Cryonics
Please design the pose you’d want to be in for your memorial service. It can include clothes and objects, but whatever it is, it should be a dramatic demonstration of your essence in a single pose. Are you a fan of something? Is there an activity that defines you, or that you wish defined you? Go as far over the top with it as the people in those stories do – bring in the personal signifiers that will make this pose instantly recognizable as an exaggerated version of you. This should be the last way you want people to remember you!
Using text from Robert Ettinger’s short stories and book (The Prospect of Immortality), please create a serial radio play, advertisements for Frigidaire coffins, and a Terry Gross-like interview. Text will be provided at rehearsal.
Posted on November 16, 2015 by Haymaker
NOVEMBER 17, 2015 – AMERICA FOREVER REHEARSAL
Create a new scene called: Earnestly listen for the voices we can’t hear.
Please read the scene below. It’s from the first draft of our script; an improv on the idea of mediums (a third-party or element through which a message is communicated). Using more improv, silliness, and a bit of faux-pretension, we’ll create a new scene using this older version as a launching point.
Ideas / Images to think about:
-Rules of a séance
-If there are multiple planes of existence, what are the differences in geography, senses, time?
-If you could hear/see/smell something other people couldn’t, what would it be? Or who would it be?
-What would be the point of the communication? Would a young woman be in jeopardy? Would the ghost of her murdered lover try and save her with your (reluctant) help?
-Is there a Heaven?
Talking to the dead through recordings
A loud peal of birdsong. Two brightly-dressed women standing side-by-side. To the side, a sound man with headphones and a recorder.
A: I’m hearing an M. Does anyone have a departed M in their life? Yes? Do you have a question for the departed?
The person has a question.
B: Speak to us, M. Playback, please, Rocky.
B: I didn’t quite catch that. Could you play that again?
The two interpreters look at each other in understanding.
A: It’s amazing to me, Martha, that so many people are afraid of the end. And they think it’s going to be a black place and a dark place. And what we’re hearing tonight, folks, is that it’s not. It’s crystalline. Fluffy pillows.
B: Ferns. It’s lovely. I want to go there myself someday.
A: Me too.
B: She’s saying that not everybody makes it, though.
A: It’s not often that those who speak from beyond have anger. They rarely pass the door. But M has a lot of things she needs to say. Go ahead.
A: Well, first of all she wants to say that she hates tulips and…hide…
B: Wow, some sadness in that anger! She is overcome.
A: Do you want me to take this?
B: I’ll feel it, if you would speak it.
A: She had an invention, and like so many women inventors, her invention was co-opted by men.
B: Now, is there anyone else there with her?n
A: Another voice has come into the room. A male voice.
A: I believe he was referring to this person over here in the corner. He may be someone that you were close to when you were younger.
A: This gentleman figure says that he has some sort of picture hanging in your bedroom?
B: I’m hearing “paneling, paneling, paneling.” Is there paneling in the room?
A: You know, sometimes with spirits that are very old or who haven’t come into contact with mediums of our professional caliber, their ability to speak deteriorates and they can’t form sentences. So that’s why we’re getting one- or two-word answers.
B: Is there something specific about the paneling you want us to know?
B: When you go home, take a soft cloth and wipe in a circular motion – not clockwise but counterclockwise – four times, and something will be revealed to you. He’s not very clear what.
A: Could you say more, sir?
B: A very soft cloth.
B: Oh! Oh! The original designs for M’s invention are behind that paneling!
A: She’s saying that she doesn’t want fame, she just wants you to know. She wants to make the family proud of her.
B: They must go now. Thank you, spirits from beyond, for sharing your stories with us today. We honor your presence in this space.
Posted on November 11, 2015 by Haymaker
NOVEMBER 10, 2015 – AMERICA FOREVER REHEARSAL
Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic, sometime between hours 27 and 32
-Think about your inner monologue of “If” statements when you’re lost…do they fall under these categories? Navigation, Reassurance, Messages of importance unattainable in ordinary life
The idea for fixing his sister-in-law’s heart valve
The Desert – dreaming of conquering Death like he conquered the Atlantic…”If I can fly, I can live forever.”
Words/Images to think on…
-OBSESSIVE / AMORAL — Think Ahab and his Whale, Humbert and his girl, Marlowe and his river
Posted on November 2, 2015 by Haymaker
NOVEMBER 3, 2015 – AMERICA FOREVER REHEARSAL
Build scenes based on episodes from the life of Charles Lindbergh, who was the first person to fly non-stop across the Atlantic and who later invented the first heart/lung machine.
Lindbergh is shooting across an enormous ocean in a tiny vibrating box alone as he hallucinates immortal beings to cheer him on. He lands in a field full of 150,000 people who carry him on their shoulders for hours. His sister-in-laws heart is failing, and when he visits a biomedical lab, he realizes that fixing the heart is like building an engine again. He lies in the desert, stares up into vastness of the universe and decides to cure death.
