Monday 5th September 2016
Gary’s Lesson (Drama)
Today in Gary’s lesson we spoke about important words as performer you need such as confidence, aspiration and lots more. Each emotion we spoke into depth to know exactly how they can affect a performer. e.g.. aspiration you need to be aspirational to aim higher and achieve more as a performer.
After there was a chair in a spotlight and Gary walked on and produced a little performance conveying various emotions. At first I thought he may be a lost child as he wandered back and forth then I started to notice him looking impatient so I visualised him as older. Then lastly one of the main things in this performance that stuck out for me was he looked at his ring. I then made another new analysis and guessed he may be in a hospital waiting for a wife to give birth. My last guess was possibly a family member is in hospital and it may be a keepsake from that family member. Other students had ideas such as a police station.
For our next task we then looked at the chair and make up its backstory. My chair was a dining chair possible 1960’s standout colours would be shown on the wallpaper. The cushion would be a block colour I was undecided on this and guessed red may be a stable colour for it. I also pictured the wood as slightly as a slightly lighter brown to compliment the lightness of the room. If I had to place a person on the chair I would be very stereotypical and place a housewife on the chair.
After this task we had to get in groups of 2 and worked on a scene around the chair that was in the spotlight. One person was the director (me) the other an actor. Our scene was going to be a pregnant women we made huge backstory such as she was divorced by her husband and she still likes him a lot. She still wears their wedding ring and looks at it to go into though about the event. She has just found out she is pregnant at a doctors but one of the most vital pieces which strikes her is next-door outside the window is a nursery which she notices. We placed the window in a specific spot to place it and discussed other ideas as well which we discarded. for example originally it was going to be a hospital but we figured it would be too compacted there and too busy to show a scene like this. We then got added into another group and now had 2 directors (1 was me) and two actors to play with we was allowed to change the role of the character and got recommended to not make it too complicated. For this task we had a trainee cop and the burglar which was seated. The story was both are young – mid 20s and the trainee cop has recognised the burglar. The burglar notices and tries their best to not to get noticed where as the opposite from the trainee cop is happening he is walking back and forth behind the burglar who is seated. Then to end the scene a simple click and point from the cop is heard. For the final bit of this task we added another actor (Me) I was a regular cop and know my job I simply walk on and gesture my head towards the exit and the click and point is performed by the trainee cop. Lastly a quick note this whole task was done without dialogue.
Our other task was a whole group a ring was placed in the centre of a circle and we all had to look at it then someone would do a movement and we needed to stay focused on the ring and attempt to copy the moves. This felt bizarre but good it made me feel calm and carefree while still being focused. We then done another task similar to this but we had to keep eye contact and one person moves and the other follows. This was slightly harder and was hard to not break and laugh. I’m going to be honest me and my partner laughed once or twice but kept it going and controlled ourselves near the end of this task. this task also got progressively harder as we had to step closer towards each other randomly when the teacher said.
What did I learn?
Todays lesson helped me realise the importance of what a performer needs to be successful and improve. For the focus exercise it helps us practise and keep focused on something. Another thing todays lesson gave us a insight of was how important and interesting making a scene or story out of a object can be. It was also interesting to hear those out there ideas some people had in the group e.g. Abandoned chair and lost of others.
Audition (Madhouse) (Singing/Dance/Acting/Audition)
For the audition we sang ‘Our House’ as a whole group to calm our nerves and let us settle more. I did not find this too hard to sing i believe I may have been able to sing it better. However I do feel i had a nice volume when singing. Lastly for this i would say i angled towards singing bass more as i can have a issue pitching as a tenor and bass was more plentiful and i find a lot easier to pitch. But to counter what I said I may be completely wrong and it could just be me not being confident enough. I feel this song was not too hard to learn however I maybe should have ran through it more to make sure I do myself proud. Then we split into a group of roughly 6 and continued to sing. We later then had to add some simple steps with the song. I think I could have danced it a lot better however I was not disappointed too much with my attempt. Possibly with more time I think my group and I may have been able to create a cleaner and more better quality movements with the song. There was bits where one of two of us (occasionally me) would get cut out of one part when we circled during one bit.
Finally for the audition we performed out scenes. The scene (as pictured above) was Joe sleeping in a car and Sarah notices him , Sarah has good news and Joe is thrilled even more so when he discovers she is now single and unmarried. For this scene I will be honest and say I should have looked at it more however I could not see it on Facebook and could not find it. Eventually a teacher pinned it to our Facebook page and I could print it. Something from this is I definitely need to work on my organisation. As far as the scene I did not have a strong accent which should have been used. I am not too strong at accents and can only perform very few accents. This is another thing I learn’t from today that I will need to work on. The other thing was me and my two partners (I performed the same scene twice with two different partners) we only got paired up 10 minutes before we had to show the scene as we had no partner till then. So we had a short time to sort staging however we mainly just followed roughly what the majority of the class did for the staging of the scene. It was very obvious looking at everyones scene who stood out today with their scene.
Tuesday 6th September 2016
Directed Study (Drama)
Today our task was to watch a video posted to Conservatoires Facebook Page (As linked)(Performing arts college page)
And from this video (As linked above) we need to write what we think we found as valuable information to us our even saying or something very logical which sticked out to us. The people in this video are famous performers.
My notes was one these people:
Zoe Saldana: An actor has the least amount of power out of everyone in a show.the reason for this is directors can change anything. i noted this down as it made me think it is very true as well as lighting can even change if production side of the show wishes to change it. The only one who can’t change much besides their acting would be the actor.
