Sorry I’m making two posts, but this came up in class. The two actresses hate making eye contact and the professor said he hated it when actors try to make eye contact.
Personally, I love it when they try to involve me!!! What do you think? Answer below!
I’m just sitting in my room, unwinding after my three hour long Shakespeare lecture/seminar with chocolate and some cider. I think I might just take the night off for my sanity.
Anyway, this weekend I saw a production of Henry IV (both parts edited together) with an all-female cast set in a maximum security prison. Wow, was it cool. The show started before we even entered the theatre. Boards covered up the entrance of the Donmar Warehouse, directing us to the Seven Dials Club Across the street where we collected our tickets. About fifteen minutes before the show began, we were instructed to line up single file to march across the street to the theatre. I was then shepherded by police officers to my seat. I really enjoy this type of theatre that transforms the entire environment of the building itself. It adds another level to the production.
The actresses were brilliant too. Harriet Walter who was King Henry is just so graceful and elegant. She just had this aura about her. Hotspur was played by Jade Anouka and damn, she knows how to do Shakespeare! Everything about her was fabulous….and during one scene, they had her reciting a monologue while DOING CRUNCHES! I was just amazed at her throughout the performance.
This brings the question, who is Shakespeare for? Not just the upper class rich white part of society but for everyone, even those who we do not think will not understand it?
I was talking to people about this (both dudes, actually) who said they were skeptical of these all female productions and that Shakespeare wouldn’t have wanted it this way. I’m not going to pretend like I’m an expert at this kind of stuff but I think Shakespeare would be all for this. If not, then we shouldn’t be skeptical about these kinds of productions because theatre is a beautiful, ever changing art form that needs these kind of productions.
Okay, so I missed my posting day deadline by like FIVE MINUTES. I literally just remembered that it was a MONDAY today.
Tomorrow, meaning Tuesday evening, I have to go to a dance concert thing or something and take down some dance blocking for practice for my stage management class.
Except not. Dance blocking, at least for all-dance shows, is really frustrating to me. Every time we try to do it in class I feel like I fail miserably. The good news is that we are taking notes and then typing neater copies of our best numbers for our professor. So if any of these numbers are relatively easy to block, I won’t like…bomb the assignment. I am missing out on a night of paying work, though, which stinks.
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE dance as like…a thing. I love musicals. I have a serious fondness especially for tap dancing, because the first show I ever worked on ever was 42nd Street. But dance blocking, man. It kills me.
I hope you all have lovely and amazing weeks! I think the reason I almost forgot to post today was that I had the LOVELIEST day. One of the highlights of which was a professor I’m really fond of is offering to force-add me into her Shakespeare class, despite my not having the pre-reqs. So yeah, I hope equally lovely things happen for y’all!
im not sure who this is for, but non of us go to Northwestern,
I (Adam) got to Western Michigan University
This week I had like, way too much happening.
I think I talked a little bit about what was coming up last time I spoke to you all, but just to recap:
Plus rehearsal and work and stuff like that.
T’was stressful. But I want to focus on my audition assignment, because that was literal hell. Are you ready to hear what we had to do? Are you ready?
Two weeks ago, our prof told us that we would be doing this assignment. “Your friend knows a casting director and they know that the audition is in two weeks, and that it is for a two-show season. They’re doing Rock of Ages and Hair. But that’s all they know for now. Stay tuned.” So we were all given that much info, and our prof asked us to choose three letters. I chose F, B, W. We didn’t know what that meant, but, we did it anyway. That was a Thursday. The following Tuesday, we had the class again. He told us that the season is being co-produced by three regional theatres. These are what the letters were for. I was assigned Florida Studio Theatre, Bay Street Theatre, and Walnut Street Theatre. We were told that we needed to do research on these theatres and have a working knowledge of all that they do. We were also told that we needed to sing from the shows in the roles that we believed we best fit. On Thursday, we were given the complete assignment on paper and told that we also needed a third song- a sixteen bar cut from a song of our own choosing. It had to be new to the class and something that we felt showed off a side that we didn’t get to show off with the other shows.
So, to recap once more, we needed to do the following:
It was like, a lot.
And whichever character we felt suited us best got 32 bars instead of 16. So, 32, 16, 16. Plus an interview.
In the end, I chose…
32 bars of I Believe in Love from Hair
16 bars of We’re Not Gonna Take It from Rock of Ages
16 bars of So Far Away from Beautiful
Everybody did well, though! The moral of the story is, however, to remember to do your research.
UGH WHAT A WEEK.