“When I am staring at the instruments, during an unearthly age of time, both conscious and asleep, the fuselage behind me becomes filled with ghostly presences — vaguely outlined forms, transparent, moving, riding weightless with me in the plane. I feel no surprise at their coming. There’s no suddenness to their appearance. Without turning my head, I see them as clearly as though in my normal field of vision. There’s no limit to my sight — my skull is one great eye, seeing everywhere at once.
These phantoms speak with human voices — friendly, vapor-like shapes, without substance, able to vanish or appear at will, to pass in and out through the walls of the fuselage as though no walls were there. Now, many are crowded behind me. Now, only a few remain. First one and then another presses forward to my shoulder to speak above the engines noise, and then draws back among the group behind. At times, voices come out of the air in self, clear yet far way, traveling through distances that can’t be measured by the scale of miles; familiar voices, conversing and advising on my flight, discussing problems of my navigation, reassuring me, giving me messages of importance unattainable in ordinary life. The spirits have no rigid bodies, yet they remain human in outline form — emanations from the experience of ages, inhabitants of a universe closed to mortal men.
I realize that values are changing both within and without my mind. For 25 years it’s been surrounded by solid walls of bone, not perceiving the limitless expanse, the immortal existence that lies outside. Is this death? Am I crossing the bridge which one sees only in last, departing moments? Am I already beyond the point from which I can bring my vision back to earth and men? Death no longer seems the final end it used to be, but rather the entrance to a new and free existence which includes all space, all time.”
- Charles Lindbergh, The Spirit of St. Louis
An Arizona group that believes they can generate physical immortality.
From one of their workshops:
“This human race has to have a quantum leap. A wake-up in the body. Immortality is that quantum leap. I personally feel it’s the next giant step for human kind. You can call it stupid. You can call it funny. You can call it crazy. Every human advancement, there’s been somebody who’s called it crazy. But you know what? I’ve got it in my gut tonight.
I’d rather go for an element of life than just settle in and accept death and go quietly into the night, just be passive, just accept the status quo. I’m tired of the wear and tear on bodies. I’m tired of the sickness, aching and pain in this world. I’m ready for a big change in my body. I’m ready for a passion to flow out of our bodies that swallows up the chemistry of death. That’s something to get excited about! You can jump up with me tonight! It’s ok to jump up and down!
There’s a lot of people that say they’re immortal, but they don’t live being physically immortal. They’ll get an idea of an afterlife or a heaven, but that’s only in their mind. In the body is an innate desire to live forever, so we create an afterlife, we create all kinds of things to make death more palatable, more acceptable. But I can’t make it more acceptable in my own body! There’s a cry that groans out! Let’s wipe out the tyranny of death!
People go through life collecting a few items, putting them in their garage, having garage sales, or just giving it all away and getting new things. And then after all the collecting, there’s death. It doesn’t feel right to me. And anybody who tells you it’s right, I think they’re full of shit. It isn’t right that the older we get, the worse we get; we should be getting better all the time!
It isn’t the years that’s killing us – it’s the stress! It’s all the baggage we’re carrying through life! Get rid of the baggage, and and watch how thriving your body can be!
Thank you for being the body you are! Feel your body tonight. This isn’t spiritual, this isn’t religious – this is physical.
A body in movement cannot die!”
From a person taking one of their workshops:
“I feel! I don’t know what I feel. It’s something. I’ve never been through, my body is making the choice, my body is talking to me, my body is saying so many things! And my mind is fighting it, I know it’s hard for me to accept it. Right now, I don’t know anything! I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about, but please say something to me and make it easier for me!”
Posted on October 30, 2015 by Haymaker
OCTOBER 31, 2015 – AMERICA FOREVER REHEARSAL
Balloon Breath: this is your fucking gift. – Develop routine
Fountain of Youth — Develop recursion within the scene
Recursion – looping back, recurring, in infinite regressions.
Linguistic recursion – defined as the capacity to embed sentences in other sentences. For many linguists, notably Noam Chomsky, this form of recursion is fundamental to language; it’s recursion that permits extension without limitation and makes language a system characterized by “discrete infinity.” Chomsky theorizes that unlimited extension of a language such as English is possible using the recursive device of embedding phrases within sentences. Thus, a chatty person may say, “Dorothy, who met the wicked Witch of the West in Munchkin Land where her wicked Witch sister was killed, liquidated her with a pail of water.” Clearly, two simple sentences—”Dorothy met the Wicked Witch of the West in Munchkin Land” and “Her sister was killed in Munchkin Land”—can be embedded in a third sentence, “Dorothy liquidated her with a pail of water,” to obtain a very verbose sentence.
Looking for the Fountain of Youth: A tourist is lost in St. Augustine, Florida (character B). A native of St. Augustine (character A) begins the scene.