Kristen Scott: Kristen said she feels she is incapable of doing the same acting and is very inconsistent. And she says it is a problem. I noted this down as although I hope and don’t feel I have this problem it is something to keep in mind as a actor and try to avoid changing and keep your acting consistent unless the director says otherwise. Also I figured this may more ok if you wish to aim for Tv acting as its all recorded and then it is set in stone where as theatre performance is typically performed more than once so this may be problem if you are aiming to perform at the theatre. (me personally I want to aim towards theatre acting however I want to keep a open mind and be open for any offers in the world of performing)
Tom Cruise: Tom spoke about you learn different things about life when acting and gives you a good and different protective of a person when acting. I noted this as thinking about it this is very true and a good state of mind to have when acting.
Natalie Portman: In ways you incorporate life into work. I found this interesting and noted it as it is very true to me and if you want a convincing character you try to feel how you would emotion wise then branch your character off of this to make a good character when acting or even any type of performance.
Andrew Garfield: Treat characters as if they were real to create a complex person. He also says it is extremely hard if you do not like your character as you will not have a close connection to them. This was interesting as although its similar to Natalie Portman’s talk he speaks about if you do not like a character it may be harder to connect. I can see where not liking a character can affect your performance. Maybe without realising you may not connect so well emotionally and it may even cause you as a actor to put less effort into creating that character as you are not that keen on them.
Tom Hiddleston: We remake past and present minds in acting. i noted this as it can make a good saying and is something positive to think about when acting even if you are not too keen on the character.
Jesse Eisenburg: he spoke about and made us think by saying things such as did the write think about the characters also are they important? I noted this it is something to always keep in mind also if they are not important why are they not important?
Brie Larson: Only you have your view and there can be different messages each time. This was something that stuck out to me as it is very true that each person has there own interpretation of their characters. And as far as different message this can be applied to a character or even a show as a whole.
Wednesday 7th September 2016
Lynn’s Warm-up (singing/ acting maybe dance ?)
we started the singing in todays warm-up by starting with a couple of simple lines from a song which I named ‘Farseloo’ (I don’t actually the real name) for the two warm-up songs ‘Shine Shine Shine’ (renamed by myself XD) both did not have a particular part we just split into higher and lower parts. Not too strenuous to sing and was a fairly simple warm-up to get our minds and voice into gear.
We then started to do some small drama and dance related warm-ups. such as cat and mouse rotation we had a cat (chaser) and mouse (runner) in a maze like formation (everyone else acting as walls) when the teacher shouted move the wall moved and we rotated ourselves to change the format of the maze. The objective was to keep the wall people focused and the other two to get there legs and somewhat their minds into gear. The next warm-up we did was the ‘Boss Game’ someone got sent out (The worker) and another (The Boss) the boss would sit and expect a excuse which the rest of us would create. The worker would come in and the rest of us would mime typing and then try to mime our excuses to the worker. The boss would turn around and kick people from their business if he noticed we were no longer typing efficiently. This was a great game to practise our mime which is crucial in mime and comedy. Lastly our final warm-up game was ‘Weeping Angels’ essentially a what’s the time Mr.wolf kind of game. This game was very good for staying still when the person would turn around and also helped us to keep focus as well as practise our freeze frames.
Friday 9th September 2016
Watching Year 2 Performances (Singing/Acting)
Today we started by watching year 2 musical theatre students perform. All of them was very good some was last minute prepared but all was of a very good standard. It is strange thinking they was in my shoes last year and I have already spent a whole year with these people. The most surprising student I saw was Daytona Florian I remember she use to be quiet when she sang but sang it nice regardless she now has a strong kick to her voice and was the only musical theatre student we saw today who sang. Speaking to her and being friends with her specially now as she is the student I do the after college warmup/stretch with. She has similar feelings to me it sounds (I also understand me saying she done surpassingly well may be a bit prejudice as I speak to her more but even some students came out saying well done to her) Although overall I was surprised she was the only musical theatre student we saw today to sing she chose the thing she is least comfortable with and done great! Overall however the standard of year 2 is high and I hope I can gather as much experience and improve as much as they all have.
Monday 12th September 2016
48 Hour Media Project (Drama)
Today we had a collapsed timetable. The reason for this was media students have their 48 hour projects and need actors. Our class got chosen out of a hat and put into a group I was one of them. The video needed to have self control in it or represent it.
Then me and my group went and sat somewhere to talk about ideas. One of the most interesting ideas was displacement. We also came up with more ideas such as dance. And the one that we decided to use as a group which was self control over a object. We spoke about what we could do with this idea. We spoke about how it would be good if we could hide the object from the camera till the very end. We then spoke briefly about what it can be we all agreed on a cake. After this another good idea got suggested which was the characters represent of convey a emotion and all of us needs self control over it as well as the urge to eat the cake. Our characters names were us but with a emotion attached Thomas (Anger), Me (Sadness/Scared) and Mia (Neutral/Relaxed). We then spoke about costumes and props needed and even got to have a look at a rough copy of the script. And also spoke about places. First of all we clarified no one drives so that was a hold back on location. We wanted somewhere not too busy but with nice lighting as well. We spoke about the Abbey gardens but decided to keep it in college. We then agreed on the forest path next to the college. Also me and the other actors had a brief read-through of the script Lastly we created a Facebook group to post possible costumes and any problems we have.
We then met with costumes on and waited for the media crew to set up the equipment. Of course having one day was a strain for both the actors and media students. It was hard not to paraphrase luckily multiple shots was taken of the script and certain audio will go over the top of other clips to save time as well as vary the angles of the shots. It was very hard to get it right and be line perfect as it has only been a day. I did not do too bad but I feel I did no where near as good as I could have done if we had a longer time. Regardless overall we worked well together and got material for them to use. They also said they are happy with the footage they got and think they can work with it. It was very jumpy in the script I guess that is how filming works with actors. We traced back a lot and repeated scenes so they could get different angles. At one point we even had one actor on the bench and they would run their lines.
