The focus of tonight’s class, auditions. A big class for our actors. Everyone showed up early and came ready with scripts in hand. We made our way back to the recreation room at Menominee Club and started class with a little dance party. After some dance moves Braden let us in a warm-up. We started off with the voice, picking a point in the room and sending our voice to that point. After vocal work we warmed up our bodies by walking around the room. After a moment of walking we frozen in place, picked a partner, and the two of us came up with a special handshake and then resumed walking about the room. Every time we came back in contact with our partner we had to remember our handshake. Next we picked a new partner and came up with a new handshake. It was a physical warm up as well as a test of concentration, and anytime we get to do fun handshakes is always a plus. After warming up it was time to get in our circle and check in with Kaylie and our question, “Which spirit would you like to be visited by: past, present, or future?” The most popular spirit by far was the spirit of Christmas Past. Sam R. would love to visit with family members. Claire would also like to visit family members and spend some time with them. Our volunteer Braden would like to be visited by the spirit of Christmas Present so he can see the way others celebrate the holidays. Sam R was on marker duty and checked us off so that we could move onto our next activity, ensemble games.
Our game was one that we have not yet played this semester, it is called Scarves. We have two different colored scarves one is red and the other is yellow. The person holding the red scarf is the social pariah, nobody wants to be near the red scarf. The person with the yellow scarf is the most popular person in the room everyone wants to be next to the yellow scarf. This exercise we got to see what it feels like to be popular or to be rejected. Everyone had fun passing around the scarves. We also compared it to the character of Scrooge. He begins the play very unpopular, grumpy and mean, but by the end of the play he becomes a friend to all, generous and kindhearted. Before moving onto auditions we wanted to have a refresher on our characters. We got in a circle and we played pass the character. I started this out with coming up with a physicalization for Bob Cratchit, I passed it to my right to Claire. Her physicalization for Cratchit was a little different and as it passed on to Sam R we got to see a more solemn Bob Cratchit. Lucy focused on the fact that Bob Cratchit's pockets were empty as he does not make a lot of money. And so it went around the room. We made our way through most of the characters, it was really fun to see the different interpretations of each character, such as Tiny Tim. Some decided to focus on the fact that he was ill, others decided to focus on the fact that he had a lot of love in his heart for his family. Marley was a character that I enjoyed a lot as we got to play around with the idea of a ghost, some made him spooky. Lucy showed Marley as being weighed down by the many chains that he must wear in his afterlife.
With the characters now fresh in mind it was time to move on to the focus of this evening's class; auditions. We went through the rules of the audition. Step one: check in with your facilitator, the one dropping you in. You must communicate which characters you're playing and what lines you want to perform. Step two: Say your name and let the audience know what characters you will be playing. Step three: Perform and have fun. The first actor up was Lucy, she was very excited and very ready. Our actors got to perform three different characters, Lucy chose Marley, Tiny Tim, and Belle. She did a great job physicalizing Belle’s beauty and Tiny Tim's infirmities. Next up was Colleen, another seasoned pro. She decided to perform Mrs Cratchit , Belle, the Spirit of Christmas Past. The acting ensemble did such an amazing job. Ben was a delightful Fred, Emily was a very jolly Spirit of Christmas Present, Sam R gave us a different interpretation of Fred and Anna got her first chance to perform one of our characters for the class as a monologue, she did a great job and is starting to find her performance voice.
Auditions took most of the class. But we had enough time left to review our music. We spent some quality time with Carol of the Bells as it is the most challenging as we sing in the round. We broke into the groups that we would be performing with and we went over our different parts several times and then we were able to combine them and got a glimpse of what the finished product might be. We also touched based with Jingle Bells before circling back up for our check out question. The question was, “How did you feel before and after the audition?” Most of our actors were very happy, they love auditioning. I shared that when I audition a lot of times I'm nervous beforehand but afterwards I feel happy that I did it and relieved. Samuel F didn't feel nervous he was excited, Anna was a little bit nervous, but she did a great job. With that Sam R checked off the board and Sam F led us in I take from the Heavens (which he did flawlessly.) With that we said goodbye for another week and we stepped out into the fall night.