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.
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:
Learning to relax the muscles and eliminate physical tension while performing
Learning to think like an actor and to respond to one’s own imagination
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”
developing the ability to interact with other performers spontaneously, and with an audience, without violating the world of the play
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.
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.
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”.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Risk Taker ( willing to be open-minded to new things/ideas )
- Positive and Energetic ( have a good attitude towards everything )
- Aware and in Control ( observe how your actions impact other people )
- Focused ( concentrate on what you are doing )
- Active Listener ( find out how you can cooperate with other people’s ideas into you )
- Cooperative and Collaborative ( work alongside your peers )
- Efficient ( use your time wisely )
- Leaders and Followers ( know when it is your turn to step up or step back )
- 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.
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!