Thoughts On The Video And Producing?
It was a great experience I would definitely do it again however with more time to look at the script. It was the first time I have performed in this circumstances and enjoyed it. Also it was good to have a look at the type of thinking a director needs to make a good video with angles audio and even the casting involved.
The video turned out quite well. As far as my acting my voice in certain clips sound different and I feel it stuck out quite a bit. Some clips did move and jump quickly and it was quite noticeable as my acting was different slightly each time we shot the scenes differently. Next time I am hoping from this experience if i ever need to do this again I will be more prepared and know what to expect from this and improve on for next time.
Tuesday 13th September 2016
Spinning Wheel – Amateur Drama Company (Drama)
Spinning Wheel is a amateur drama company where the cast creates their own show. i joined this today and had my first session I decided to join spinning wheel as I have been told it is a great experience and can help improve you. It is also ran by the cast so that means dates of shows is somewhat down to us so I can still be committed to college and Spinning Wheel.
Today we just focused on idea making and the show is Mid Summer Nights Dream. Having done a musical version last year of this show I know somewhat about what happens and the characters. The main ideas was gender swap roles, circus theme and Bury theme. All three nice ideas I decided to cast my vote towards circus theme and gender swap themes. As gender roles is something we will need to think about as there is only 4 boys and a lot more are in this show. The bury theme i ranked lower on my vote as it sounds a bit bland to me and would be hard to add references to Bury as we are not allowed to tweak the script. As this can mess the shakespeare pentameter around. Although gender swaps may do this swell if we analyse each characters lines I am sure the gender role swaps will work. The circus theme sounds clever it ties in with fairy and fantasy more. It will add colour to the show and make that slight difference that makes the show ours. Overall I was happy with today and already am getting a insight to how Spinning Wheel works. For next week we need to prepare and learn a shakespeare monologue from any shakespeare monologue and mid summers is allowed too. I have decided to keep Lysander’s monologue I used a while back as I need to recap it and it works too being a monologue from the actual show we are preparing.
Below is the Facebook page for Spinning Wheel group which we can use to stay in contact and keep up to date with things. And also the page which is used to help advertise Spinning Wheel.
Friday 16th September 2016
Audition Preparation (Auditioning/Acting/Singing)
For audition preparation we talked about important information you need to think about when looking for information or auditions.
Things such as for now we should not look for auditions that have accents if we are not native to that accent. As it gives us a disadvantage when auditioning as some people would be native and will find it easier to do that monologue than us. Avoid popular monologues and songs as directors will have heard it a lot more. It also means that is shows we have properly searched into things rather than just pick a popular one. Another thing we spoke about was roles we play. Although they said this does not mean we can not play those roles it just means it will be harder and it is best to start with our strengths we have one example being which role suits our looks. My character roles would be younger aged between 15 – 18 as I look younger. Personality wise possibly a young lover or even a geeky character.
One place we got recommended to search for monologues was National Theatre Connections as they are open to people and recognised as proper monologues due to being written by successful people. We also got told be careful when searching for monologues as some could have been written by a school or even american and would not be of much you for some of us. We also got told we can look in the libraries and even but some monologue books online for us. Names we got told to maybe look into for research for good monologues are:
April De Angelio, Joel Horwood, Alice Burn, Gabriel Davis, Jack Thorn, Briony Davory, Nick Deave and Lee Hall.
Harvard Referencing (Research Set Outs)
This was important as it will prevent us from being sued for quoting people’s work online and from books. It also needs to be set out in a specific way like i have noted below. Lastly we got recommended a site which makes it a lot easier to Harvard reference.
Harvard Referencing (Book)
Dahl, R (1975) Danny, the Champion of the World. 1st Ed United States Jonathan Cape
Writer, year, Name of book in italics, edition, where published and who was it published by?
Harvard Referencing (Film)
Into the Woods (2014) Feature Film: Rob Marshall (DVD) UK: Walt Disney Pictures, Lucamar Productions
Name of film in italics, year, what type, directed by, format, where, production company
Harvard Referencing (Website)
Wikipedia (2016) Into The Woods (Film), (Online) available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Into_the_Woods_(film)
(Accessed 16 September 2016)
Name of website in italics, Title of article, year, how you accessed it, Link and when you used the source
What types of genres can I remember?
Horror, fantasy, sci fi, romance, crime, thriller, drama, comics and comedy.
Already looking below there are way more types of books than I listed. I only really specified the common and well known types of books.
What genres are there?
All genres : Science fiction, satire, drama, action and adventure, romance, mystery, horror, self-help, health, guide, travel, children’s, religion, spirituality & new age, science, history, math, Anthology, poetry, encyclopaedias, dictionaries, comics, art, cookbooks, diaries, journals, prayer books, series, trilogy, biographies, autobiographies, fantasy.
Christopher is an English author and journalist. Also something to note is he is known for publishing work to do with medical and scientific work although he has no qualifications in these topics. One example being ‘Climategate to Cancun: The Real Global Warming Disaster Continues…’ (2010)
The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories (2004)
Author: Christopher Booker
Worked on the book for 34 years.
Christopher Booker was influenced by Carl Jung who was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist. This ties into the brief outlook on Christophe’s book as his book was all about putting the reader into the world which can tie with physiological thinking and writing.
The book is set with one person in mind the reader they take a role as the main character and can choose which scenario to play out as they wish. Although the real point of these books are to show that there are only seven real plots in anything. Basically stating any writer uses one or more of these structures as their plots.
