"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein

Category: Acting & Ensemble

Uta Hagen’s Nine Questions

  1. Who am I?
    Who is your character? Identify all the details: name/age, physical traits, relatives, education, personal opinions, likes, dislikes, hobbies, fears, ethics, and beliefs.

Bloody Mary is basically a ghost chef, fake chef that wants to kill and eat the zomans.

  1. What time is it?
    The year, the season, the day, the minute. What is the significance of time?

Around 2000

  1. Where am I?
    Identify the country, the city/town, the neighborhood, the building, the room, the specific area of the room.

Living room in the shack, closet…

  1. What surrounds me?
    What is happening in the environment around you? Weather, landscape, people, animate/inanimate objects.

Zomans. (Half zombie and half human) (partially dead). And Philip the actual human.

  1. What are the given circumstances?
    Identify events in the past, present, future. What has happened, what is happening, what is going to happen?

Bloo-day Maa-ray (Mary) is a ghost, goes to Dane’s house, but actually tries to eat him. After Dane’s girlfriend Tara and Phillip comes back, Bloo-day Maa-ray now decides to eat all of them, so she rips out Phillip’s heart. And therefore, wanting to eat others too.

  1. What are my relationships?
    This is more than your relationship to other people. Think about your relationship to objects, characters, and events.

Mary doesn’t really have a lot of relationships with other roles, she is just a “chef” that was called to make Tofu man, and wants to eat people, yet Tara thought Dane was cheating on her because of Mary.

  1. What do I want?
    What do you want immediately? What does the character want overall?

Mary wants to eat people, but at the end, after Tara calls her a Walmart Billie Eilish, she changed her plan to eat both Dane and Tara too.

  1. What is in my way?
    What are the obstacles to getting what you want?

When going through the script, I felt that Mary didn’t have any obstacles, for example after Phillip sings the song, she just ripped his heart out without any frustration and difficulties.

  1. What do I do to get what I want?
    What actions do you take (both physically and verbally)? What tactics?

Mary first pretended to be a chef to help make Tofu man, after, when Tara and Phillip came, she decides to rip out Phillip’s heart. And at last, she thinks that it is rude to call someone a Walmart Billie Eillish so she now wants to eat Dane and Tara too.

Page to Stage: Where is the dragon?

  • In the performance of “Where is the dragon?” I participated as the character called ‘small knight three”, who is completely beneath everything, and does not believe the story of the dragon. As we were developing the characters, we added some reactions to further show the characteristics of each role, especially for me, as an example,  not being astonished so that the audience can see he is not scared. As for my character, small knight three leads the story to every turning point, laughing and finding out what’s under the shadow. I contributed by paying attention and participating in every rehearsal with a high concentration. Also providing various ideas and being optimistic.  As an ensemble, we discussed and shared our ideas with each other, maybe not accepting all, but definitely involving everyone in.
  • Since we took a children’s book and performed it in front of the ES kids, we have to be very dramatic and big. Making the story as clear as possible, pronouncing every word crystal clear, and bringing them into the story.  From the experience, we noticed that we are not able to predict the audiences’ reactions, things might not keep in track.  Being familiar with your performing space also help us gain confidence and can project our story without distractions on which way to go or up or down. For this kind of performance, using senses is also very important, for example, drum beats, which can keep the tempo and the flow of the story, exaggerating the plot fully.  Lastly, the most important thing is to be prepared, at least for the basic jobs like memorizing lines and having dramatic expression.  So that is able to react to different situations, problems, and difficulties.
  • As this was also introduced in the second paragraph, connections with the audiences won’t always go the way you wanted, but we will still have to continue and not lose confidence.  This performance was for little kids, and when the intended audience changes, we will also need to shift our main points and emphasize other ideas. As an ensemble, we were actually surprised about the little kids’ reactions, they didn’t seem to laugh or have any response to our performance, but still, we can see that they are watching the whole time and showing respect to us. Especially performing group projects, collaboration is very important, only memorizing your parts are not enough. As for having a conversation in the performance, knowing others’ lines is also needed so that you know when to project your line, and how you can react on others’ lines.

