Kash teaches TWO TABLES
THOUGHTS, IDEAS, QUESTIONS, PROCESS, LESSONS,
KASH teaches TWO TABLES
KASHYAP SRIDHAR – Week 6
KASH teaches TWO TABLES
One of the games I enjoyed and found very interesting and fun to experience is a directing focus game from Shawn called TWO TABLES. In this game we have a restaurant scene where we have one person as the waiter. This person is important in the scene as they are mainly responsible for the story the audience will hear. Audience gets to hear two different stories from the two tables of customers.
Game Objective: The objective for the director/waiter in the scene is to direct the audience’s attention to the stories being told between the two pairs. The waiter gets to be a fly on the wall and listens to the stories and lets the audience in on the stories that they want the audience to hear.The objective of the “customers” is to be aware of who has the focus and give up control when necessary.
Rule: The rule in the game is that the audience gets to hear the story only when the waiter approaches their table. The waiter can talk but has to keep it brief. Waiter can freely move between tables anytime.
· Have 1 waiter who will direct the stories in the scene which the audience will get to hear. Have the waiter go about and set up the scene in a restaurant. When ready, have the two pairs come in at any time or in any order.
· When the waiter approaches customers they speak louder. When the waiter walks away, the customers fade out and move in slower motion.
· When the waiter is not near the table, the characters on the scene should mime their interaction but can keep the story moving forward. It is still very important to pay attention to the other story being heard when you mime your story.
· Have the waiter pay close attention to the type of characters and the story being discussed.
· As the waiter, make them move between the tables by varying the frequency so the audience can hear different parts of their stories. This is important to keep the pace of the stories and to keep the audience engaged by altering their attention between stories.
· When the story is being told, the waiter should not draw too much attention to themselves. Make smaller movements so it’s not distracting to the audience.
· The waiter is like a conductor of the stories being told on the scene. They can stand in the middle and let the audience listen to both stories or one. They can leave the stage and we hear neither but can watch them physically engage in their stories.
Exception/Variation to the rule: waiter can stand between the tables and audience hears both stories. Interaction can happen between the characters in the two tables and the two stories can merge or not. Characters in the two scenes can come in and leave any time they want.
Why is it important?
I find this game interesting because it challenges the players on different levels. In addition to telling stories, it also makes you think from the perspectives of a director of a scene, the audience’s perspectives to understand what they really like and want to see more of. The game becomes fun and interesting to watch when the waiter pays close attention to the stories being told, and frequently switches between the stories. This will keep the audience’s attention engaged.
Application in storytelling: This is a great exercise for playing around with directing the audience’s attention, having different perspective levels and presence. Having a detached presence as a director helps in having the audience’s perspective and not get too drawn into a story. It helps in having a big-picture view of everything that is happening. It helps with being fully present and with listening skills. Also helps practice miming and object work.
Note: The waiter needs to be fully aware of everything happening in the scene, not just the story being told. The waiter can switch to another table, if the two characters in the other table decide to make a big change or interaction. If the change is compelling the waiter has to switch to the other table, because the audience;s attention will be drawn to it and they will want to know what happened.