I agree with his theory looking at the titles and a brief look at what he thinks each story plot is made up of. It looks to be very true however I’m saddened to actually say this is the case as it almost makes me think down on scripts due to all having a base plot. But at the same time I guess this possibly being true means that better writings stand out more and all have an equal chance to publish something good.
Musical Tie INS?
Sweeney Todd – Rags to Riches
Sweeney originally goes to Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop the pair raise money and establish a well-funded business as a pie shop and barber, Although Sweeney has his eyes set on revenge for a particular someone. Based in London 1846. This time and place is very iconic the place is portrayed as dark. I think it was set it in London because alley ways was tight and all sorts of murders went on here as well as the diseases and poverty that lingered in this area. Also the iconic place of Jack the Ripper was in London. This time I am not 100% sure why they chose this time but it was still in the period where hygiene was low and death was common. The place is populated by Londoners. Mostly poor people and a few rich. Their function is the story is to help create the atmosphere of a typical old London feeling. They also add to the scenery for example the pie shop scene (when it is busy) a lot of people are used to give this scene energy and to show how busy they are no. Before the shop got business people would walk past and barely even notice it all the energy was outside rather than inside the shop.
South Pacific – Comedy? / Rebellion against the One
Again another I was unsure to put in where. However again comedy comes out of the songs and even a lack of something again. This time a lack of knowledge possibly as some people in this let racial stereotypes and rumours get to them. The Rebellion against the One would be for the characters who are about the war and want to fight Japan.
Singing In the Rain – Comedy
They make silent films during it and other things. They remake a film called the Calvier and turn it into a musical as it has bad reviews. The people around the show are townspeople.
West side story – Tragedy
One gang from purtorico another gang in America and loads of gang fights. And it follows a similar love story to Romeo and Juliet. The people around the show are generally townspeople or part of gang.
Girl Crazy – Overcoming the Monster? / The Quest? / Voyage and Return
I found this one hard to put into a basic plot but feel it may fit into either of these two. My reason is the monster could be referred to as his parent or even possibly his New York rival. The quest could be where he sent away and tries to get what he wants which is girls. I think this can link to quest of voyage and return as he is sent away and tries to get what he is after. The problems he has is probably the rival which would act as his obstacle.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – Comedy / the Quest? / Rebellion against One
Set in Paris. The story in short is two best friends who are girls. And both have admirers and both are interested in certain people. Lorelai’s father has also sent a detective on their travel to keep her out of trouble. The comedy comes from some of the musicals and gags in the show. The rebellion would be Lorelai to go against her father’s wishes.
The King and I – Rebellion against One / Rebirth?
Set in Bangkok when Anna Leonowens travels over there to teach kids English. Anna falls in love with children and king and this is the only thing stopping her from leaving as she did not get the house she was told she was going to get. Anna has something that happens which prevents her from wanting to join the king. And leaves to teach another person. King Siam’s children instead. The rebellion against the one would be the slave wanting to elope with their lover. Possibly rebirth due to the fact she had second thought and changed her mind on how she wanted to leave the rest of her life and with who.
Monday 19th September 2016
He has earned most of his money in theatre. He also went to Rada after attempting multiple auditions. He also said a little bit about tips and what to expect from theatre work. One thing he said it is more often you won’t get and work than you do. Hope a agent takes you on. After we spoke more into type casting and used Blood Brothers as a example.
For the type casting activity we went into groups and got given a profile of people who are signed up to a website which shares information about yourself to attempt and get directors and etc. to pick you out from the information. The information generally has your playing age, accents, singing range, weight and height. As well as all the notable performances you have done. We then discussed whether or not their profile in our groups was bad or good. Our one was a women we discussed and decided her pictures did not show too much range in what she can be cast for. Only two pictures looked noticeably different. On the profiles it also has any random skills you have e.g. sewing and swordsman skills. After we spoke about a few examples of casting we could put the profiles from the people into going by their looks and details provided. Then for the final thought we got asked what would we get type cast as and why?
Answering this question myself I would say that my playing age is slightly younger than most due to my shortness and younger looking face 15 – 18? As a typical type cast for personality it would either be a possible young naïve lover or even a vulnerable person. Maybe even type cast myself as a nerd maybe?
From this workshop with Tim is has shown me in more depth of the things you need to keep in mind when going for roles and also to been mention little skills you have even if you think they are not too note worthy. He said he will also post the website soon (If not at a late of date I may look into the website) It seems very useful to sign up too and opened my eyes to another way or getting jobs in the theatre industry. For example on mu profile I would have never thought my personal skills such as typing and some basic sign language skills would be relevant but now I know even small things can give you a leap in the industry.
Danny is a playwright and has written numerous plays two being shown in London. One thing which she said was it is 90% Perspiration 10% Inspiration. She works with upcoming writers at Rada and works there to teach them. Also she said it is hard work and that you need to make time for it. Her other top tip is always finish it and that she very rarely does not finish a piece she has written. Another tip she gave to us all if we ever wanted to write or even as actor was always develop a character as much as you can. This is when more ideas and the personality of the character starts to come through. The four words who? where? when? why?. We then asked some questions about being a playwright. One question was do you always use your own experiences in your stories? Her answer was sometimes you do other times you exadurate your views. And also mentioned some people are confused how someone can get into the mind of a killer her response was everyone feels anger and sometimes you do get extreme emotions which can resemble these things. She also mentioned that when starting out she accepted all bits of work as a playwright and never refused any work. However later on she started to show her preference and now only accepts work she is happy to do. A couple more things she said was sometimes things take longer than you think. One saying she also mentioned if you know what you can’t do then celebrate what you can do. Last note was that she was actually a dyslexic playwright and also works with other dyslexic people too.
