Thursday, December 16, 2010

What is Acting?

Welcome to the final instalment of Life of a Theatre Kid!!!
Well, not the LAST last.. but the last one I'll be graded for...
Acting is probably the MOST important part of a show... I mean, without acting, all that would happen is that people would say words and leave. BOOOOORING!!!
Acting is a lot more complicated than that. Acting is feeling something real, and having the audience feel it with you.
Think of your favorite movie, for example... Remember the scene you love the most, the actor behind that scene put all his or her effort into it so would feel real to you, the audience. Know that as an actor myself, I've made people feel, and I've felt things I never knew I could, just because of acting.
To act is to live, and live I shall.
So have a wonderful winter, and a safe new year.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Welcome!!! This blog is gonna be about the socio-political aspect of certain shows. I'll be talking about two, Hair and Rent.
Hair is defined as a tribal musical, not because it's American Indian, but because its based on the 60's during the Vietnam War. It's all about hippi culture and how it's not always peace and love. Hair was considered a very controvercial musical because of the content, which included excessive cursing, drug useage, sexual actions between people (both gay and strait), and brief, non-sexual nudity.
Hair is also about a man named Claude, who is conflicted as to wether or not to be a freedom fighter, or a peace keeper. He is given LSD laces marijuana, which takes him on a trip, and Claude makes the desicion to fight in Vietnam. The Finale of this musical is so powerful, that wether you're a dove or a hawk, you can appreciate the passion that is Hair.
Below I will include the rehersal video of the Revival Cast of Hair from 2009. ENJOY!!

The next video is an actual performance, which i personally believe is awesome!!!

Next is a far more recent musical, which closed very, VERY recently. Rent has very similar aspects to Hair, actually, due to the fact that it's about living with an internal war. Where Hair was known as the Tribal Musical, Rent was known as Life the Musical. It's about a group of people who's lives are affected primarily, or secondarily to AIDS. Half of the main characters are infected, and the other half tries to live with the fact that they will survive the others.
Here is a video of how fast life can go, in the eyes of Rent.

Next, is a video, about celebrating life, and all its fortunes, misfortunes and suprises.

Until next time, my dears.

Monday, November 29, 2010

As we STUMBLE!!! BUMBLE!!! FUMBLE!!!! ... ... TRUMBLE!!!

Last weekend, dear readers, I went to see my friends in the BTC's Production of The Drowsy Chaperone. (YAAAAY)
This is pretty much, in a nutshell, how a lot of actors learn the craft: they watch others perform. Kind of like a monkey-see-monkey-do sort-of thing.
This was double-casted (two casts) and both provided different variations on the same theme.
Wynnie Van Dusen (who played the Woman in the Chair in one casting) played the Woman as a very socially-akward-cat-lady-type character. She used the comic timing and her lines to the fullest extent and made a potentially boring character very interesting.
Elise Swift (who played the Woman in the Chair in the other casting) played the character as a timid-libraryan-who-rarely-went-out kind of character. She was very quiet and at certain points would show an anger outside of her character which added dynamic.
These are two different types of character choices, but the same character... WHAT?!?!?!
Wynnie is a comic engenue who can improvise anything on the spot, and wind up with an amazing show. Elise has amazing comic timing, and her presence on the stage is never undermined.
Character is all about the actor using his or her life experiences to make the show their own. No one can play a character the same as someone else, because nobody is exactly alike...
think on that, and I'll see you for my next blog post!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Speaking of the Stage

Welcome to another exciting addition to this wonderful theatrical blog.
This week, I was fortunate to see a production of "Charlie's Aunt" at my university.
I also helped build the sets, but that's besides the point...
The play consisted of three acts held in three different places. My boyfriend was confused as to what the hell was going on because the stage looked very small from our (meaning the audience's) angle. I attempted to explain what was up, but he just didn't get it. (love you honey!!!)
Luckily, he needed to get to another part of the building, so he got to see where Scene Shop was and also the part of the theatre where we load stuff in. It's also known as the Loading Dock...
This week's editon will be about Scene Shop and the wonderful magic behind it.
I spent several weeks helping to build the set for "Charlie's Aunt." It was fun, and extremely difficult, because of how much work was involved. We, meaning the members of shop, literally bled for this production. Sweat and tears are always mandatory for a production.
I learned how to use more advanced power tools, like the like the band-, jig-, and table-saw, the router, and the pneumatic, or air powered staple and nail guns.
Many injuries ensued, i cut the back of my arm and got some dust in my eye. My friend Z, she stapled her finger with a pneumatic stapler, and bled all over me. She's alright, but we tease her because she always warns us to watch our fingers.
Nobody has cut off body parts, as of yet. *knock on wood*
And I don't think there is a day in Shop where you don't hear someone cursing loudly because they bang their hand or foot on something or another.
Much laughter and teasing follows, because the injuries are never that bad, and we all trust eachother.
Building the sets give you a sence of pride, because you started with raw materials, and made something wonderful for people to admire. It's literally the frame for the actors "artwork".
M'kay. I need to work on my homework and sturf...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Where Are We!?!?! *idk, a place?*

Welcome to another addition to my blog!!! *cue party for one music*
Alright! Next on the aggenda for the Life of a Theatre Kid is the Performance Space!!!
What is a performance space?!?!?!
I'm so glad you asked! A performance space is where an actor, or a group of actors will put on a show. There are several types of stages, and I'll start with the very basic one. It's called the Procenium Theatre.

