Milikin Student Blog Post: "Down to Go Up"

Milikin University Students

Milikin University Students

This January, Kari taught an intensive two week residency at Milikin University. Kari has taught there several years and has developed a strong relationship with many of the amazing young artists she has had the pleasure of working with. We are happy to know they can continue to work all year with the brilliant Denise Myers, a professor at Milikin, who is a Level III Certifying Margolis Method Professor. This year, the students put together a blog as a tool to track their thoughts and growth as individuals as well as a group. Over the next few months, we'll be cross posting their writing here. The sharing of thoughts, ideas, and personal processing can truly help training sink in, and these students have set a phenomenal example of how to approach one's personal growth.

Thank you for the contributions:
Alex Blair
Lexi DeSollar
Brandon Januska
Darius Lee
Kirby Lorig
Denise Myers
Katie Szajkovics

Marielle Tepe


Up until this past week, I had been exposed to the idea of dividing the actor’s energy in two directions, and I could physically see on another actor how it created a better scene, but I had not yet made the connection as to WHY it made for better theatre.

This week, especially during the workout portions of the workshop, the “why” began to unfurl for me.

In our workouts, if the objective was to lift our leg off of the ground, we would not simply fling it up into the air. We would push down on our navels so that our leg would naturally have no choice but to rise. This plays with the concept of voluntary and involuntary acting beats. Pushing down on my belly button was the voluntary action that involuntarily sent my leg up into the air.

This same concept can be applied to scenes in theatre. Sure, it is interesting to watch an actor fall to the ground, but that is not theatre. In order for there to be a moment of theatre, there needs to be vulnerability in the actor. That vulnerability is expressed in the resistance the actor has to falling to the ground.

“I want to stay up, but the weight of gravity is too strong, and I fall to the ground.”

The actor’s deep need to stay up and gravity’s extensive strength that denies this for the actor is what creates a moment of theatre.

Up to go down.
Down to go up.
Forward to go back.
Back to go forward.

Needless to say, this is easier said than done, but I am already making new connections to this concept that I can steal and utilize when it comes to presenting a monologue the next time that opportunity comes to me, and I cannot wait to give it a whirl.
— Kirby Lorig, Student at Milikin University