This was very nice it gave me more of a insight on just what playwrights do. And most importantly just how important character development actually is. Also although a lot of these things are more aimed at writers some things can be helpful for actors too.
She first started theatre work in Yorkshire College. Before this she worked for under 5s after looking for jobs. During her interview they asked if she played piano and she replied yes and got the job. She later went to the Royal Theatre to watch a friends show and got offered work to book a outreach things. She then accepted and grew as a performer from there. After Lynn then spoke about getting funding from the Arts council and just how hard and difficult they can be.
This helped give me a insight of just how being at the right place at the right time can affect a performers career. It also gave me a insight into how hard getting funding can be. Also if I ever wanted funding to put on a show I would first have to have a set amount of money before they would give any funds to someone.
Tuesday 20th September 2016
Today we focused on our research for presentations. Each group got designated with something different ours was Perfect Pitch. Although before we went off to do our research we had a discussion about what we do and don’t do with presentations. This was quite obvious information for most so was more so just to remind us what we should and should not do.
Notes which I made from my research are:
Made in 2006, It was a non profit organisation aimed at new writers and actors to create a show which was licenced to amateur and professional theatre groups. Its main aim was to get lesser known names out there in the world. They are supported by Arts Council England. They also created new British musicals. Work in collaboration with venues, writers, producers and creative in the UK. workshops and reading for this company are also available. They have productions all over the world including London’s West End, New York, Korea, Japan, Belgium, Mexico, California and India.
Address: 5a Irving Street, London WC2H 7AT
Paul achieved a Music degree. He then done charity work and during a gig met Ruthy Henchall. The two then became friends and decided to do a show tour together. He then went on to speak about a cruise entertainment and benefits of that. He explained it can be a good way to have a stable job for a few days and also means while waiting you can enjoy a cruise as well as visit other places around the world. He also said generally the shows are old and typical as that’s what people like when going on a cruise ship tour. However a couple of big shows have had successful cruise ship tours. Paul then set us a task to create a show in 50 minutes with a brief insight of what it is about. It needed to be a musical and have a particular amount of dancers, actors and singers involved in the production.
Our idea was relationships as this is a very free topic in musicals and performance. We then noted some songs and musicals with relationships as a theme. We noted: Mamma Mia (Gimme Gimme), Chicago (Funny Hubby), Lion King (Can You Feel The Love), The Sound Of Music (If I Had A Wiked Childhood) and Grease )(Your The One That I Want).
We then discussed the idea and how these songs can create a story line and fit well. Opening: Mamma Mia (Gimme A Man After Midnight) Into: Chicago (Funny Hubby) Into: Grease (Blue Moon) Into: (Favourite Things) Into: Lion King (Can You Feel The Love) Into: Grease (Your The One That I Want).
I feel our grouped worked extremely well our idea of story went as a pun vs. the song lyrics or title. The storyline was people who transform into animals after the ‘Blue Moon’/ ‘Gimme A Man After Midnight’ Pun there <<. ‘Favourite Things’ as the animal people contemplate on their favourite things of both their lives they live. ‘Can You Feel The Love’ as they start to realise how being a animal keeps you away from humans dramas and how being a animal is better. ‘Your The One That I Want’ Being everyone falling in love while in their animal forms and living their life’s as animals rather than humans. I personally like this idea not sure if it would be successful due to its weirdness but I feel as a basic idea it may actually work and could possibly have loads of thought between animal and human life which could be compared during the show. The aim would be to show the struggles of both sides of animal life as well as human life.
Overall this was a great experience to try and a make a show in our groups and give us all a idea of what creators of shows think and how their mind-set works. For example a lot of groups had came up with ideas that means the performance relies heavily on how the audience involves them selves and interacts with the show. Basically where the audience gets to pick what happened or the ending. This type of thing can be a issue as the audience may not involve themselves as much as the actors would want them too. It can also mean there is a slight improvising to the show if they followed this idea in the show. However this is not to say it has not been successful as ‘Show Stoppers’ has a been successful and follow a theme given by the audience and play from this idea.
Wednesday 21st September 2016
Today we got told about Erica’s life and how she got where she is today. She originally started by getting asked to join the improve factory although she did not really want to do this in the end she decided to take part. In the end she was surprised with her skill and actually found out she has a talent for improvising and later got more offers from people after she got her name out more in the improvising industry.
We then spoke about what the differences between improvising and stand up. The main differences with the two is improvising you do not rehearse as such and have no script. Compared to stand up where you rehearse and learn a script although little streaks of improvising. After we spoke about with material you use for jokes you need to make sure it is original and not copied from other’s as people can sue you. to find out generally you need to search online for the content and see if it has been used. After this we then spoke about the ration between men and women comedians. And looked at top paying comedians it was amazing the difference between how many women was on the top paying list. Only a couple of women was on the list and men’s pay was quite a bit higher. We also got told that only 29.8% are women on mock the week. 23/80. We then discussed some main reasons and debates people came up with was that women talk a lot about periods and etc. and how this can make men uncomfortable. As a group another thing was that men are generally more known for being silly where females are not. Another discussion was that women are generally sexualised by men so this can put down the comedy routine down as people may focus else where.
Was this helpful? This gave me an insight on just how hard it can be for female comedians and why. It also made me aware of that we need to check material a lot if we want to be comedians we need to check our material.
National Theatre Videos
As a class we watched a national theatre video on lifts. First they started with trust building exercises such as falling into a partners arms and things like that. They also attempted to create exercises where people would support one person as they attempt to create the illusion of the person walking on the wall. They also spoke about how if the actor or dancer believes it so do the audience and it will help make it feel like the lifting people disappear. One nice saying they said in this video was each movement tells a story.
