pochinko false face
mask medicine wheel  
by facing ourselves in each of the 6 directions
earth - sky - north - south - east - west
making a mask for the energy rhythms in each
we open awareness of our creative potential

by surrendering to the the song and dance of each mask
and exploring it's "character" in innocence & experience
we give birth to the seventh mask
TRIxxST'R
CLOWN
MISCHIEF MAKER

FOOL

MESSENGER OF
THE GODS
CONTRARY
HEYOKA
IN ALL ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS
THERE EXISTS SUCH A CREATURE
REVERED AND FEARED
FOR HE IS THE MIRROR OF OUR FOIBLES, OUR
OBSESSIONS, STUPIDITY & CRAZINESS

IN THE NATIVE SOCIETIES OF NORTH AMERICA, IF THE
HEYOKA/CLOWN PRIEST FELT THAT THE CHIEF
WAS FULL OF SHIT IS WAS TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE FOR HIM
TO GET UP AND SHIT ON THE CHIEF'S HEAD.  IT WAS HIS
JOB TO TOSS CONVENTION UP IN THE AIR
TO EXPLODE THE ATMOSPHERE OF SERIOSITY THAT SETS
IN - TO KEEP US ON OUR TOES
TO SHOW US A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE, DEATH,
HEALING, TO PERFORM THE MOST
POWERFUL HEALING OF ALL - MAKING US LAUGH

his is that playful energy of innocence
that is with us all the time

first nations of this continent call him coyote
jeeeengis
we begin with
neutral mask
EARTH, AIR, FIRE, WATER,

Mask is an entry key into
the mystery of other realms
in turn, the society
guided by
MASKED performers,
trickster/storyteller/shaman/dancers
celebrates the creator,
fertility, planting crops, marking the seasons.
.

For example the KACHINA and MUDHEADS of the HOPI.
Nion & Neil, Mump & Smoot,
Pochsie, Fender & Mylar, Izzy, Red Bastard,
Sue Morrison, Sara Tilly, Rachelle Elie and Nikki
of the
POCHINKO FALSE FACE SOCIETY.
*******
CLOWN, TRICKSTER, ZANY,
is a figure in all cultures, the intermediary between the 2 worlds,
the speaker of TRUTH.

In the ALGONQUIN  if the
HEYOKA thought the CHIEF was TALKING
SHIT,
the CLOWN would get up and shit on the CHIEF'S HEAD.

They stir things up, defy convention, frighten and amaze us with their
physicality, outlandishness, other worldliness and zany, colorful antics that
make us

LAUGH UNTIL WE CRY.

Summary
of
RICHARD POCHINKO
MASK TECHNIQUE
***
The masks you make are maps of your

INNER BEING
leading to
SELF-REALIZATION

if you are willing to take the

MEDICINE WHEEL
JOURNEY

Facing yourself in the

SEVEN DIRECTIONS

surrendering to the elements
centered
no past or future, no questions, no character,
only observations and statements.  
Not too fast, nor too slow,
like the neutral in your car,
a starting place, ready to receive.  
An empty vessel
removed of the inhibitive traits of the wearer,
the actor.  
An key between the wearer
and the spirit character mask world of play.

To assume
NEUTRAL

we internalize

NECESSITY

only what is necessary to stand, sit, walk, love, be...

with

ECONOMY

of movement, gesture
and express this
necessity, this economy, in a

UNIVERSAL
way

we always clear and prepare for
mask work with

NEUTRAL

- a learning tool for actors -
to help develop emotional honesty, economy of movement,
and to open an inner core that is balanced, centred and focused
while they express powerful, authentic emotions on stage.
Above all, a study of the Neutral Mask is
research into the basics of movement and creation.

When wearing the mask, we attempt to enter a state of openness,
a forward moving, physically engaged curiosity with the world around us.  The mask is a tool
through which we learn
the elements of movement intentionality and technique.
We experience a sense of wholeness and well-being.
We may find ourselves doing unexpected things -
being impelled to obey the choices imposed by the mask,
and finally being taken over by it.

"There are 3 masks:
the one we think we are,
the one we really are,
and the one we have in common.
Neutral mask is the one we really are,
the one that allows us to take off all the other masks.
Neutral is holding the centre -
moving with grace, dignity, power, and direction.
To relax our attention into the present moment is extraordinarily simple, but for most of us, it
demands a lifetime of practice."

Jacques le Coq


"Neutral mask allows those who wear it
to get in touch with their core being,
their most authentic, intuitive self.
The mask encourages a sense of wholeness,
of physical, emotional, and intellectual centredness.
In the mask one lives in the moment,
questioning nothing,
yet empowered to make changes as needed.
It integrates mind and body,
clarifies impulse and allows the wearer to experience
the power and increased presence that come from
absolute self-acceptance.
Energy that formerly would be wasted on self-doubt
and critical comments about a given situation
is now used on problem solving.
Neutral mask allows you to take off all the other masks."
                       
Jan Henderson


"The concept of neutral or zero is needed
to measure time, space, rhythm, force,
and also personality,
for characterization is measured by it's departure from neutral.
It frees the actor to discover
what only exists in himself,
that by cocking a sensitive ear
he could hear in himself movements
he could never have detected any other way."
                                        
Peter Brook


"We shall never cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And to know the place for the first time."

T.S. Eliot
c. nion, 2001