I'm going to apologise before hand because my spelling is really bad and this doesn't have spell check.

Acting and Production 2013;
Tutorial: 21st February,Thursday 9:30-11:30 am
Teacher: David Moody.
Review written: 22/2/2013

What do I believe constitutes a good actor?

To me a great actor is someone who can communicate with the audience without necessarily breaking the fourth wall and directly speaking to them. The connection between audience and performer, though not verbally acknowledged between either, is apparent through a 'feeding off' of one another and an evocation of emotions designated to the scene. A good actor is someone who has versatility, whom, even when afraid, steps out of their comfort zone to give it everything. They acknowledge what is seen as the best and sets a goal to be better and makes it their own. To me a good actor is someone who becomes the character; they finds a relatedness between actor and character, no matter how small, and uses it as a crutch for something bigger - to genuinely bring the character to life.

A good actor knows not leave negative space on the stage and to use it to their full potential and
a good actor knows the basic rules of being on stage to bring a good performance to an audience; such as never having your back to the audience...Unless of course you are performing a Brecht piece.

Tutorial: I don't know the date...Week Two!!
Teacher: ''' ''
Review written: 11/03/13

Okay, first and foremost this will undoubtedly be really sketchy because I was supposed to write this two weeks ago and forgot.

Building a character usually starts small, sometimes as small as a movement, which gradually builds into something greater. There are two proposed ideas when creating a character; either you start internally or you begin externally. This week we focused on building a character externally and performed according to a mood, an action or a shape. Our walks changed accordingly.
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s well as physically creating a character through external factors we discussed Stanislavsky's method which suggests characterisation starts internally. He recommends focusing on the motivation of a character. What is their objective and super objective? How can we, as actors, use emotional memory to emote particular emotions in a performance?

We also did a trust exercise in which one was required to be blind and led by the other. I don't know why I volunteered to be blind when I can't walk in a straight line with my eyes open, let alone closed. Consequently I walked into a few things...

Tutorial: 7th March? Week Three!
Teacher: " "
Review written: 11/03/13


We had more than six people!

The highlight was sitting on each other to the sound of the Chicago soundtrack in a game of musical chairs. Not entirely sure what the relevance was, perhaps group bonding (?) but yeah, it was fun.

We furthered this new group bonding sesh with several improvisations which required us to work as a single unit; as our short performances were compared against the opposing group's. Working with the same groups we performed a real scene through Brecht techniques; such as directly speaking to the audience, swapping characters ect. Even though for the most part I have usually perform naturalistic or realistic I find Brecht's techniques can often be more effective. Though I can't pinpoint the reason as to why but I believe both Brecht's and Stanislavsky's system for performance have an intimacy; just different kinds.

Lastly we finished with pretending to scrub the floor, in my case it was literal as I had a sponge handy, as an indicator of respecting and caring for your space - your stage - and the work and self motivation that goes into earning the rights to perform.

Tutorial: Fourth week
Review Written: 24/03/2013

I need to start writing these on the Friday otherwise I find it very difficult to remember everything. My attention span and memory have never been very cooperative so I may need to set a reminder on my phone....

Anyway, this lesson was mainly about putting into practice the Stanislavsky techniques we learnt in the previous week. We were asked to 'analyse' someone we had seen in the street and create a character based around what traits we could pick up from their physical appearance; whether it was movement, body language or person style. Once we had established a character we then presented them in a 'party situation' in which we interacted with one another (through our characters). We also focused on portraying certain emotions without words, purely through action. Stanislavsky techniques, I have found, are very useful for establishing a character. I always feel if I can find a motivation for either an emotion or an action then I can better portray a character.

Tutorial: Fifth week (study break)

Tutorial: Sixth week

Everyone went to the Zoo, I didn't. I was ill.

Tutorial: Seventh week

This week we used the animals the class visited at the zoo as a method of characterisation. As I didn't go to the zoo I had to choose an animal on the spot. Around twenty minutes away from where I used to live in England there were many peacocks. They are very beautiful, glamorous and elegant birds but when threatened can easily defend themselves. I thought this suited my character, or at least our scene, as Holly seems to be a well-groomed, typical 50's house wife but has a lot of insecurities based around her marriage and these issues boil to the surface in our scene.

I really enjoyed the main exercise as I felt it really helped me establish a character and develop the characterisation through small movements and vocals. We had to line up against the wall and one at a time step forward in a state of 100% animal and became more and more human with each step. David was very encouraging. He was very complimentary during our movements, and although I can't speak on behalf of the class, it gave me confidence despite feeling a little silly.

Tutorial: Eight week

Today was mainly about practicing and perfecting our dialogues. As a group we got to work with David. I found his help incredibly useful and productive. David was very calm and focussed and all of his suggestions were very well communicated and were all beneficial for the performace. My last drama teacher was not encouraging and she often let her ego get the better of her. I can see a completely different standard of teaching with David and I feel like I can genuinely improve with his method of teaching.