We then looked into other people’s career such as Rufus Norris who studied drama then got into a company as he could build things later on he got invited to come and direct a show. He then applied to the Royal Theatre.
Thursday 22nd September 2016
Freelance + Job Ideas
Today we spoke about what freelance is. Freelance is when you are your own boss and search for work for yourself. You can also get agents to work for you to help find and suggest work for you. Although agents can take between 12 1/2 – 15% of your income from the work you do (Sometimes more or less). With freelance you only get paid when you get work somewhere.
After this we then spoke about jobs which are best suited for performers. Good jobs can be:
Flyers, café waiter, busking, children’s parties, story telling, delivery, shofar, taxi driver, private parties, admin, I.C.T work, agency work, lorry driver, outdoor tours, sales rep, Avon, van/caravan hire, lodgers, modelling, teaching assistant, baby sitting, dog walking, musician, casual tech, box office, security, bar work, litter picker and cleaner.
One thing that these jobs and other jobs a performer needs to aim for is that all these jobs can be dropped and picked up relatively easier compared to other jobs such as jobs with set times such as retail jobs.
This was a very helpful lesson as it helped give me ideas about future jobs and the best type of jobs to get in the performance industry. As well as a insight on agents this was helpful as I feel personally I may need a agent to get work as I am not well known by many people due to be late to the performance industry. Also as my organisation can become a clutter at times.
This lesson we looked into voice actors and spoke about how accents can influence what a audience feels when listening to certain accents and voices. One random thing we learnt from today was when voice acting most of the time the voices are recorded first so the animations fit better. We also looked at voice reels which is a small video of someone showing animations, films or game voice overs. We looked at Amy Pemberton’s and Richard Riding’s voice reel. Finally we went in small groups and made out own advert using our voices. The way we done this was we decided what we want to do and created stereotypical voices. Our advert voiceover we created was made by us and was sponsoring a toothpaste. We had a lot of voices in our group and I was p[lease by what we made. My voice was the patient he was very exaggerated when he said he was in pain and always sounds surprised when I spoke it.
Information On Gemski
Basically a workshop essentially we got asked multiple question as well as asking her questions about her career. Gemski is a performer and later tonight we will be watching her show ‘Joan Babs and Sheila Too’. First we got a question why?. My answer was its fun, interesting and one of the few jobs where you are always improving and can never reach the top as such as well as always giving you bigger ambitions.
After she then asked what are the golden rules? she listed down the rules and we spoke briefly about why each on was important.
- Must be for love
- Live it believe it (No half measure)
- Unique Selling Points
- Create bullet points if you wish to present to arts council and try to get funding
- 1% make it big
- About what you give up
- Working on one thing isn’t enough
- Don’t give up rewards are just around the corner
- Always improving and have ambitions
- Keep contacts (work your network)
- Believe in yourself
- What? why? where? who?
We then talked about a show she had created which was inspired by Auschwitz. The show was all about feeling and involvement in the play. One thing was they had a tablet to do with raising your cholesterol and it would cause you too sweat. They also removed all accessory’s from the audience. Also they had the audience provide basic medical details due to the nature of the show and tablets involved. However they did not forget about them and made the lesser capable people still have a large involvement. For example one the capable group would be blind folded and driven to a field where as the others caught a taxi to the destination. This was a very strange show and had lots of things like this.
After we spoke about general things a show needs and rough costs. such as budgets, accommodation, travel, venue booking, sets, props, costumes, staff pay, marketing, rehearsal stage, director and hire costs. Gemski also told us that we have a 20% VAT (Value added tax) on most things in shops and online. This was more of a general fact to know but still something new I didn’t really think about before.
She also spoke about why she personally does theatre she said her normal audience would be between 10 – 25 people. And she wanted to educate about Joel Littlewood who is inspirational although she has never been taught to schools and other places. And she said that she is in theatre to send out a message.
She then spoke about how you can raise money towards getting your budget. The ideas are:
- Street Acting
- Cake Sales
- Mates Rates
+ Grants from the arts council
+ Crowd funding
+ Internet Sponsors
`+ Run a bar
This helped give me a bigger and better idea of how to raise money for funding for shows.
Joan, Babs and Sheila Too (Show)
This show was all about Joan Littlewood and her life as a performer. She was a women who was not always liked but still got well known in her industry and more importantly was successful. The show had lots of facts which was shown on a scenery board however occasionally it went a bit fast and you could not read it. It was a solo performance and only had one line where someone came on to deliver a letter (Although that hardly counts as a role) The show was quite different to what I was use to. Gemski would ask us as audience some question while holding character. She even at one point had a slight question and answer based on the show during the show!. Also she played three characters Joan, Babs and Sheila. Joan was the main focus throughout and it showed her growing up and how she coped with her life. Babs was kind of a more silly character and more of a cabaret centred character. Being cheeky with remarks such as ‘Are you looking at my bum!’ also doing saucy dances and at one point even performing a small tap dance. Sheila was rarely seen but was more reserved and mysterious and seemed to appear posh. Joan was a playful but lonely person most of her life and even referred to chickens as her friends tag one point in her life. This also lead to her more stubborn ways as she grew up. Lastly another interesting part in the show was we needed to visualise objects as characters and another part we had puppets performing. Both very interesting although the visualising of the objects as characters was very hard to keep up with. In short that part was about relationships and going back and forth and cheating. The puppets was more about Joan’s love life.