Reflection on Monologue

The start of this monologue task was to learn about the history and origin of acting and ensemble, which is learning the background of Stanislavsky and how he became the “father” of acting.  After learning some knowledge, we did some exercises on how to focus and be immersed in your monologue.  Analyze and interpret the story in the monologue, what is it trying to convey? What is the mood…In terms of acting, for example imagining the scene and things around you in a topic, doing some relaxing activities to keep neutral. And moving on to the actual monologue, reading it out loud is a very useful way to practice the pronunciation and clarity of words. Lastly is to rehearse and add action to support your monologue.

From my performance video and the feedbacks that my classmates had given, I think I did well on staying in the mood of leaving a place you really liked. Also kind of stating myself inside the character. According to the five elements, concentration was presented well in my monologue performance.

In acting, voice projection is very important, as, in my performance video, the volume of my voice is changing through the plots of the story, how it is effective to convey the feelings trying to express there. If there’s a chance, I would like to do a monologue that is actually having a conversation so that I can have reactions to someone else.

I used to think that monologues are just reading out the words. But after doing this learning, I realize that more of it is the feelings you’re are trying to convey and what value does the story hold. Substitute yourself and your audience into the story.    Sharon’s monologue recording


Talking about improvisation, I used to think that it’s about how you react with different scenes and relationships within the topic you’re given. But now, adding on to that, there are more techniques and skills to be well with responding to the scene. Like thinking quickly, taking the risk, saying “yes” to continue the scene,  and creating the characters. Now, I think it’s really just about some general ideas that relates to your daily life. And the normal way of how people react everyday.

One thing that I remembered about improvisation is that the more you add, or the more space you give for your partners to add on and build more layers of the scene, it becomes more interesting. This is a very important thing so that the scene is able to continue.

During improvisation, I am able to catch the scenes thrown by my partner, but sometimes, ideas don’t come to me, I can’t continue the scene with some new topics and thinking. Maybe in the future classes, I can work more active, by starting the scene, adding on much more, and think ahead.

9 Qualities of an effective ensemble member

  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’re doing)
  5. Active listener (find out how you can cooperate with other people’s ideas into yours)
  6. Cooperative and Collaborative (work alongside your peers)
  7. Efficient (use your time wisely)
  8. Leaders & Followers (know when it is your turn to step up or step back)
  9. Positively Critical & able to act on the criticism (constructive criticism/positive feedback)

Leaders: In many times, I am not taking the leader role even if theres a chance to, because I don’t like to handle everything, or just like to be the follower all. the time. I understand that leadership is very important, but I just can’t step forward and take the risk. And that leads to another goal, taking risks.  I like doing something I’m good at,  or feel more comfortable with, It might that I’m not going, or a bit shy, but once you get to know me well, not really, not a shy person at all.  So I will try my best to reach my goal in this semester.

My earliest Theatre Memory

My earliest Theatre Memory is when I was little, in a drama summer camp in Vancouver, Canada.  That time, I was only 7, nobody really knows what acting and ensemble is back then. We played games like “you act I guess”, and practicing basic movements.

It was my first time get in touch with acting and ensemble, or just drama. There’s a big room full of space for us to play, we even had pizza Fridays! Teachers/volunteers also let us choose a story (snow white, cinderella…etc.), play a role in it, and share it as a group to the audience, which is just our families!

I was the old lady/fairy in Cinderella, I used some fabric to make the original clothes of the old lady, and borrowed a pretty dress to show the contrast. And I remembered that one of my lines are:”You must leave before 12:00 O’clock, don’t let anyone see you!!” Haha, it was interesting watching kids trying so hard and looking so funny (that’s what my mom said…). And at the end of the day, we had those ice-cream stick freesies. I had so much fun! And starting from that time, acting has belonged to my interests, and will continue!

© 2022 Sharon

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