Me and Liam decided that we would switch roles as director and actor. I am no longer directing the piece, however I have already casted it and I have done the split for the groups in the play. Liam took on that information and hopefully he will carry it on further.
I am now performing the mid section of the play with Sabrina. We practiced speaking it and I actually can see my character coming really quickly since I saw the scene and picked up on how the character would be like.
Mia and Ines completely surprised me with their performance today.I clearly saw them take in a lot of the notes I gave them as a director. You could see the difference between the two groups very clearly. I didn’t particularly think the other group was better or worse it was just different. I really liked it too because they took a much more motherly approach to the mom and a more sad, disappointed approach to Holloway. We took a more aggressive and responsive approach to that relationship.
Here you can see the video of our performance:
Moving on we were given to perform another scene from a script. This time from ‘The Glass Menagerie’. I took on the role of the director with everyone’s agreement because I personally thought I was the most capable of organising the group together, and everyone thought the same.
We planned out and directed some of our Holloway Jones script for Mia, Ines and Sabrina. Ryan was there with me as a director as well but Tom wasn’t in so we kind of just took on all the roles as directors together.
As a director with Ryan I felt like they didn’t appreciate our comments. They felt like we were just interrupting them unnecessarily and they just wanted to get through the script however that’s not the point. The point is to make it better. They also have very minimal idea of how to play the script but that’s okay because we’re there to help them – if they take our advice.
Costume is going to be a difficult one, I think. Because getting prisoner clothing isn’t easy. I want to be directing the voice and interpretation if I’d have to do one thing, but we have decided to share all the roles.
Lynn wanted us to memorise the first few lines of the script we got last time from Twelfth Night. A good tip is to think of what you’re actually saying; for shakespeare especially it means to know what the words mean. Then when searching for your reply to what the other person said, don’t think of what they’re saying as your queue, even though it is. Think of what your character would respond to that and you will start to make sense of what your reply should be like.
Today was another day of reading, but this time we read horror stories. We told the story of ‘Poveglia Island’. There were only two stories to tell (this one and ‘Bloody Mary’) and there were four groups so the groups were competing in two’s to see who read the story better. I learned that altering between people reading more often creates a more likeable story – although I don’t agree because in my opinion it distracts from the story by making it too much about voices.
Our voice is a very powerful tool and saying words in a slightly different way can make the largest change.
A cold reading class was awaiting us again. But this time it was a poem cold reading. I feel like all of us are improving immensely with each cold reading lesson. More and more are we able to look off paper and just do those small little tricks that make the cold reading good.
After a random picking of poems we each had one and studied it for about 10 minutes. I tried to make sure I knew the first line and last two because that’s what made most sense but in the end I wasn’t able to get the last two as I was nervous.
We were paired and then we read and analysed a script from ‘Equus’ for a few minutes. After that we acted out as best as we could from this short while we had to analyse it. Crucial moment that made me realize what I did wrong and will do better next time is the beginning; I missed reading stage directions and didn’t do almost any of them. In the script there are some more dramatic moments which are identified by a phrase that should have the audience react in a certain way at that point. For example when Hesther says “He blinded six horses with a metal spike” it should be a moment of silence afterwards because of the shock. Or when the person’s name is said, “Alan Strang”. It’s a near ending to a scene and name’s being said are usually quite important especially in this context as it leaves us wanting to find out who this person is. It is also important to make a connection with the other person when given a scene in which there is duologue to cold read.
We were given some tips on how to cold read scripts for auditions.
- Scan the text quickly and break it apart on the second read
- Memorise first and last line of the script
- Analyse the character, who he is, where is he, who is he speaking to
- What is the script about?
- What kind of mood does it have and what is the character feeling?
- Where to pause. Silences are a good way to regain focus and buy time
- Hold the paper away form your face
- Eye contact
And if time is available:
- Is an accent necessary?
- Is there a dialect to follow?
- Any necessary physical movements?
There is no sure way to be better at cold reading other than reading a lot and following these tips while developing your own method of making it work.
We performed our movie scripts, for me and Sabrina that was ‘High Fidelity’. We had a dry moment in our performance. I should have known the script better and if she had said something that she doesn’t say at that point I would have either responded something else that is not in the script that my character would say, followed by the line that comes after what she should have said. I entered through one door and left through another during the performance, which is a fault in continuity, I should have worked harder on placing us in the apartment. The feedback included the fact that we are foreign and our accents are not as easily understandable. Especially for reenacting a British movie scene. I have been working hard on my RP accent and I will continue to do so and hopefully have it down to a decent level by January.
From the feedback that we got they said it was much better than the first time we performed it because we just sat and there was no pointless movement. People felt a connection between us this time. I did too, to be honest. I felt like I was the character and was actually wanting to get back together with Sabrina. Even though I didn’t study the character as much as I should have I still felt such a huge connection between me and my character. It is one of the characters I’ve been able to feel the biggest connection with. I could feel what the character was feeling when he was speaking.
Gary said that we shouldn’t have imaginary props. We should either have the props for real or not have them at all, because it is distracting and easily ruins continuity.
After ‘High Fidelity’ rehearsal and presentation. We received some good tips from Gary to improve our scene:
- Know our relationship VERY well.
- Try rehearsing it seated.
- Move with purpose
The first thing we should do is read through the whole play’s script. Then, find out who your character is and his relations to everyone. You should do the questions to ask yourself in order to act, pretty much. When and where is everything located? You must change the way you dress and the way you speak depending on those things. Why is your character important? In other words, what would happen if we removed the character? Who is your audience? If you’re performing to little kids you should know that you are and adapt accordingly. Where and what are your lines? If you don’t know your queues or what you say and when then you have failed everything. How much time do you have to rehearse? This is important because if you know you have more time you can go through individual parts more precisely. All of these are excellent things to consider when a script is given to you and you have to know it.
Getting paired and having to read and perform a script from High Fidelity in minutes time helped to think quickly about scripts, especially after those last few tips. My character is a bit hard to understand on what he is feeling, but then again we only read through it a couple of times and had no time to think about our characters.
We acted out our “Scene with no name” script. Our script was the longest and the hardest, but also the most original. Several tips were presented by Gary for us on our acting. Making eye contact is a big “no”. We should aim to be confident and just do our thing on stage, and not look for approval by making eye contact with lecturers. Be mindful of your ticks, and search to fix them as soon as possible. On our script, Gary and everyone else suggested cutting our script before “it was a prank bro” because we built up all that tension and then just made it into a joke and then tried to raise it up again, so that was weird. If you want to relax on stage, you need to know your lines perfectly. So you need to rehearse and rehearse until you can do other things while saying your lines with ease. Don’t let your hair get in the way of your eyes and eyebrows they’re one of your most important tools for acting, so don’t have your hair cover your eyes. Leave your problems outside of the acting world out. If you’re an actor, you need to fake that everything is alright, you need to fake that you’re happy, or sad, or angry. You need to fake it with realism.
We went through our street performance script about the table, the donkey and the cudgel. We spotted out a lot of difficulties that we would have performance wise in the script, but not only that. We also found parts of the script that were not ideal because the audience would mess things up, thankfully we found a solution for that too. Sometimes you don’t need to rewrite the script, you just need to change the way you’re going to act it out.
Gary had assigned “A scene with no name” to be acted out for next Wednesday but also we had to finish writing the script for it. I did some script writing and story development with Ryan Smith in the library and then in one of the media rooms. I learned that it’s not easy to come up with a coherent plot that is interesting, but it is way fun!