Week 1.


Nothing like coming to week two and writing week one's entry! I was really nervous coming into the first class. I transferred from ECU last year so I hadn't done any murdoch theatre units yet. At ECU all of my classes were with the same education students who were studying drama teaching, so to come into this class where probably 4 other people are studying teaching is quite different to what I am used to! Plus us drama kids are always a bit quirky so I wasn't sure who I would be spending the next 14 weeks with! haha ;)

I walked out of the class feeling fantastic. It didn't feel like a 2hr tut. It wasn't scary. People weren't crazy. They were actually *gasp* normal and somewhat like me! haha, (not that I am in any way normal ha)

There is something quite fascinating about a group of people walking around a room, given only one instruction - to 'feel when to stop as a group' and successfully doing it. Every time we did this activity I was amazed all over again at the fluidity of the group coming to a stop within mere seconds of each other. The activity tapped into so many different skills; peripheral vision, spacial awareness, movement skills such as pace and direction. From one simple activity we were utilising so much! In terms of acting and even lighting, these skills are regularly used and activities such as this help to enhance those skills, make one aware of how to practice such skills on stage and also help learn to predict movement and see what is coming subconsciously. For lighting, it is important to know what people are doing, where everyone is. Tim made a comment in class about always be aware of who is watching you. Just because you are not in the main action at some points of a production, it doesn't mean someone isn't watching you. For a lighting technician it is especially important to know what people are doing when they are not in the main action. To be aware of their actions and whether or not they need to be seen etc.

All in all it was a great first class and I am glad that I didn't hide in the corner but rather jumped into the activities (in some ways ran in the activities.. screaming.. at other students... ha) ha!

-jade

Some good observations here...and I'm glad that you're enjoying the training ...it will make more sense when we put it into practice. Serge

Week 2--- AWAY :(


Week 3.

....that awkward moment when it's week 11 and you have just started writing week 3's entry. Oh well, no point denying my laziness and lack of discipline to keep up, y'all can just check the entry dates anyway. JADE!!!!

I was away for week two when we started the basics of vocal warm ups so when we went over them before doing some group work I quietly hid towards the back and tried to put my invisibility cloak on... ha. Being a kind-of-vocalist who can kind-of-hold-a-tune, I am familiar with vocal exercises and regularly have to get my diaphragm moving, my throat opening, my jaw widening etc. etc. So I suppose that made me feel slightly at ease when we started the exercises, they weren't as scary as I had anticipated. But none the less, I did not want to get picked to repeat the eh, ee, ah, aw, oh, oo solo and then again adding another letter.... I was lucky. I didn't get picked. haa

The class got very interesting when we moved on to looking at the piece Kiss My Hands, by Howard Barker... (again this could have been covered in week 2, but it was news to me!) I found the content and context very confronting and heartbreaking. Social injustice is truly one of the most devastating consequences of humanities stupidity so it genuinely broke my heart when trying to understand and grasp the deep meaning behind this piece. And then of course I had the role of one of the terrorists who had to 'enjoy' the scene.. I found it challenging to get into character and to understand the position he was in.. To grapple with the joy he felt of seeing a husband torn away from his family and portray that was very difficult for me. The only way I felt I could appropriately enact the scene was to make my lines comical and over exaggerate the emotion. That may not have come out when acting, but in my mind I was definitely over acting what I had to do.. And people did laugh when I said 'I love this' in regards to the wife and husband saying their goodbyes.. Emily played the husband in our group and I must say that she blew me away! I was genuinely amazed at the intensity she brought to the scene and how that really shaped everything we were all doing as a team.
The other groups all did quite different things.. I loved the Brechtian take on the scene with the single script and limited physical action. It's amazing how powerful words can be....

That wraps up week 3.. We have some amazing talent in our group, and even though I'm writing from weeks and weeks later... I know back then I was thinking 'wow, I can't wait to see what this group does and I hope they are in AP2!!'

-jade



Week 4.

'yes' 'no'
This week was definitely very interesting and challenging! We did an exercise 'yes' 'no' which basically entailed two people,one only allowed to say 'yes' and the other only allowed to say 'no'. The two people were in a relationship and one had cheated on the other. The 'yes' person was trying to force the other to admit that they had cheated and the 'no' was trying convince the other that they hadn't. Again I don't know if it was just our group being extremely talented and mind blowingly engaging or if everyone delivered such a high standard but wow our session was intense and moving! The first few were very similar and all male and female pairs, but as people became more aware of the activity, creativity started to pour out! Most people didn't let the 'yes' win. Generally it ended on a firm no and then someone left the scene. But Anthony eventually turned his 'yes' into a 'no'.... we were all on the edge of our seats, we genuinely did not know what was going to happen!

