In our session with Gary we performed duologue’s that we were set for homework. Liam and I had practised our version in our self directed study periods so we decided to go first as we felt confident in what we had produced and how we had interpreted the purposefully vague script Gary had written himself. He had made it purposefully vague so that each pair could interpret it differently and come up with different situations the conversation could take place in, therefore getting us to think creatively. Liam and I decided that his character had gotten drunk the night before and said some horrible things to my character who was his friend. We set our piece in an office where my character worked so that we could add an extra factor of not having a full blown argument as we were aware of the surrounding people in our scene. This meant that some of the time we said ‘sorry’ we chose to direct it out rather that to one another. This was something that the class and Gary said that they particularly enjoyed about our performance. Other feedback that we got was that we were successful in building tension and that one of our strengths was that we managed to make it naturalistic and also believable with our acting. This was good as the aim of our duologues was to make them realistic and not to over play the characters. Something else that the group liked was our characters relationship was clear and held throughout. The main piece of advice that Gary gave to us was that there was one moment where Liam looked at him and gave him eye contact. This meant that the fourth wall was broken and that the tension was momentarily lost. Otherwise our performance went really well and I really enjoyed working on it. The next people to perform were Justin and Will. The comments that we formed as a group after seeing what they had produced included the fact that Justin has an ‘actors tick’ of twiddling his thumbs. Gary gave the advice that if we can spot these early on then its good to try and work on getting rid of them as in acting we should be eliminating traits that define us and instead be focusing on the character and what traits and habits they would have. As the twiddling of thumbs wasn’t fitting of Justin’s character it made the piece feel slightly more unnatural. Another point about their piece was that we as an audience didn’t manage to guess their characters and their relationship. After seeing their piece we saw how important it is to make sure the message of your piece is gotten across. Ryan and Karolis went next and took a completely differently interpretation by making it a conversation between an employee and a boss. This made it very interesting to watch and it was nice how they used a table and chair for props as not many groups did this. Although in the beginning I thought they were a teacher and pupil, this was soon made clear to me what their actual roles were. Overall their piece was my favourite of the groups as it was entertaining and really unique and imaginative with their concept. Mia and Eren’s was the next one we saw and it was a little bit hard to see Erens facial expressions but overall they had a really relaxed style of acting that put the audience feeling comfortable watching them. It wasn’t too overwhelming and it was really good to have a positive ending to the script as everyone else left it on a negative. This was because with our partners we had to write our own endings. Jess and Ines then did their piece which had a comic twist as they were playing tennis which was unique. Although this is the case, a piece of constructive criticism I gave to them was that Jess kept her slouched posture rather than standing as her character would do. Lastly were Tom and Sabrina who weren’t too clear on their lines which meant it was hard to see their characters as we were more focused on the fact they kept needing to use their scripts. This is a shame as if this wasn’t the case then I think they could have had a good piece as their concept of having it set in a park was good. At the end of the session Gary gave some great advice saying that an actor should always arrive in a scene knowing where they came from and where they are going. This will be useful in the season show, commission and any performance.
In our improvisation lesson with Erica we started by talking about the stereotypes that our names have and how just the name itself has associations to physical characteristics even if they aren’t always true of a person with that name. The group said that my name ‘Thalia’ connoted sophistication and some people even said food. We then had to create a new drink in pairs and Karolis and I came up with ‘Perfita’. It stands for perfect and has Baileys, hot chocolate, cinnamon and cookies in it. These tasks got us thinking creatively as this is really important in improvisation as you have to be imaginative and think quickly with what ever comes to mind. We extending this onto making short devised pieces from a stimulus given to us by Erica. My group got give a safety talk about clouds. You can see what we came up with bellow. We based it on public safety announcements and how robotic they can be.