A Procenium theatre is one of the most basic modern day stages. It consists of a stage, an apron and the audience.
The stage is where most of the back-drops and sets will go, along with scenes that are very company oriented. It is the largest part of the stage.
The apron is an extension of the stage, it has a PROJECTED stage infront of the actuall main part of the stage. This is where most of the dialogues between the main characters and solo songs happen; there are always exceptions to that rule, but it's VERY RARE!!!
The next stage I'll talk about is a round-about!

Yes, as you might have guessed, a round-about stage is very similar to a football stadium!!!
SEE!!!! We ARE ALIKE!!!! hahahahaha! Just kidding, I'm cooler...
A round-about theatre is almost IDENTICAL to a stadium! It has graded seating, the players come out from specific exits and enterances around the "field" and they have to keep everybody involved on every side!
Up next is a Black Box Theatre!!!

A Black Box theatre tends to be a more "intimate" theatre. Black Box's are usually on the small side, rarely holding more than 100 people, due to the fact that in the 1960's and '70's (when this type of theatre was created, by the way.) It was used by less fortunate (when are we ever fortunate in the theatre world?!?!?! XD) actors and students to produce low-cost productions.
For that reason, there was the use of minimalist set and no scenery; the scenery was a wall painted black: hence the name "Black Box."
That's all for tonight folks!
Stay tuned for the next installment of:
*cue cheezy TV music from the 1950's*

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Where to Begin? The Beginning, of Course!!!

Most people tend to begin at the beginning. For it's a very good place to start. Yes I just paraphrased Sound of Music. It was completely spur of the moment and random, and I had no intention of having it sound like "Do Re Mi" but it did. That, my dear childrens, is called Improvisation.
Improvisation, or improv for short, is one of the most basic, and most frequently used forms of performance. 
Why, it's used everyday!!!
How is that possible?!?!?!
What the hell is this person talking about?!?!
I DON'T KNOW!!!!!!! DX
Seriously, folks. Improv is used all the time. It's pretty much how we communicate on a daily basis.
Conversations you hold over the phone, arguements with co-workers, even webchats are improvised.
Nothing is truly predictable when it comes to improv.
Now, for the HISTORY!!!! *cue historical period music!!!*

Improv is almost as old as time, though people didn't really call it improv. Most contemporary types of improvs are performed with a variation of the Commedia Dell'Arte.
This form was usually given a "scenario" like... 'a boy and a girl meet at the fair'. Very simple, right?
Then a troupe of actors would perform said scenario, adding plot, characters, and costumes to make it much more interesting.
After awhile, this form of improv died., dead, kicked the bucket, if you will...
But a new form re-emerged, thanks to two people: Keith Johnstone and Viola Spolin. (YAY)
Senor Keith Johnstone and Lady Viola Spolin, in recent history, made improv more like a game, so it was less like a show and more like spur-of-the-moment entertainment!!!

How was THIS for a quick history lesson, huh?!?! hahaha!!!
Improv is also used on stage if someone makes a mistake.
Attached to this will be a link to a video of a show I was in.
I completely and UTTERLY forgot one section of my lines, but I couldn't stop the show and think, I had to IMPROVISE!!!!!!!!! Hopefully this is a good expample and you will be entertained by the song that ensues my dialogue.
Another video will be attached with some of my very good friends performing a "Perspective Story," which is an Improv game that is used to tell the same story but with different characters. Please enjoy and feel free to tell me anything you wish to know about the wonderful, wacky, whimsical, wordy world of THEATRE!!!

Durdles' Revelation / Puffer's Confession from Broadway Training Center on Vimeo.

Perspective Stories (Advanced Acting / Improv) from Broadway Training Center on Vimeo.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My First Experience

Hi all! My name is Sara and my most favorite thing to do is perform on stage.
Ever since I was about 6, I knew I was destined to do something that few people have accomplished, but many wanted. At first, I wanted to be a ballerina, but that really didn't work out all that well because I was really self consious, and the leotard didn't help all that much.
I took ballet for about seven years, loving how dance made me feel, but hating the fact that all of the clothes were skin tight.
At age 9, my mom and dad took me to my first Broadway show: The Lion King.
I remember being in awe, watching how the actors moved gracefully on the stage, imitating the moves of the animals... I was inspired.
After the show, I remember asking my dad if anybody could be on stage. He didn't say yes or no, but he told me that it was a lot of hard work.
At age 10, I was in my first show.
The Pajama Game was my first production. I remember having so much trouble with the box step, and being really excited to be getting my first make-up kit.
Being in that show really changed my life. Post-production, I remember feeling so amazing, and I knew that from then, on, I would always perform on stage.