You're falling into the trap of telling me what happen...probably a by-product of remembering...!! Remember I was there...I need to read more about what happened to you as an actor.


I did mine with Alex, she was the no and I was the yes... Most of the action before ours involved the yes moving toward the no and the no sitting in the chair as if they were being interrogated. Serge and Tim encouraged us to really be creative and just see how our emotions and body would actually react in this situation. Being quite a reserved person in terms of conflict I decided to just stay put and not go up and interrogate her. In my own personal experience I'm not the 'yelling' type ha. So if I were to confront someone about something as big as cheating, I would not be aggressive or attacking in nature at all. Playing alongside a female also influenced the role play... Rather than having a man who may have been emotionless or a bit harder to crack it felt like we were both so emotional in a different way. By me staying at the wall and eventually just sitting down in that spot, I forced the 'no' to come to me and comfort me. So rather than it being an interrogation it was kinda like I just knew already and had resigned myself to that grief and devastation. I don't know how it came across to the audience but I definitely felt the intensity on stage!

It is amazing how much can be said without really saying anything! We were very strictly limited to two words yet there was so much going on and so much being portrayed to the audience. By removing the limitations of words we were able to connect with the physical and emotional aspects of the performance as well as really embody the space and timing of a real conversation. All in all a great exercise that I will definitely not forget! That's more like it!

-jade


Week 5 --- a study week that didn't really involve studying...


Week 6.

get your kiss onnnnnn......
What an interesting workshop... ha. We started out by greeting each other using different cultural customs.. Shaking hands, hugging, kissing on the cheeks, rubbing noses etc. I found it quite challenging, I don't know, maybe because I didn't really feel comfortable with my partner for the exercise. We were both a bit awkward and hesitant so I didn't feel completely at ease rubbing noses etc. Hand shaking was fine, it was just when faces met, so the kissing on the cheeks and then the nose tap. Maybe my partner felt different and thought it was OK or maybe he was just as uncomfortable as I was. It could have been a combination of things, the class had only just started so I wasn't quite in the right mindset, it was the first time I had really spoken to my partner all semester, we didn't really know each other.. I dunno..

Anyway, we moved on to recreating the intense Greek myth of Philomela, Tereus and Procne. Serge gave us in great detail the context of the scene we were doing and explained that one person was Tereus - having defiled the beloved sister and now coming back to be with Procne and the other was Procne - knowing what he has done to her most close friend and sister but having to put that aside and take him back... I played Procne both times; first with a girl and the second with a guy. The reconciling moment was meant to be a kiss that they share to symbolise the union. We didn't have to kiss, it was totally up to our partnership and what felt comfortable. The first time around with the girl girl match, we kinda just said let's see how it goes. If it feels right to kiss than let it be kinda thing. Procne started facing away from Tereus and then moved in towards him. It took me quite a while to turn around and start the acceptance process. The story was so disgusting and devastating that if I were actually in that situation I don't think I would return! So my mind was in a huge battle trying to process it all and make that move to Tereus. All of the emotion and anger was channelling through my fingers and hesitant steps. I started to walk but had to stop and wait. I tried again but I really felt that every move was intentional and political and laced with devastation and disgust. When we did unite we kissed quickly, on my behalf it was forced and quick to symbolise that this was not what I wanted to do but what I had to do.


The second time around I played with a male as Tereus so it was quite different again. This time the man had to make his way to Procne rather than Procne going to him. This felt more natural. It felt right that he should come to her and beg for her back. He needed to be the vulnerable guilty one approaching her. He approached me with a definite sense of power but also a hint of guilt. It was super intense. I could feel my body shaking and twinging and I was definitely trying to appear calm whilst being terrified (as the character). He came in and grabbed my wrists. We stood a while just staring intensely and eventually kissed. It was powerfully pulled into a hug before breaking and ending.

Both pairs were really powerful in their own way, the second felt more natural, probably because of the male/female match up as well as the switched movement. But we definitely were left feeling pretty emotionally wiped! ha Difficult situations can be the best in performance...when you nail them!!

-jade


Weeks 7, 8 , 9....

Ima' be a bit cheeky and do a group entry on the three dialogue weeks.. It makes it a little less awkward ha.