Other news: Dance evals were fine, I did okay on my ASL test, I passed in my play and it was chosen to be read out loud in the class, and I passed in my Comedy of Errors paper on time. And then I took three glorious days to do absolutely nothing.
Friday there was a party and I ACTUALLY WENT (watch out, world! Bri goes to parties.) and I did shots. Which was awesome. I got a little drunker than I wanted to but I can pretty much do anything since I’m 21. Not ANYTHING, but, I mean. You know what I mean. I can’t get in trouble for drinking at a party anymore. Holla. I’m awesome. I didn’t get sloppy but I did use a lot of sign language. That was slightly unexpected. And a guy sat on my lap and sang Moulin Rouge to me in an attempt to get me to sing for the party and I was like, “Absolutely not. Also get off of me.” It turns out that I am overwhelmingly skilled at shutting people down. It was a tame night. I was home before midnight. Boring children. (Me, I am the boring children.)
AND THEN. SATURDAY. My roommates and I decided to have breakfast (I had a waffle with chocolate chips and whipped cream and it was delicious) and then Carol went to an event, so Brooke and I decided to stay home and watch movies. We watched (in order) Barbie of Swan Lake, three episodes of Lizzie McGuire, and then… The Blair Witch Project. Now, I had never seen Blair Witch before and I was really nervous that I was going to be scared out of my mind. Luckily the movie isn’t that scary to watch. I was like, “oh… I thought this would be worse.”
BUT LET ME TELL YOU: IT IS SCARY LATER WHEN YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT IT. BE PREPARED. IF YOU WATCH THE MOVIE, YOU WILL NOT GO INTO THE WOODS ANYMORE. AND YOU WILL BE AFRAID OF MOST THINGS.
Sleeping last night was a struggle.
Alright, my children of the night. Be safe and have a GREAT week!!
It’s closing weekend for One Man, Two Guvnors! I’m seeing the show tomorrow with my parents.
We have now moved onto Hair…which is all tun and exciting in totally different ways! First of all, the naked people! I’ve extremely happy to see fellow good looking actors naked onstage. I will be the wardrobe crew head, so I basically keep track of their costumes (or their lack of). I basically have a backstage pass to the nudity fest.
My mentor/professor has also given me some really challenging projects (projects are the costume we’re “assigned” to build for the show that’s happening), and it’s really awesome that she thinks I’m so talented and good enough to do these things! For Hair, I’m making pants that are knit, with a full fly and pockets. So, it’ll definitely be pretty challenging. As you already know, I made the Dolly character’s halter top for One Man, Two Guvnors, and that was challenging because the boob cup pieces of the top were different on each side and made of up like 4 different parts.
IF you remember wayyy back to last spring, i made that blue dress for a character in 9 to 5….WELL, that actress is on the Anything Goes national tour right now!! Which is VERY exciting to me, since I loved that actress and I love that show!!!
This week was the busiest week I’ve ever had here at WMU. I’m even going to say busier than tech week. I have project after project due in all of my classes, and it has really become just an overwhelming mess of overlapping media. From Photoshop projects to sewing projects to rendering projects and anything in-between. I’ve also been painting a flat to look like marble….and mind you, I’m no scenic painter. We had one class session of how to make something look like marble, but other than that, we have had ZERO direction on it. It’s a little irritating, but I’m pushing through it haha. I’m just very very anxious about having to keep remembering to tell myself to do the projects! It’s all getting wild, and I have absolutely no time for myself or anyone else. I miss dinners, and I can’t make any plans to do anything with any cute boys.
Okay okay, i’m done yammering, have a good weekend, and Happy Birthday weekend to Trevor!!!!!!!!!!
i’m glad you enjoyed my random absolute inability to use tumblr :)
Today we had the benefit of having one of the bay area’s most distinguished actors, Peter Calendar, come and teach our medieval/renaissance theater history class. I wish I could have recored him talking because sure I’ve always appreciated Shakespeare, done a few shows, thought I had a pretty good grasp of what was going on, and he managed to show me things I had never even realized. And so I’m basically just going to re write all of my notes, it won’t do him much justice, but if you are even a little interested in theatre you should know this.
Shakespeare is the greatest director to have ever lived, because everything you need to know about your character, who to talk to, what mood to show, how to act, is written into the script. Once you learn how to read it you can see exactly what Shakespeare has expected of each character.
first things first. Iambic Pentameter. Pent - 5 Iam - beat. There are 5 beats in each line, each beat is made of a soft (u) syllable followed by a hard (/) one. This equals a total of 10 syllables per line.
u / u / u / u / u / for example: To be, or not to be? The hard syllables are the ones that hold meaning, that need to be said. (obviously there are exceptions to this, if a line begins with a hard beat, its called a trochee)
Next take a close look at the end of every line (line, not sentence). The last word is almost always important and if you linger on it just for a moment it will give so much clarity to the words.
