Page to Stage: The problem with problems

1. DISCUSS your role in the development process: What did you contribute? How did you collaborate with your ensemble? What were some successes of that collaboration?

  • I contributed by giving many ideas to my team. Since we were going to present our piece to elementary school kids, we had to make our actions bigger and more straightforward. We had to think of different ways we could present it. All of us equally would come up with many ideas for each scene. We all would listen to each other’s ideas, try them all out, and finally pick which one we thought worked the best. Sometimes we joined two ideas together to make a better one. We also thought about what props all of us could bring to make our performance even more enjoyable. People who had good props would bring them and show them to the rest of our group to see if we all approved of it. One success of our good collaboration was knowing what to do for every line/scene. Overall, our working process was very collaborative as we all contributed equally.

2. DISCUSS your experience as a performer in this piece: What do you think and feel about your performance and performing for an audience? What new insights did you gain (yourself, theatre, audiences, performances, etc.) through this experience?

  • I think that if our group had been given more time, we would have done better. Our performance went well, but there were many pauses as we were confused because we did not know what to do next. Performing in front of a young audience felt different from performing our individual monologues in front of our class. Since they are younger, they would exaggerate their reaction. For example, in our performance, a line said, “take a deep breath”. Our action was to take a deep breath, so when we did it during the performance, the kids giggled and took a deep breath with us. This made me feel more confident and happy that they were enjoying our performance. Sometimes the audience would not react at all. This made me understand that all audiences are different from each other. Some might be more expressive while some can be quieter, but it does not necessarily mean that the more silent audience did not enjoy the performance.

3. DISCUSS what new learning or understanding about theatre or the process of creating this piece you gained. What do you now KNOW or UNDERSTAND that you didn’t before?

  • After knowing that this assessment was meant to be done quickly and performed on an unusual stage, I realised that we should adapt to any environment. I now know that I should always keep in mind that we should act in any location while creating and practising our performance. I also understand that we should always use the time given to us and make it productive. Being productive and finishing our performance earlier would earn us some time to do full dress rehearsals, which would help us feel more comfortable performing. This experience has helped me learn new points about theatre, which will help me in my future performances.

Quarter 1 Reflection

What am I doing well on?

  • I am doing well in the speaking/listening and reading standards. I have improved in the reading standard because I have practised by doing more reading and annotating. I always speak out my opinions and thoughts about whatever is being discussed in class. I do collaborate with my peers whenever we are given time to discuss what we are learning. I also am responsible in terms of submitting my work on time and clarifying any questions I have.

What do I still need to work on?

  • I still need to work on my writing skills. I have definitely improved from the start and the end of quarter 1, but I want to get even better, mainly using various literary devices/techniques.

What steps can I take to continue moving forward?

  • I can ask my teacher whenever I need help on my writing tasks as she can help guide me and give me feedback that I can work on. I can also use tools like Grammarly to help edit my work more carefully. I can also read more books, articles, and reading material to improve my vocabulary and thought process of forming sentences.  I can also use IXL to practise my writing and reading standards.

My Monologue – Stanislavsky style

  1. SUMMARIZE: When I first read my monologue, I knew my character was an egotistical girl, but before I finalized a character, I reread it several times. After some imagination, I came up with the idea that the girl wanted to ask her Theatre teacher to give her some more roles/auditions to get more experience. I pretended to be a shy girl to ask her teacher; another time, I pretended to be a girl asking just because she was forced to. The last time I pretended to be an egotistical, proud girl (like my original idea). I felt like the lines suited the egotistical girl better after choosing my character’s personality. After answering Stanislavski’s questions, I realized I built my character with more details, which helped me act it out better. For example, when I responded to the question “Where is your character” it made me less awkward while performing on stage because I knew where I was and who I was talking to.
  2. EVALUATE: After watching my video, I was glad that I got my point across to the audience; I was a self-centred character. I could tell by the way I carried myself and the way I talked. I was talking very loud, which made me watching feel inferior! Something I could work on would be taking more pauses and beats. I felt like I rushed through my monologue while watching.
  3. CONNECT: This technique has been very effective and helpful to me during this journey because it helped me think about my character deeper. Thinking about my character deeper enabled me to act more realistically. From now on, I will always use the Stanislavski method to help me get to know my characters better.
  4. SYNTHESIZE: I used to think that acting was just to say your lines in realistic ways but I never thought of HOW to make it realistic. Now I know that we have to think deeply about our character, background, age and personality to make our acting realistic.