I'm doing a piece with Sarah from the movie/play Proof. We both live in Rockingham and knew each other from high school so it was super convenient meeting up to rehearse etc. I was really easy working with her as a performer, we both felt the same kind of awkwardness when first starting to go through the script. At first I was worried that the piece would be boring or not flow too well, the action in the movie takes place in a shopping centre, so the two characters always have something to do. We wrestled for a while to get the right setting for the piece! As the group so far has been so outstanding I was worried that this scene wouldn't quite stand up to the quality everyone else was bringing but the more we rehearsed it and played with it the more comfortable I got.

Performing in front of Serge and Tim was soooo helpful! I was so nervous at first but then settled in and was beyond glad that we got their advice. Having their reassurance that we were on the right track and having their help to nut out the key elements of the piece really took it to a new level. We didn't realise how funny it would be until Serge was chuckling the whole way through ha.

Some struggles...
-learning the lines! The lines were very repetitive so it was hard to follow and not skip lines. They also didn't make sense if the other changed a word or phrased it slightly differently, so we had to be really careful and intentional with our choices. We definitely had to stop a few times and really nut out the exact wording of the text. But we both improvised really well and were quick to change our lines if we needed to.
-Getting the reactions right... Because the dialogue was so quick and fast paced, it was hard for me to get the reactions right each time. I struggled to ramp up the anger enough in some parts and was always so afraid of missing the mark in the final part of the scene,

Some non-struggles...
-Getting the chemistry working.. It was really easy to connect with Sarah and her character. She was easy to play off!
-Developing my character. I found it really easy to become Catherine! That was assisted by Sarah being so relaxed and easy to work with. I really knew who she was and found it fun!

so this all leads to PERFORMANCE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


eeeeep! I was soooooo nervous. We got to go first luckily so we just did ours and then could enjoy the rest of the session. Boy do we have talent in our class! Special mention to the Pulp fiction duo, Emily I was genuinely terrified, were you going to rape him? kill him? I didn't know. You guys nailed it.

As for our performance.... well Sarah nailed it. Jade thought we were at a different part (due to similar lines) and missed the big blowout... Luckily Sarah picked it up and we kinda made it work. Because my character was so defiant it didn't matter toooo much that I just angrily ignored Sarah, but it definitely took away from the big ending. I felt awful. I was shaking ha. Luckily Sarah didn't kill me.

Overall it was a good ease back into performing. It's been a year since I last did a theatre unit so it feel great to be back on the stage and working. :)

Week 10--- study break??? Ha! I think I was busier than when classes are actually running!

Week 11.

That awkward moment when you walk out of the exam and speak to people and realise that you did the order of lighting bars the wrong way around after Tim carefully told you to read the labels and where the audience is. Other than that I nailed it. 93%. Can't complain. I was quite lucky because I have interacted with pretty much all of the equipment Tim introduced us too. I just didn't know the technical names. My study notes were covered in brackets saying (the ones we sing with), (the ones over the drums) etc ha. It made it easy to remember everything. It's so handy to be exposed to this stuff though! Being aware as an actor of what is needed for lighting and sound and also just to be courteous and helpful when they are doing so much for you!

Week 12+13.

Monologuessss

Due to laziness and maths stats killing me, I hadn't learnt my lines in time to show any action to Serge and Tim.. But none the less I read the piece aloud and we chatted about some options. I'm doing a piece from a play called 'Mother Teresa is Dead' and it is intense to say the least! Figuring out the blocking was super tough. Even Serge was stumped! It just didn't feel natural to move. We decided that I would learn my lines and then book in a time next week and go from there........

I decided to just use a chair and hanky and rather than moving around I would use a lot of symbolic movements to convey the action of the piece. Showing this to Serge, we started to add movement here and there. The hanky was a great way to show the baby and also just to add to my edgy-ness.

It is a pretty intense scene... Hopefully people like and don't think wtf.... haha

Week 14.

This is it! Final Performance.. Final class... it's a sad day yet mega relieving to know that it's done and dusted! Defs keen for holidays.
Of course my monologue would be near the end. So annoying! ha I spent the entire time stressing and running lines.. I had mixed feelings about everyone's performances.. our class has been so amazing so I was expecting a lot! I felt that it wasn't quite as good as the dialogues.. but defs some great work.

I think I performed my piece the best I've ever performed it... I felt really good about it! But it was pretty scary and intense so hopefully it didn't have more shock than quality.

Well that brings us to the end of semester... It's actually quite sad. I feel like it's been a really unique experience and definitely can't wait till AP2! Thanks everyone for adding to the great learning experience, and a definite shout out to Serge and Tim for being so accessible and easy to contact. You guys really have been amazing tutors!

Seeyou all next semester fellow drama freaks ;)

xx

...a very competent journal...but writing so long after the event has its draw backs...nostalgia takes over...nevertheless, it was great having you part of the class. Grade: C