Overall it had a lot in the show and was very interesting at parts was hard to keep up with. But taught me a lot about Joan’s life and I feel she should be taught in places of education as she had a interesting life swell as being successful and actually contributing her performances and affecting acting history itself due to her carrerr. My favourite thing was it was not just straight acting she came out of the stage and into the audience to add interaction to the audience and keep us interested. One thing I did not like was the staging was simple (Although this can be a positive too as she still used the stage very well regardless of the lack of stage) the speed was random at certain points and hard to keep up with. Overall it was a great show and I learn’t a fair bit about Joan and had a great time watching the show.
Friday 23rd September 2016
First she studied classical musicals at Conservative for 4 years. She then left with little to no information about the performing industry and its career choices. She got a job in residence at a private school. As she could sing and also play the piano. She later taught in a performing.arts school. She also done private singing lessons. She later then got a choir and decided to perform Bugsey Malone and later decided to perform musicals in her choir and that was when it really started to pick up. She also worked with people in prison and people with disabilities and even put on concerts with them, although challenging she said she enjoyed this. Also when looking for work she had no agent and used Facebook as lookout for auditions and jobs by adding performer and following companies and attended their auditions. At one point she set up a summer school for performers which she said was successful.
She lives in London. Runs numerous choirs one which is very successful as she decided to approach things differently and know she a massive choir which has grown considerably. She is a musical director and also can play the piano. She is a actor musician we had a slight discussion about what this is and in short it is a performer who can also play instruments. She said she liked to keep busy and will not allow her self to fail. She also organises cabaret groups together. She writes musicals as well. Also her main subject in performance is actually Jazz before she studied classical a lot of her life. She then spoke about cabaret personas which is basically your own personal cabaret character which you can create and develop. Her characters was Fred and she liked to tell stories through song. And also sometimes Fred would sing while playing the piano.
Birgitta spoke more into cabaret performances. Such as cabaret sometimes characters can break out and in cabaret it involves the audience a lot. She said she likes to perform as she feels it can impact peoples lives and make a difference. Another thing she said cabaret is what you make it. Also in cabaret drag personas are quite common male or female wise. She said there is numerous places cabaret is commonly performed such as jazz bars or pubs. On this topic she 5-6 Pubs actually have stages to perform. She also questioned us about Burlesque performances and what they are. I had heard of them but was not too sure what they are. It is essentially a strip tease (hotness) show. Also 4th wall is sometimes in cabaret performances. She also said her worse experience in performance was when men was yelling thing like get your tits out etc. So she actually got the whole audience to join in and split it into a song. Very bizarre but clever it actually shows improvising skills can really help when you get the a lesser involved or crude audience.
From this I learn’t a lot about a different performance genre. It was extremely helpful as I have never actually known a cabaret performer and it was interesting to learn about this particular genre of performance. The main things which was useful information to me was about the personas and that you create your own characters and up to some point cabaret requires slight improvising skills. Also I now know about jazz bars and even some pubs in London have stages specially for jazz or cabaret. I also learn’t properly what Burlesque actually is now. Would I perform cabaret? I most probably would if I could improve on my improvising skills first. Some reasons would be incidentally i actually have already sang two songs and learn’t two songs of the wrong gender of course I knew the pieces were not aimed towards men but I still looked around and sang the equivalent without even knowing that cabaret allows this type of permanence. Of course I would not feel safe to perform this type of performance right now (maybe as a lesson I definitely would) as I feel I need to watch and see cabaret performances first as they are very different to other types of shows.
Presenting Our Topics
So now we have researched and actually created a powerpoint through out the week. We was split into groups and today we presented out finding to the whole group. Our groups topic was Perfect Pitch we created a powerpoint and presented it. Also before we created out powerpoint we made notes which was:
Perfect Pitch – Non profit organisation. Created in 2006. Supported by the Arts Council England. Dedicated to creating new British musicals. Workshops and reading are available for the company. Pitch Perfect allows anyone to use their material amateur and professionals to use their material and lets them use it. They have productions all over the world including: London’s West End, New York, Korea, Japan, Belgium, Mexico, California and india.
5a Irving Street, London
So what we did as a group is we all looked into research and Me and a few others created basic PowerPoint slides. And from these we wrote prompt cards form our notes with a number order to know roughly what to say. It went very smoothly we only had one picture however and no videos. Maybe we could have added more to add to the visual presentation side of things. However we said all the basic and interesting information about the show and I think our group covered our topic very well.
Lastly we watched the other peoples presentations on their topics and I made some very brief notes about them:
Group 1: The Edinburgh Fringe Festival – This festival has a range of performances which covers dance, comedy and more. The basics of this festival is they put on performances in The Edinburgh Festival.
Group 2: My Group ~ Perfect Pitch
Group 3: Actor Musicianship – This was aimed at performers who want to either learn or do play instruments as well as perform other skills such as acting, singing and dancing.
Group 4: Rumba Dance Company – Self explanatory but it is a dance show company which also is part of other dance companies.
Group 5: Pulse Festival Ipswich – It is a theatre is Wolsey has been going on for 16 years. And has numerous collaborations with other companies.
Something all these presentations had was they are all still going on now and for some of these any of us can apply or watch these festivals or shows.
Monday 26th September 2016
Today we looked into the shows we researched for Paul’s musical analysis work. We then got asked to go into pairs and later present our shows as a brief in pairs about the show. We needed to present the show as if it was a pitch for a brand new show we needed to know the basic plot and what happens as well as keep it interesting and accurate. Me and my pair decided to do a show I researched I had two to decide from either South Pacific or Girl Crazy. We decided to pick South Pacific as there is more to say about the show and as a brief synopsis to a audience will sound much more interesting. Simply in the lesson we just wrote note and I tried to explain the show to my partner who did not know the show. We watched one pair show their pitch it was very good Gary simply said and with this said the other person would continue on from the other about the show synopsis. Although I did not know the show a great deal and struggled to keep up with it the bits I did hear and listen too sounded very interesting. Looking into how interesting it was they both sounded like they knew what the show was about and sounded very enthusiatic about their chosen show.