Rhea’s Performance 

Independent Reading

I am currently reading the book “One of us is next” by Karen McManus.

In my opinion, this book does not have much potential for the final literary essay project at the end of this year. The book is very literal and the writer does not use many literary devices to describe the story. This book is a good book but I don’t think it’s a good book for me to analyze and write an essay on. My next steps are to maybe find another book I think might be more suitable for me to analyze at the end of the year and also to analyze the book while I am reading it.

Who is Constantine Stanislavski?

  • Born in Moscow, Russia in 1863 (died:1938)
  • Began as an actor and moved on to become a director and teacher
  • Parents didn’t indulge in his passion for theatre, so he changed his name
  • Developed a new system of actor training and development – a new way to approach theatre
  • It took years of experimenting to get to what is now known as the Stanislavski system

5 elements of actor preparation:

Relaxation
Learning to relax the muscles and eliminate physical tension while performing

Concentration
Learning to think like an actor and to respond to one’s own imagination

Observation
Discovering the sensory base of work: learning to memorise and recall sensations, often called “sense memory” and/or “affective memory”; learning to work from a small sensation and expand it, a technique Stanislavski called “spheres of attention”

Communication
developing the ability to interact with other performers spontaneously, and with an audience, without violating the world of the play

Imagination
The more fertile the actor’s imagination, the more interesting would be the choices made in terms of objectives, physical action, and creating given circumstances around the character
there’s no such thing as ‘actually’ on the stage. Art is a product of imagination, as the work of a dramatist should be. the aim of the actor should be to use his/her technique to turn the play into a theatrical reality. in this process, the imagination plays by for the greater part.

Improvisation

One activity that we did during Improvisation was called “Yes, and”. We were paired up with someone, and we would have to respond to their statement with a “Yes and” at the start.

For example:

a: Let’s go to the beach today

b: Yes, and let’s bring some drinks there!

We were only allowed to add on to our partner’s sentence; we were not allowed to change the topic and say anything else at the start of the sentence other than “Yes, and”.

  1. I used to think that it wouldn’t be wrong to not participate in games and ask my questions. It is not that it is wrong, but now I think it is better to participate in games and ask whatever questions I have. After I stopped being shy and just started taking risks, I realised how much more I learned. I started participating in more games, and I understood that my risk-taking made my classmates feel more comfortable participating, which resulted in more of us learning more from the game.
  2. I remember one big idea about Improvisation is how I should go along with anything my co-actor says. The “Yes, and” activity will help me remember this. It was emphasised that the scene will not go anywhere if we say ‘no’ or don’t go along with something our co-actor says. This idea will help make my scene easy frot the audience to understand and will flow smoothly.
  3. One thing I did well was that I took more risks. Instead of acting as a teenager, which I am, I acted as an old lady. I think this makes the scene more interesting and challenges the person acting with me. One thing I struggled with is to come up with ideas quickly. I wanted to think outside of the box and act as a character I normally would ever act as. I hope I can work on this better throughout the theatre lessons. Observing my peers and how they approach an acting task or working with my classmates will definitely help me improve to become a better ensemble member. When I observe people acting, I tend to start doing what they did that I liked. This will broaden and build my acting skills. If I work more often with my peers than by myself, I will learn how to work as an ensemble better.

