We had an awesome class this week! Most of our ensemble came straight to class from a belated birthday party for Fletcher. They had just the right combo of cookies and cupcakes to give them great energy, but also came in together as a team so were focused and ready to work. Here’s what we did:
Before heading in to dance party, each actor stopped to get his/her headshot taken by Katie. Watch for the unveiling of our poster design in the next few weeks so you can see the final shots!
Eva was our Dance Party DJ this week and kicked it with tunes like “I Really Really Really Really Really Really Like You”. But the big hit was “Greased Lightning” – everyone knows the choreography from the movie and were excited to dance along!
Zach and Kaylie shared warm up duty and took us through a few breathing exercises to get us calm and centered. Zach led some facial exercises to help warm up the muscles we need to articulate clearly. He taught us a new exercise called “Blowfish/Pucker Fish” and we all looked a little goofy blowing out our cheeks or sucking them in. Lucy turned to Zach's wife, Eva, and said “You married that.” After a good Shake Out, we were ready for check in.
So far we’ve talked about who we are, where we are, and who we’re with in our scenes. This week’s class was all about what we want, or, to use the acting terminology, our OBJECTIVE. We discussed how objectives effect what we do and how we do them. Then we ran down the schedule for the day, reviewed our ensemble rules, and split into Lemons and Limes to get things going!
You might remember this game from Week Two. Everyone stands in a circle and we pass energy back and forth. This week, we added two new words into the mix:
ZAP: you can pass to someone across the circle (especially helpful if the person next to you keeps saying “Whoa!”
YOINK: lets you steal from another player if they’re taking too long!
The Lemons really got into the game this week and had a great rhythm going. Even though we’re only saying 4 words through the whole game, it’s fun to see how our actors put their own flair on the words the choose: Claire would blow a kiss to “WHOOSH” Ben has a big wind up before he “ZAPS”. And Alena makes sure to specify who she’s giving it to “WHOOSH…to you, Haircut Boy (her name for Sean)”.
We played this game for the first time during our summer improv workshop and it was a big hit. The Giver’s objective is to think of the BEST possible present they could give. The Receiver then needs to share what they will DO with the present. Here's an example:
“I got you a present. It’s…tickets to a One Direction Concert!”
“Thank you! I’m going to dance all night!”
Not only does this game help us think about objectives, but we also get to practice miming skills and saying "Yes!" to our castmates. Some of the presents we saw were Ice cream, a big screen TV, concert tickets, and Beats headphones. But for our ensemble, someone to love is one of the best gifts of all, so a lot of them chose gifts that reflected this:
Lucas gave Peter a Cheerleader Girlfriend
Quincy gave Fletcher to Katie
Samuel gave Katie to Lawrence.
Andrew gave Somer an engagement ring!
For this game, one person acted out having very specific problem. Working in pairs, our actors had to ask questions and figure out what the so they could fix it. In the end everyone got the help they needed. The cold got blankets and coats and hot cocoa. The tired got a fluffy pillow and a glass of water on their nightstands. Kendra was covered in mud, and Colleen gave her a towel to clean off because she was “gross all over”. Ben and Katie were Lost, Claire and Kaylie asked them what they were looking for, and gave them directions. Lawrence was Hungry, Andrew made him the world’s biggest PB&J.
We have a very helpful group who like to solve problems!
WRITING GROUPS - OBJECTIVES
We spent a lot of time in our writing groups this week talking about our character’s objectives, and also our own objectives as an actor. Some of our ensemble members love doing monologues, some want to dance or sing, so as Kendra, Peter, Lawrence and Katie flesh out the final scripts for each scene they can incorporate these elements into the story.
Peter and Kendra reviewed the chorus for our mash-up along with the choreography. We could tell that so many actors had been practicing at home (Quicny even sent us a video of her rehearsing during the week). We’re continuing to work on singing in UNISON and GIVING FOCUS when it’s not our turn to sing.
“I AM” MONOLOGUES
The Lemons started off with singing practice and then switched so the Limes could get some rehearsal time. When they weren't singing, the groups worked with Lawrence and Katie on Monologues...
The theme of our semester is all about IDENTITY. Each scene has a case of mistaken identity or a character realizing they’re not what they seem. But we also want to give each of our actors a moment to speak about their own personal identity and to tell the audience who they are. Katie and Lawrence started working on these mini-monologues by asking each actor to share a big goal they have for their lives. We went around the circle and filled in the blank “I WANT TO…” We got a big range of answers from Alena wants to go to college. Jack wants to be President. Marissa wants to get married. Lucy wants to be rich and famous.
LEMON & LIME SING OFF
Both groups came back together in the large dance studio and stood on opposite sides of the room to have an old-fashioned sing off. We reviewed the chorus for both songs all together with choreography, and then added the mash-up where each group sings something different at the same time. It’s sounding great.
We reviewed what we covered that day and talked about the plan for next week. Also, some good and bad news: our wonderful Facilitator Somer just got a new job at Paramount Theatre so this was her last class with us for the semester. Both she and birthday girl Quincy (10/27) led us in our traditional closing...