Tutorial: Ninth week

This week was our performance. I wasn't really nervous because I felt prepared. Whenever I finish a performance, I don't think too much about it as I think it's more beneficial to have a positive attitude about the whole event. Later on, I then find time to review my performance. Regardless of how the performance went, I always think there is room for improvement.
At the time I felt good about it, as I make sure to always do once I finish, as it's better to have a positive attitude. On reflection, I don't feel like it was evident that my character was drunk. I feel as though I didn't properly perform the more 'happy' side of Honey (*cough* drunk*cough*) and that I could have definitely improved there. I honestly don't know if I performed the quick change in emotions correctly...I don't know if there is a correct way to perform it but either way, could it have been improved? I'm not sure. I feel like perhaps in the play itself there is a build up to the anger boiling through Holly but because this is simply an excert from the play, it makes Honey look crazy to the audience.
I got some positive feedback from Bob and my friends but I'm looking forward to David and Serge's opinion, mainly for motivation and constructive critisim. Thank youuu

SOME REALLY GOOD CRITICAL COMMENTS here- especially around your own process and what was hlepful to you. Good work. any coments on readings?...Readings?


Tutorial: Tenth Week
Another study week.

Tutorial: Eleventh Week

It took me a while to remember what happened this week; most likely because I blocked out the memory. It was this week that we had our production test and got to practice rigging the lights. The reason why I temporarily blocked this memory is because I don't think I did too well on the production test. I could recite everything I know to you now and could of happily and casually before hand but you put me in a test situation and I feel this overwhelming and quite unecassary amount of stress and pressure...And consequently forget everything. I did as much as I could and were one of the very last to leave but ughhh...My ability to remember is what is counted on in tests and frankly it's awful. Why did I go into further education after I graduated High school...? So long as I have passed.

Tutorial: Twelth week

This week we worked on our monologues and briefly on characterisation. We began with a small exercise of walking around the room in our character, gradually this built up and we had to establish an emotion through memory and present it through the actions of the character. Some people started crying (mainly my friends!)
We then had to heckle (Is that the right word?) someone as a crowd while the read out their monologue. I honestly didn't know what to say and so sat in silence. I think I was just trying to listen for them, to see if I could hear them, despite the obnoxious shouting. Either that or I don't have it in me to be unecassarily rude. I don't know her name, sorry, but I found out someone else is doing the same monlogue as me. We're doing it in different styles so that's okay.


Tutorial: Thirteenth Week
Did not attend.
Tutorial: Fourteenth Week

Okay, this week we had to perform our monologues. Personally I feel as though mine went well. Better than expected at least. I performed a monologue from "A State Affair" by Robin Soans. Now, I am aware that the whole play is based on interviews done with real people who have lived with these issues but seeing as I'm the one who was performing it, I'm entitled to my own interpretation. I have never been physically or emotionally abused by my own mother, I probably have one of the best mothers in the world, and yes others tried in school until they realised that I really don't put up with any of that nonsense. When ever I have been offered drugs (Which was far too often in high school) I always said no.
So I had no choice but to perform it based upon what I knew best: British Youths.
Having been born and raised in England I can say without a doubt that my interpretation of the character was a clear example of what British youths are really like. You can ask anyone who has lived in England - Those who are involved in petty crimes and drug-use are nearly always 'Chavs'. So I based my entire characterisation on what I knew, not what I could try to understand.
I think it's difficult to truly grasp what British youths are like unless you have lived there (And grown up with many Chavs as friends like I did) and so I would recommend watching the movie Fish Tank (2009) as the main character is a clear example of a British teenager living with an emotionally abusive mum, who also happens to live council flats (always occupied by poorer families).
I know it's wrong to stereotype but we don't stereotype without reason. The character in that movie and my interpretation of the character in my monologue are very similiar because they are reflective of what the youth are really like. If you watch any British Crime drama you will see that the teenagers involved in the crimes are always Chavs. British TV wouldn't do that if it wasn't true.
I saw the potential for angst in the monologue but it wasn't until the moment of my performance that I decided upon humour. I didn't say it word-for-word (which I don't know whether I will lose marks for that or not) and did add in a little improvisation here and there. However, I did this because I felt it suited my interpretation of the text and the character.

Bethia approached me after class and asked me if it felt weird to watch my monologue being performed by someone else (because it had for her). I answered honestly; Not at all. She had an entirely different interpretation which was just as good. I knew, from week twelve, that she was going to perform it in a more 'angsty' style and so I had no issues or felt any threat. It was almost like it was two different monologues because our styles are so contrasting. She did well.



I promise to update these entries with readings over the weekend.????????
Some good comments here, especially about the workshops and your own process. I liked the comments about your monologue character especially. I feel one thing the actor has to do, however, is move beyond stereotypes in her own performance. You did this well. I feel more research and reading would have helped the hournal.
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