[U8]: Task 4 – Evaluation of Presentations

A lot of ideas I thought were good enough to put effort in and to perform but a lot of them, as well, had little development done to them and were kind of just a suggestion of a type of dance. I think that’s a bit boring. Some topics and ideas that people suggested weren’t very clear and so they didn’t interest me as much. Ideas that were simple and clean or that were well worded and researched were the ones that worked out the best.

Ideas that work

I have 5 ideas that stood out to me the most, ideas that I thought that could really work and that were well thought out, in no particular order:

Brayden Weibel-Seckley – ‘Self’ by Marc Quinn

NPG 6863; Marc Quinn ('Self') by Marc Quinn

Because this sculpture is made out of blood he thought about things he could present that were blood related. His outcome was the song ‘La Vie Boheme’ from Rent. Because aids is a blood related disease and Rent speaks about that, this song is what he thought would be something great to perform as a Musical Theatre group. I think this is a great idea because as he said The Great Gatsby performance they did before was amazing and this is something similar but different, I expect them to also be singing the song instead of just dancing like they did for The Great Gatsby.

Justin Glenister – ‘Jazz Man’

Unfortunately Justin’s idea was a bit poorly presented because he doesn’t mention the artist’s name and the painting is impossible to find online. The idea itself is a very interesting one however, because the painting of ‘Jazz Man’ does really remind you of the song ‘Uptown Funk’ by Bruno Mars. Sounds like something difficult to perform for just the actors as he mentioned, which is why I don’t agree much with it being just the actors but if it is it will be so much fun as I think the actors all get along like a family – the whole of Conservatoire East does as well but we’re just always together really so we have a connection. The difficulty of performing it is a part of this idea though. It would make for a fast paced energised piece that has a lot going on, if a lot of work goes into it then a lot could happen with it.

Mia Hoy – ‘The Little Mermaid’ by Edward Dulac

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I didn’t expect an idea about ‘The Little Mermaid’ to be so good because I’m not much of a Disney fan. However, the fact that whenever it is played on stage they miss out the part where she feels extreme pain when walking fascinates me. Playing that as she meets the prince is a very good characterising and acting opportunity. It’s the opportunity to act out a truthful and dramatic appearance of ‘The Little Mermaid’ as she finally walks on land.

Dylan Brown – ‘American Gothic’ by Grant Wood

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I personally love this painting as I think it’s hilarious. I’m glad he presented this painting as one of his, as well as the idea that came with it. It’s quite simple but it would be very funny. The two people in the painting would be getting their portrait done and they’d be happy at the start and end up grumpy because the painter is taking so long. The conversation between them is what would make it hilarious, writing the script for it is the most important part of this piece. I would love to write it but as I wasn’t suggested for anything in it then I don’t think I will. This is a piece that has tremendous potential if there is a good writer.

Emily Scott – ‘Decalcomania’ by Rene Magritte

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This idea was suggested specifically for Dylan because he is the kind of person who does slapstick comedy. A man who would pretend to have an argument with himself and actually begin a fist fight. So, Fight Club if Brad Pitt wasn’t in the movie and it was actually a spoof. It would be funny and it would be great if it was Dylan performing it. Surely other people could have a go at it, I know I could but i doubt it would be as funny as Dylan because that’s just his thing. In the end I love this idea because it seems like something really interesting to watch for the audience.

Ideas that don’t work

Here’s a few ideas that I particularly thought wouldn’t work. Not because they were bad or uninteresting but I just thought they couldn’t work. However there were also a few ideas that I thought were uninteresting.

Abbie Cameron-Laker – ‘Treachery of Images’ by Rene Magritte

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The only reason I’m saying anything against this idea is because I didn’t really understand it at all after so much time of explaining it. She somehow moved on to completely different things from the painting of the pipe because this pipe painting is what inspired those other things.

Lauren Dunning – ‘Whistler’s Mother’ by James McNeill

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From what I gathered from this idea is that there would be 6 people performing it in pairs at 3 different age gaps. First I have no clue how we would represent 3 different age groups when all of us are the same age which ruins the whole plot of this idea. I do realise that without knowing the play ‘The Woman in Black’ I wouldn’t understand this idea but still, she could have shown a clip so that we knew more or less what it was.

Lauren Hobbs – ‘The Plays of William Shakespeare’ by Sir John Gilbert

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In this idea what she proposes to do is to combine 5 different Shakespeare monologues into one scene but have them frozen in the background. How is that one scene? It would basically just be as if it’s five different performances of different Shakespeare monologues. If they would interact in some way then yes it wouldn’t be a bad idea but having those monologues be delivered one by one sounds too boring.

William Rice – ‘Mona Lisa’ by Leonardo Da Vinci

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It was a short and to the point presentation of the Improvisation idea. I do understand it but the painting really had nothing to do with the improvisation idea to play the game ‘Scenes from a hat’. I’m quite sure most people didn’t understand how it would work either. I did because the actors had discussed how it would work on a previous lesson if anyone wanted to put it forward.

