Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

So I lied...looks like this one is just as the as the previous one. Oh well, I'll sleep when I'm done.

I think I officially don't like having six classes plus an auditioning talkback in one day.

The morning was odd because we ended up doing our "warm up" with the group that's doing Twelfth Night. None of them had ever done Andrew's weird standing thing before, so they were pretty freaked out. I really felt more centered today; when I act sometimes, I rock back and forth on my heels or sway from side to side. Andrew's warm up had rid of that because it forces your body to relax and puts the pressure in the right places. I felt really special this morning because Andrew looked over to me and said, "Well done, Tiffany! You're posture is brilliant today. Most people have their breakthroughs with this after a few days; I guess somebody came to work today. Great job." I just about died. To hear a well known actor and director compliment me on something I had been having troubles with for a while made me feel really good. I couldn't stop smiling for a good five minutes. After warm ups, we delved straight into sonnets and did a similar exercise with them as we did with our Romeo and Juliet scenes. We partnered up and went through a sonnets slowly, then we switched partners and did them in our own words. Then my favorite part: Sonnets Anonymous.
It's exactly what it sounds like.
We all sit in a circle of chairs and one by one, in no particular order, stand up and "do" our sonnets. I say "do" because Andrew's not very keen on reciting sonnets; their pieces of literature like anything else and should be treated as so, so we "do" them (he's also not too very on "perform" brings on a weird connotation). It was so great, because everyone in my group is so good! Something about sitting with thirteen other actors who are my age and knowing that we all support each other and want the best for each other is gold. After each sonnet, Andrew would say something encouraging and sweet, then the room would fall silent until the next person stood up. He said I was lovely :)

After Sonnets was Dance with Darren. I remember mentioning yesterday that we were going to learn a court dancing duet today...well, that's exactly what we did! Well, first we actually danced around foolishly for a bit, mostly because Darren wanted to for himself so we all just sort of joined in. Then, we actually got into the dance. The dancing is relatively simple: single step, single step, double step (actually three steps, but done in double time), single step, double step, then repeat. We all got bored, so Darren taught us a drunken peasant dance. His words. ;)

Then we ventured onto Physical Performance with Katya. We did some Alexander work, which is really useful for balance, concentration, and feeling grounded. I did a lot of this at Governor's School last summer, but we learned how to do the exercise solo (instead of with a partner like we usually do). It's all about think "heavier, longer" as Katya put in. For example, you're laying on your back. You lift one leg slightly off the ground and think "heavier, longer, heavier, longer". Soon, your leg will actually feel slightly heavier then when you first lifted it off the floor and even longer. Then you lower your leg and do the same with your other three limbs. After you've done this, you roll over on your side in fetal position and get on your knees to slowly stand up. When you start walking, you literally feel like you're walking on air and everything feels lighter, relaxed, and "set" correctly. You don't have to try to set your shoulders back because they already are. You don't have to worry about any tension because there isn't any. It's fascinating how powerful the mind is that something like this actually works. I love it!

After lunch, we went to Stage Fighting with Phillip, the man who scares the daylights out of me. We worked on contact fighting techniques: hair pulling and strangling. What's really great about stage fighting is that you can even scare yourself by how realistic these things can get without someone actually getting hurt. You fling yourself around and scream and gasp for air and you feel like others watching are holding their breath in anticipation to see whether you're OK or not in the aftermath (It's great when those people are your actual classmates!). 

Today I had two new classes called Word Play and Shakespeare's Words. 

Word Play was awesome! We talked about what makes up a word and how different consonants and vowels make you feel certain things; m's and n's are more sad; ooh's and ah's are sounds of people with passion or in love; b's, k's, sh's and t's are striking and come with a lot of emotion (go figure--look at swear words). We staged fights where the only thing you were allowed to use as words were consonant and vowel sounds. Then we played a game of zip, zap, boing. OK, quick rules: you stand in a circle; zip passes to someone next to you, zap passes to someone across the circle, and boing sends "it" in the opposite direction. Instead of using zip, zap, and boing, we used Shakespearean insults; each person made up their own from a list that Michelle gave us. So for me, if I wanted to pass to someone next to me, I'd say gleeking; across the circle, fen-sucked; opposite direction, clotpole. Yes, I just said gleeking, fen-sucked clotpole. Then the REAL fun happened. We were split up in two and stood on opposite sides of the room West Side Story Style. Then, we would go up one by one to the opposite group and do our best to diss them with our phrase. It became this huge ordeal with people shouting, "OOOHHH YOU GOT BURNED!!!" and "What did you just say to me?!". It was so much fun, mainly because after we finished we were all buddy-buddy again. 

Final class was Shakespeare's Words. In this class, we were given lists of words that Shakespeare had invented and were told to make a modern scene using all of them. It's ridiculous some of the words that didn't exist before Shakespeare came along and invented them. Words like excitement, varied, well-known, embrace, fashionable, freezing, lack luster, moonbeam, droplet, and unearthly. My group's scene made no sense so I won't even attempt to try and describe it because I would inevitably stop making sense. Our other group scene I will describe! In this one, we were given some Shakespearean insults from his plays. Our scene took place in a bank during a robbery and a Shakespearean acting company (who had just happened to walk in when the robber stopped by) is being held hostage. The only way they knew to insult the robber was through saying things like, "Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood" and "Scratching would not make worse a face like yours". Eventually, the robber got tired of this and just let them go. It was a really fun scene to do because everyone was so into it. It was basically Shakespearean improv. No one knew what they were going to say except the Shakespeare lines, so it was pretty hilarious seeing what people came up with. Sam, a Canadian friend of mine, was in a scene where he suddenly screamed, "'Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage, thou whoreson zed, thou unnecessary letter!'" then he paused and followed it with "That's sad, Zed. THAT'S REAL SAD." 

As if my day wasn't jam packed ENOUGH, we then had an hour session to talk with the RADA teachers about auditioning for drama schools. Most of the stuff they said was pretty useful, like how to apply there and how to choose a successful monologue. 

So now I'm here. In my dorm. Tired out of my mind. Quite literally actually.
My body isn't very tired, but we use our minds ALL DAY for EVERYTHING as I've already mentioned. I went out to dinner a while ago, but came straight back to write this. 

 Until tomorrow friends :)
Some of my friends (left to right): Lewis, Alex, Canadian Sam, Sophie, Alais, Raphael, Chris, and  Gorgie

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