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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Experiences with Acting

[Yes, this post is late! Terribly late! About which I am SO sorry!! I hope it lives up to your desires and expectations. :) ]

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I can still remember my old school's announcement for its third grade play. Upon the beginning of the auditions and the clear statement that every student must participate, I insisted upon simply being a part of the crew. Though I was eventually forced to serve as a townsperson, I did NOT want to be seen. Not in front of an audience! Not in front of all those people!

The years went by, and I began homeschooling and attending a school for independent studies. I finished elementary school, then groaned my way through middle school, and eventually found myself in my freshman year of high school.

I saw my freshman year as a great time to be ambitious. I sought out new friends, finally edited my novella, and just saw the time as an opportunity to try something different.

Then came the announcement of the newly formed theatre company, as well as its first production, The Snow Queen.

Ever since I first laid eyes on Disney's 2013 Frozen, adaptions of the tale have found their way into a special place in my heart. Stories of figures with incredible powers, sisters determined to save their loved ones, and epic journeys across freezing lands.

So the theme of the production helped to make my decision easier. Within a week's time, I had signed up for an audition.

★ The audition was far different than I expected.

I expected to enter a vast, darkly lit chamber, in which the director and various members of the cast and crew would be seated at a long wooden table. I would be pointed to a giant red "x" centered in the middle of the floor, and would begin reciting my monologue.

False.

A sweet, friendly woman waited outside the auditorium, and helped me sign in, then visited with me, afterwards. Eventually, the director (who happened to be a fellow student!) invited me in, and I stood before her table and recited my monologue. Afterwards, I was asked to read from a Dr. Seuss book as if reading to a child.

That evening, I received an email inviting me to callbacks.

★ Callbacks were very different from the audition.

All the potential cast members met in a bungalow and mingled while selected actors were summoned into a separate room. When called, we were each given a script to observe and perform in front of the director.

After about an hour or two, a majority of the actors were dismissed while a handful remained. Something I think that is very important to remember is that it may appear that you have not made it through, but such is not always the case. Along with most of the other students, I was dismissed while others remained. An email was sent out informing us of the cast announcement that would be made over the weekend. I was thrilled when I discovered that I'd made it through!

In a week or two, the first rehearsal came, about which I was very nervous. I'd never acted before! How in Gallifrey was this all going to play out?!

★ The director knows best.

There were only a couple of cast members who'd ever been involved in a play, before. And the director knew that. As the director, their job is to provide the necessary information for a successful performance, as well as to help form a unity amongst the cast members. The cast of The Snow Queen was blessed to have such a friendly, relaxed, and organized director! (Seriously. She was amazing!)

★ Cast friendships will happen.

And it's strange. 'Cause cast friendships seem unavoidable (not that you'd want to avoid them). Between all the time spent interacting onstage, between scenes, and in the dressing room (sometimes ya'll have to share a divided dressing room, but fear not: it's not as weird or awkward as it sounds!), there is a very unique bond that forms between the actors.

Before becoming a part of The Snow Queen, I always wondered if the actors onstage really felt that elated during cast bows. Let me tell you: They do. It's quite a wonderful feeling, once the performance has finally been finished. After every performance, there were always the cast members who I'd share a hug or high-five with in celebration.

★ Expect to be nervous.

I felt quite jittery during opening night. I kept pacing around the dressing room asking fellow cast members if they were nervous. I was surprised to encounter a "no" from the star, and a "Are you kidding? Of course I am! How could I not be?" from the character's sister.

When the call finally came for me to appear backstage, I stood trembling, and, as soon as I stepped onstage, I forced myself to wipe away the nervous laughter nagging at my face. Overall, the first scene was hard. But by the next scene, I felt as close to normal as I could be.

But here's a little tip I didn't know before performing, and is something I consider to be a huge game-changer: You can't see the whole audience. True, you can spot people if you squint or stare at the first few rows, but otherwise (were you not to have the knowledge they were there), it would seem like just a common tech rehearsal. Why? Stage lights. Totally awesome, thank-you-so-much-to-the-person-who-invented-them stage lights.

★ The final performance is weird.

Trust me. It is.

You hardly feel nervous at all, and, even if there's a small cast party, it just feels... kind of like it's all over. And stressful, too... (Okay, the stress was actually because I had an essay to finish editing which was due the following morning, but... yeah.)


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...Anywhozens, I hope this has helped those with questions about acting! Acting is certainly worth the time! Even if you do it just once. :)

I hope you all have a great rest of the day, and are able to have an acting experience in the near future!

<3


8 comments:

  1. I enjoyed this post so much, Liv! Thank you for posting it, I had fun reading it :). It sounds like you had an AMAZING time acting in The Snow Queen! It was so neat to read about your experience. Which part did you play?

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Savannah! :)
      I played the role of Rikka, the leader of a band of robbers, and had three minor parts as a courtier, an angel, and a river.

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  2. I did plays and musicals when I was younger and loved them. I want to get back into doing them.

    How in Gallifrey indeed, love that little reference.

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    Replies
    1. You should! They're so much fun! (And thanks! ;) )

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  3. I have never had an opportunity to act, and I'm am positive that I would have enormous stage fright because I HATE being the center of attention, but if I HAD to act, my dream role would be Belle from Beauty and the Beast. So anything that would give me experience for that role would be cool.

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    Replies
    1. Ooo! I know all about dream roles! I would ADORE playing Maid Marian in a ROBIN HOOD play! That would be SO MUCH FUN!! :D

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  4. I love performing, yet musicals are really not my thing. (Tune deaf as like to call my self). My dream role would have to be on -TV acting. Show such as Hollyoaks or HIMYM are my ambition.

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    Replies
    1. I'm a little shy of musicals, too. Though I think I can sing, I'm definitely not brave enough to go up there and do it in front of so many people! What if I did a note too high or too low?!
      And yes, TV acting sounds wonderful! I think it'd be especially cool to be in a fantasy drama, like Merlin or Once Upon a Time -- one where viewers would be extremely dedicated and the cast relationships would be tight. :)

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