 

Common Vertical Assessment

What did you do well 

  • I used imagery and many phrases to easily convey the setting or how the character felt

What do you still need to work on 

  • I need to work on my grammar and my narrative techniques

Set a goal for yourself for the creative writing portfolio and post-assessment

  • I hope to improve my grammar and how to describe experiences/characters better

FM1: A Story in 5 Shots – Research

1. Identify the 5 shots in the 5-shot sequence

  • Extreme Close-up (ECU)
  • Close-up (CU)
  • Medium Shot (MS)
  • Point of view/Over the shoulder (POV/OTS)
  • Interesting/Unusual Shot

 

2. Describe the shot sizes in the first 4 shots (from what to what part of the body, for example)

An extreme close-up is a shot which only focuses on a single characteristic of an object or actor. Examples of extreme close-ups of the actor include the nose, eyes, mouth or hands. The full screen will only focus on one of these features. An example of extreme close-ups of an object is the home page of the character’s phone. This allows the audience to see everything in detail.

A close-up shot is often used for showing the actor’s face or to show a specific action. A close-up shot of the face starts at the forehead and ends at the chin. This increases intimacy between the audience and the actor which causes the audience to better understand what the character is feeling. An example of a close-up to show a specific action is when the character is folding clothes. The shot would only include the actor’s hand and the clothes they are folding.

A medium shot is the most used shot. A medium shot tends to start at the top of the actor’s head and ends at their waist or knees. We do not see the full body of the actor. This creates a basic relationship between the actor and the audience. Medium shots also give the audience a clue on where the actor currently is as the background is visible. An example of a medium shot is a girl sitting in the library reading a book. The shot would only include her head to her knees.

A point of view or over the shoulder shot is used to show a connection between two characters. This shot must include one of the actors shoulder or head facing away from the camera. The shot will either focus on the actor holding their phone or on the other character our actor is talking to. This shows some type of relationship between the two people. An example would be an over the shoulder shot of someone video calling their friend.

 

3. Give a visual example of the 5th shot

Example 1.  Dutch Angle Shot (Crooked/Slanted shot)

Example 2. Overhead Shot

Qualities of an effective ensemble member – Process Journal

  1. Risk Taker ( willing to be open-minded to new things/ideas )
  2. Positive and Energetic ( have a good attitude towards everything )
  3. Aware and in Control ( observe how your actions impact other people )
  4. Focused ( concentrate on what you are doing )
  5. Active Listener ( find out how you can cooperate with other people’s ideas into you )
  6. Cooperative and Collaborative ( work alongside your peers )
  7. Efficient ( use your time wisely )
  8. Leaders and Followers ( know when it is your turn to step up or step back )
  9. Positively Critical & able to act on that criticism ( constructive criticism/positive feedback )

 

What I think I need to work on:

I think that I need to work on quality 8. I tend to be a follower more than a leader. Whenever I am doing group work, I usually wait for someone else to initiate the conversation and tell the rest of us their ideas first instead of me talking first. Even if I do have some ideas, I normally stay quiet until I feel like I should say them out loud. I now realize how that can impact my learning and my peers’ learning as well. This is something I really want to work on because I feel that it is important for me to get rid of this habit of mine. From now on, my goal is to step up whenever I have the chance to and always voice out my ideas.

 

What I think I am good at:

I think I am good at quality 2. I always look towards theatre lesson because I just love how everyone is very energetic and enthusiastic. In my opinion, I feel to be successful in theatre and to be a good actor you have to be energetic and positive. Compared to English or Maths, if you are quiet it does not really affect your work. To me theatre is only fun and interesting if I stay energetic thus, I always am enthusiastic and positive during theatre classes.

My earliest theatre memory – Process Journal

The first theatre performance I ever did was when I was in elementary school. It was just a short musical which involved many animals. I loved that we had to memorize a few lines because i thought it was very fun and I remember that I felt really old. 🙂 I was a monkey so I had to wear this monkey onesie. I remember it to be insanely itchy and tight. I hated it so much that I did not even say my lines and just stood frozen on the stage! I didn’t say anything or move at all. I don’t remember anything else other than that but after this happened, I learnt that if it is not a big issue, I still have to remain in my character and continue acting. I would say it was a funny memory!