Posted on September 25, 2015 by Haymaker


The Feeling of Loss

1. Through a gesture or phrase of movement, show us your feeling of loss:
—for an object you did not want to lose
—for an argument where you were wrong but wanted to be right
—for time spent doing something you later intensely regretted
2. Put all three gestures or phrases together
3. Pair up, combine your moves
4. Pair up again, combine all the moves
5. Dance

How To — “Coping Guide”

“…still another type of literature on death and dying has recently emerged. This latest literature can perhaps best be described, with no flippancy intended, as of the “how-to-do-it” variety, instructing survivors on the most dignified and rational ways of coping with the deaths of loved ones and of preparing for their own eventual demise.” – p. viii – ix “Death in America”

Performer #1 – Turn to the audience and speak to them like a four year old child. Tell them about their grandmother’s death today, the logistics of what happens to the body (from death site to funeral), and where the essence/soul of ‘grandma’ is now.

Performer #2 – Turn to the audience and speak to them like your neighbor, an acquaintance you have seen from afar, waved occasionally to over the years, and really always meant to have over for a drink or slice of pie. Yesterday you noticed an ambulance. Today, you arrived home at the exact same moment. They’re flagging you down. You wave. You ask how their day was and maybe that you saw the ambulance. They tell you how their spouse had a heart attack and died. Tell them how they’re going to recover, cope, move on – etc.

Performer #3 – Turn to the audience and speak to them as if they’re God. Give her instructions on how to cope with the death of all her creations.

No Blink Game

“that drive for life is so strong that the opposing objective experience cannot maintain itself.” That is, we want to live so badly that we cannot bring ourselves to believe that we will die.”
-p 45 “The American Denial of Death”

1. Two people sit across from each other. It’s a contest. Who can stare longest into the other person’s eyes without blinking wins. Play a few times.
2. A referee is added to the game. The ‘ref’ is a serious gal or fella. They take winning and losing very seriously. Deathly serious as a matter of fact. The ref arranges the two contestants for maximum level of competition and signals for the game to start and end. They say strange things like: “The more serious you are about winning, the better you’ll be.” “Don’t give in” “Don’t lose.” “Don’t give up hope.” “Fight it.” Play a few times.
3. Create Image: Turn the two contestants toward the audience. Dim the lights. The ref also should face the audience, and continue their duties of directing the start and end of the game and as the external motivational force.
4. Create Image: Turn off the lights completely. Light the heads of the performers. The ref – unlit – starts the game again. Audience should see eyes staring into the light without blinking. Struggle is key for the audience to note. Maybe the ref tells us something about struggle or struggling, over and over. Once a person blinks, they should keep their eyes shut and the light on their face/head should go out. Once both contestants are finished, and everyone is in darkness, the ref can start the game again -the lights shining again on the faces – or s/he can finish the game saying -”It’s all over now.”

***See Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” for a similar game***


“I once asked my friends if they’d ever held things that gave them a spooky sense of history. Ancient pots with three-thousand-year-old thumbprints in the clay, said one. Antique keys, another. Clay pipes. Dancing shoes from WWII. Roman coins I found in a field. Old bus tickets in second-hand books. Everyone agreed that what these small things did was strangely intimate; they gave them the sense, as they picked them up and turned them in their fingers, of another person, an unknown person a long time ago, who had held that object in their hands. You don’t know anything about them, but you feel the other person’s there, one friend told me. It’s like all the years between you and them disappear. Like you become them, somehow.” p. 116 – “H is for Hawk”

1. Haymaker brings in a collection of objects.
2. They place the objects around the room.
3. You chose a location from your past where you might find all of these objects. Be specific in your mind’s eye about where you are, when it is, etc.
4. Walk through the location. Develop a pattern, etc. Change your pace, adjust to the weather and the time. Use a flashlight, if you need to.
5. When you happen upon an object: Stop, pick it up, consider it, and then tell us about the “unknown person a long time ago, who had held that object in their hands.”