Continuing on my notes I simplified the plot greatly into:
Two people love each other however one is a widow and she eventually finds out he is a widow and has two mixed race children. She then has second thought due to rumours and false things said about other races. Meanwhile another couple has issues as the man has second thoughts due to his parents thoughts on other raced people. Eventually both decide it does not matter and the first couple grows to become a strong family and the second ends up in a relationship with her. One last thing during all this a war in Japan is breaking out which can link to the whole race and not accepting as races generally ties in with war at times.
After we got asked what of the 7 plots does our story fit into and why. (Although written in my word analysis in the 7 plot assignment) South Pacific – Rebirth (Due to thinking about racial issues) and The Quest (Due to the ongoing war and what they desire)
My other show Girl Crazy – Journey? (He gets sent else where) Rebirth (After he realises there is more to life than pleasures and sets hisses on one girl) lastly Comedy (As it is rarely serious and a lot of the songs are funny)
Scene With No Name
We got given a script and had to analyse all the possible ways to play it and also how we can change the meaning of it. Either with our acting, accents or even who says what line. Our test was to make it realistic acting and try not to go for the obvious choices. We got put into pairs first and then read it in numerous ways and discussed possible ideas for the way we could perform the script.
Ideas: 14/16 Year old Children ~typical , Flirting/relationship ~typical, Murder sequence (Bad news) ~uncommon , Gay relationship ~typical , Funny ~typical, Sad ~typical, Surprised ~uncommon, neutral ~typical, Angry ~typical and Schizophrenic ~different.
After reading through a few times we changed who said what line and added a few lines on the end to make sense of our scene. We first looked through the script and what lines we can change to make the scene appear Schizophrenic. Our idea was one person and the other a voice or imagination. It seemed like a very out of the box idea and we decided out would be a good idea. We also looked though the script and annotated particular parts we want to read our in a certain emotion. e.g.. ‘I am not playing!’ shows anger/stress and it said to show what the character wants or to show authority.
We then all presented our pieces. Our one went ok our comments was it was very clever and definitely different to the rest. Some got what the scene was others referred to it as a possible rape scene due to the creepiness of the imaginary person and the stress of the person experiencing it. Overall it went well although our lines got a bit muddled this got commented on although it still worked. We did have it written up although the lines got a bit muddled when we actually performed it. Overall it went very well. As for staging of it Me (Schizophrenic Person) stood centre stage looking towards the audience the whole time not moving. and my partner (The Illusion) would wander behind me but never had eye contact with me. He would grab me from behind at points lean on me and wander form left to right of me. This was to show I was not wanting to acknowledge him at all.
Notes on other peoples performance:
Group 1: Accents? , Comedy, Italian? It was a Spanish inspector and a murderer. Although the comedy came out of the forced Spanish accent and made the whole scene seem comedic. After the teacher got them to strip it back and made them drop the accents and slapstick comedy in the scene and it was a lot more enjoyable, real and overall better.
Group 2: Friends leaving (relationship) The teacher then asked them to redo it with more sadness and less drama as it resembled something out of a soap rather than typical life.
Group 3: Pregnancy? Nope it was about money, workers and drinking. A dramatic piece had a varied speed to it as one person sped the tempo up in comparison to other actor which slowed the tempo down. With this piece I wrote maybe make the audience work harder. As the teacher said the actors said what they was doing rather than let us pick up and interpret the piece.
Group 4: Tense? friends possible relationship. It was basically two girls and one wanted to ask the other out and got rejected. The teacher asked them to redo it and asked for it more quiet as it was a school environment and they would not want to be heard in a realistic scenario.
Group 5: Me*
Group 6: Quiet vs. loud? best friends? good pause.
Group 7: Dying. A talk about a friend dying. The teacher asked them to redo it and ad more eye contact to make the scenario more realistic.
Tuesday 27th September 2016
Spinning Wheel (Drama)
Last week we had done auditions I performed Puck’s monologue from the final scene, Midsummer Nights Dream. I felt it was plain however at least I had learn’t one. This week we have got given roles I got Snout and Snug. Both mechanicals and very fun roles. Not too major either meaning I can focus more on my college work. Having seen these characters last year I am familiar with one way they can be performed and roughly what their lines are. For the rest of the day we read through and cut the script down and looked at how the cuts of double casting to one person affects the script and edited it as a group. We also had a few gender swap roles as the lack of men in the company.
Friday 30th September 2016
Today we had audition preparation the basic point of these sessions is for students to share or get ideas on what to work on for their auditions. To start off we looked at 2nd year students folders full of their shows and auditions pieces. Looking at their folders they all had numerous pieces and had all sorts of evidence included as well such as programs and pictures as evidence. All of them were organised some even were organised in date order. It also included music sheets and monologues they have worked on in class or as a audition piece.
After we looked at shakespeare. We talked about the pentameter and how it can change meanings. Notes I took: I don’t like butter (Italics are emphasis) Emphasis on I shows that they what that person to know they are talking about themselves. We then spoke and looked at what is the subject in sentences? for example The boy kicks the dog . boy is the subject and kicks is the verb. Lastly we got recommended a website which translates shakespeare language if you struggle which is: ‘No fear no shakespeare’ I personally do not mind shakespeare but if I need help I may look into the website and see if it can help me.