Some dance suggestions

It might be because I’m not a dancer and have minimal idea of how one would go about creating a dance piece but from an actor’s perspective some of the dance suggestions were a bit poor in terms of plot. For example Jess Weston’s suggestion of Pete Rumney’s ‘Red Umbrella’ was extremely vague.

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She only said recreate this as a dance in that position with the umbrella. Sure, it could be interesting to have a dance with an umbrella but what’s the story behind that? There are different variations of the painting but why choose the one that you did and what basic plot would it have? That would have been helpful to recreate the image of a story you’re trying to tell through dance. Similar things apply to some other dance suggestions. A good example of dance that was suggested and well explained was the one suggested by Crystal and Sophia from the painting ‘Plague Hospital’ by Francisco Goya.

My self-evaluation

I do realise that my presentation was not the best in terms of presenting to an audience professionally after re-watching it. There were major flaws like turning my back to the audience and speaking away from them as well as looking into the screen a bit too much instead of the audience. It was a funny presentation instead of a professional one, which can arguably be good or bad depending on who you’re presenting to. The goal of this presentation was to get my ideas through and to explain them as best as I can so that the audience and tutors have interest in those ideas. I don’t know if they did but I do know that by standing out, your ideas get more fixed into other people’s brains because they laughed at it.

‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo Da Vinci

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A piece that includes acting and a song as an original suggestion, you could even call it a mini-musical.

Being my first idea ever it had developed quite a bit and what I wanted to do with it was extremely funny for some and possibly offensive to others. Involving fourteen people in a single piece I thought was a great idea, that would mean that half of the people in year 1 would be participating in this piece. The possible characters would be: Jesus, the twelve disciples and a waiter. They would be having a meal at restaurant and after a few laughs and drinking Jesus would start singing the song that I showed during my presentation. I wasn’t able to specify that well that the possibly offensive term could be replaced by ‘leader’. The idea of Jesus and the twelve disciples rapping about this song was funny enough on its own but once they were done with the song a waiter would come to get the payment for the food ordered. I did not write the comedic script for this as I didn’t want to waste time developing that much on an idea that might not even be chosen but I had the punchline in mind which would have been a joke about how all of them are sitting at one side of the table.

I didn’t present it as well as I wanted to because I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been but also due to nerves and laughter and other distractions I forgot to mention a few things and I couldn’t speak as fluently because of that too. I still got the gist of the ideas across, they just weren’t as well worded as I would have liked them to be.

For future presentations I will probably make a flashcard from which I can remember which points I want to make in which order. I usually resist flashcards because I think they make you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about well enough and you need guidance but I think I’m willing to sacrifice that to be able to say everything I had planned to say.

‘Night Lights’ and ‘Water Dancing’ by Rob Gonsalves

Straight off I was already off rail here because of the previous presentation, meaning I was distracted and missed out on telling the names of the paintings and the artist’s name. I did get asked for who painted those paintings at the end of the presentation though. Well, the idea here was pretty much to reenact a scene from ‘The Foreigner’ by Larry Shue. It would start about halfway through scene 1 in act 2 I think and end before scene 2 even begins – yet, it would still take around 16 minutes. There would be six people performing in this piece and I suggested myself as the main role, which is funny because I actually am a foreigner but I do think that I am one of the most castable people for that role. I had also cast the people for all the other roles not expecting either of us to be selected to do the performance if this piece was selected; I was hoping. In my opinion this idea was also better than my other one, maybe just because I could see this being performed with the people I selected.

Not taking the time to present this idea calmly I don’t think I captured everyone’s attention on how amazing it would be to see this being performed by us. I do still think people liked this idea, even more than my first one, like me.

In the future I know that I need to find the balance between funny and professional because I know that being me I can’t not make a not funny presentation because that’s how I capture people’s attention. I just need to find the balance and the right moments. I should aim to not make the presentation a joke but to make a joke during the presentation.

Final words

As always I forgot to mention a lot of things because of nerves and pressure. The laughing didn’t help, it distracted me from explaining the ideas that well. I was also trying not to take too long because I know that there’s over 30 people presenting and if all of us take a long time this day would never end. By trying to be quick and trying to overcome the laughter I forgot my scheme, my running order of things. In the end I presented the gist of the ideas I wanted to which is what matters, I just wish I had explained it to a better standard.

The feedback I got from the tutors was a slightly negative, not towards the ideas but towards the presentation because I was too comical, and I agree. Well, they also weren’t too keen towards my first idea due to the offensive word which I wish I had specified slightly more that it would have been replaced with ‘leader’.

Having all of these presentations in mind I’m sure that whatever we get chosen to be part of will be as interesting to perform in as it was before. People adapt, even if they don’t like the people they’re with at first or the idea. We are forced by ourselves to become better friends and we start liking the idea. Without even noticing we’re friends with the person who we disliked two weeks ago; working on a piece that we didn’t think should have even been considered for performing and contributing towards making it greater.

 

 

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