A: You looking for the fountain of youth?
B: Yes – how did you know?
A: You looked like you were looking for the fountain of youth.
B: Can you tell me where it is?
A: It’s got these big gates.
B: But can you tell me where it is?
A: Can I use your phone to make a call?
B: If you tell me what I want to know.
A: Gimme your phone and I’ll tell you what you want to hear.
S/he hands the phone.
A: I love the fountain! It’s excitement! It’s money! It’s life! Don’t write that down.
s/he dials a number, shielding the phone from her.
A: Don’t write down that number.
The phone rings. Someone picks up. A cough is heard on the other end. s/he coughs back. A conversation, as if in a secret code of coughs. s/he hangs up.
A: You wanna know what I really think? I’ll tell you. Don’t touch that water. It’ll give you disease.
B: Could I please –
A: Hey, can I get some dollars? You give me five or ten dollars, and I’ll tell you things that’ll make the angels come down in light.
B: I don’t have five dollars –
A: Do you believe in God –
B: Give me back my phone –
A: It’s right here!
s/he hands it back.
B: I have to go.
s/he sits down on a bench.
A: I’ll tell you what you want to know. I’ll tell you what no one else is going to tell you. About the fountain of youth.
B: What might that be?
A: I can’t tell you over there.
B: What might that be?
A: Either you want the story or you don’t.
B: What can you tell me about the fountain of youth?
A: People are listening – I cannot tell you that far away.
B: Who’s listening?
B: Who’s people?
Pats the seat next to him.
A: Don’t you want the story?
B: I do, but –
A: OK, come sit right here.
B: What do you have to tell me?
A: You ready?
A: You gonna write this down?
A: OK: Everything I told you was a lie. I was lying.
B: If you sit on that stump over there, and I sit on this bench over here, will you tell me something true about the fountain?
A: Yes, but you have to ask me questions.
A: Now that’s how you interview! Where are you from?
B: I’m asking the questions. Where are you from?
A: St. Augustine, Florida.
B: You’ve lived here all your life?
A: I’ve never lived anywhere but St. Augustine, Florida.
B: How old?
A: I’d rather not say… I did go swimming in the fountain of youth once.
He gets up and starts to move closer.
B: I ask the questions, yes? And you sit on the stump?
A: No, I’m gonna sit here on the bench with you, cause I feel like someone’s gonna walk between us and…
B: Nope, nope, nope…
She crosses and sits on the stump while he’s on the bench.
A: So how long are you in town?
B: I’m asking the questions, yes?
A: What brought you all the way here?
B: I came here to ask questions of the locals!
A: You never even asked me my name!
B: What’s your name?
A: Um…it’s um…Jake…um…Billingsley.
B: Jake … can you show me where the fountain is?
A: Yes I can. Let’s go.
B: Can I call someone else to come with us?
B: Can you tell me where it is?
A: Do you want the story, or don’t you?
Posted on October 24, 2015 by Haymaker
OCTOBER 25, 2015 – AMERICA FOREVER REHEARSAL
***Friendly reminder: rehearsal is in the basement of The Regulator***
Balloon Breath: this is your fucking gift.
Fridge Coffin Infomercial
Make an infomercial for refrigerators replacing coffins (see Jill Lepore’s “The Mansion of Happiness” below)
Emily Webb (from “Our Town”) // Lost and Found // Connectome
Jill Lepore’s “The Mansion of Happiness” – p. 175-176
From a short story – “The Penultimate Trump” – by the father of cryonics, Robert Ettinger.
The plot concerns H.D. Haworth, who is ninety-two years old and survives only because his doctors have cobbled him together. “They gave him gland extracts, they gave him vitamins, they gave him blood transfusions. They gave him false teeth, eye-glasses and arch-supports. The cut out his varicose veins, his appendix, one of his kidneys.” Haworth, pursing immortality with the same ruthlessness with which he had pursued an ill-gotten fortune, pays a brilliant young scientist to put him “to sleep in a nice refridgerator until people really know something about the body.” … Haworth makes his arrangements in secret, sure that if anyone were to find out what he was doing,” everyone would demand a Frigidaire instead of a coffin.”
Michigan is also where freezers came from. The first refrigerator for home use was sold in 1918. It was invented in Detroit; refrigeration was an offshoot of the automobile industry. By 1923, the year after the Ettingers moved to Detroit, a company named Frigidaire, owned by General Motors and based in Detroit, began selling refrigerators in cabinets for home use. A chemist hired by General Motors developed Freon-12. In the 1930s, General Foods launched Birds Eye frozen foods, By 1944, more than 85 percent of American homes had refrigerators, but freezers were scarce. During the war, they couldn’t be had for love or money; their sale was banned for the duration. When the war ended, Americans had babies and built suburbs and bought appliances, including two hundred thousand freezers in 1946, and twice that many the next year.