Listen to what is being said. Hear a lot of vowels? that would be heart words; love, sadness, hope, prayer, flow with the thoughts. Hear more consents? those are head words, anger, malice, direct, pointed at someone.
To get the characteristics of the characters pay attention to what others say about them. Does another character say they are boisterous, or gentle, or rugged… its because they are, and it should be acted that way.
If you get really advanced you start to find some of the exceptional pieces of shakespeare, the reason we call him genius. (this is the part where an audio recording would have been worth gold) here are two examples, read them, find someone who knows Shakespeare and have them read it try and feel it when you say it. Learn.
Henry V (3,i) is trying to rally his troops agains the whole of France, and his speech if you pick up on the clues sounds like the beat of a war drum: Once more unto the breach, dear friends once more
Winter’s tale (3,ii) Hermione is angry and her shouting starts to take on a very distinct sound. Read it out loud and focus on the ‘st’. You should pick it up.
Ok lessen over, This is just the tip of the ice burg. I hope you learned something, or if not, got the chance to appreciate how fricken cool Shakespeare is. talk to you next week!
Hello followers of this blog! Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Do you have today off for “Columbus Day”? (in quotes because why do we celebrate this idiot? I won’t get on a soapbox but hopefully you’re informed that this holiday is bullshit.) We didn’t have classes today, but I have to work at the front desk of my dorm, signing in guests, from 4-8. So far it is DEAD in here. I am also drinking a Starbucks PSL so I am a happy camper.
This week I am going to plug a website I am in no way affiliated with. My stage management professor showed us this website on Friday and I nerded out SO HARD. It’s called the “Opera Machine” and it was filmed during the third act of Die Walküre at the Royal Opera House. It has SEVENTEEN different camera angles, which you can watch all at once or jump to different views, catching all the backstage and onstage action. It’s an insanely intricate look into an insanely intricate show. (Please learn about the Ring Cycle in general if you haven’t yet. It’s important for life purposes.)
YOU CAN EVEN FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE STAGE MANAGERS PROMPT BOOK. HER ACTUAL FREAKING BOOK. IT IS INSANE.
Let me know if you play with this website at all. That’s all I got for now, I hope everybody has a lovely week!
Welcome to another fabulous week from the lives of your favorite theatre majors.
I can never tell if I’m starting the week or ending the week, but, I feel like I am ending it. My week starts on Monday. Why? Am I European? Who knows, who knows.
I can very honestly tell you that I have no idea what went on this week in my life. No idea. I wasn’t drinking, I didn’t black out for a full week, I’ve just been so incredibly busy that it’s insane. I have had rehearsals almost every day, which is crazy to me, I’ve had a lot happening. My soul sucking job has been involved. I got a blazer that I ordered but it was too small so it’s a good thing that I ordered a back-up blazer for Halloween. That happened.
I’m being Veronica from Heathers for Halloween.
I had a weird voice lesson. It was like, I told her what I wanted to sing for Voice Studio and she told me that I sing too much contemporary musical theatre and that if I wanted to sing something contemporary for showcase I had to sing something golden-age-y but here’s the thing, kiddos, I don’t get to choose what I sing for showcase. I’m literally told what to sing by the head of our musical theatre department. It’s part of my grade for my insane advanced musical theatre class. So, I was kinda like, “uhh…?” Anyway, I told her fine and that I’d like to work on the full song of What Did I Have That I Don’t Have from On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, right? Golden Age, it’s pretty, it’s me, I actually LIKE it, etc. But she told me that I belt the whole thing. I don’t know, you guys.
She is pushing me out of myself.
It’s alright. There was more of that conversation, but in the case she sees it, I don’t want her to be angry at me.
I just wish that I had more of a say in my own education sometimes.
But yesterday I saw The Addams Family at Ogunquit in Maine! It was GREAT. I love that show. I have my criticisms, but it was really fun and funny and joyful. Total blast. And today I’m seeing Comedy of Errors right here at UNH! I have to see it for class, but I probably would have gone no matter what. Support the department, etc. I’m excited! A lot of people have worked really hard on it and it’s been a long journey getting there, so, I’m excited to see.
HAVE A GREAT WEEK FILLED WITH LOVE AND PASSION FOR YOUR CRAFT.
That was a bit aggressive, I apologize.
See you soon! :]