January 3rd 2012
Countdown to first audience: t-minus 6 days
Wow, I am so psyched for the show; we’re really in crunch time now. One of the hardest parts of this part of the process is not allowing oneself to just go through the motions. If this happens, one will find that the scene is almost finished and none of it is remembered. This really isn’t a good thing to be doing; it makes the show boring for the audience, and the actors.
Another thing that tends to happen around this time of year is that people get so bored with going through the scenes again and again that they begin to drop out of the action and think about other things instead of reacting to what is going on on the stage. They have empty faces and this causes the audience to look at them and think: “I wonder why that character is so blank all of a sudden?”
We have been taught a couple of strategies in order to avoid these things happening on stage. The first being: taking thirty seconds or a minute before going onstage to ask yourself three questions. Where am I coming from? What am I doing in this scene? Where am I going to after I leave? These questions are excellent at helping an actor get into character and really think about the scene. The other strategy was taught to us by Lisa Braun. She told us that in order stay in the scene, we should have practiced our lines
not seated in a boring position, but standing and going through our blocking, making sense of it.
I have found both these techniques to be very helpful in allowing me to stay in character all the time. The real trick is remembering to use these methods while in an actual performance. Despite what I said previously about this being “crunch time” and a hard part of the process, in my opinion, this really is the best part of the preparation for the show. This is when we really see the show coming together and this is when we realize that our hard work hasn’t been in vain. Not to be too optimistic, this time is also when we realize what holes there are in our performance and what needs to be figured out and/or fixed in a short amount of time. This means that there’s more pressure now than at any other period.
Tomorrow will be our first time practicing Annie on the stage at the cultural centre and for some, it will be there first time setting foot on the big stage. It is sure to be an exciting day for all involved.