On Thursday 16th March, the entire second year had a deadline to present our ideas to the group and the tutors. The aim of this was to present our three ideas which we would like to see considered for the final ‘Saints and Sinners’ performance. Following the presentation, the tutors would have the final say of which is included and how the performance will be structured.
Here is my PowerPoint which I prepared for the presentation:
Here is the playlist of the presentations, I will attach my presentation separately below the playlist:
Prior to my presentation, I had written notes down so I could explain the simple bullet points, which was part of the advice given by Lynn to have very little on the PowerPoint. This would therefore mean that while I was explaining, my audience would have my attention and not looking at the board. In order to keep my audience, I also took on the advice of making eye contact with everyone across the room, including those in the corner to ensure that they are included. In terms of my voice, I felt that although it was clear and I spoke with a reasonable volume, I know I could improve. This is because although I tried to keep my points minimalistic, I put them onto two slides and had already spoken about most of the points before moving onto that slide. Therefore, although I had rehearsed and written notes, I let nerves get to me slightly so I could have still been more prepared. This affected my voice as when I looked at a slide, I then realised I had already mentioned those points so I suddenly stopped even though it appeared I was about to speak again.
Despite this, I was able to get my points through and had a suggestion which I had not thought about, which was for my second idea with ‘Twisted Games’, have the devil sing in acapella. Considering I sing in Amado, an acapella group, now that I am looking back, it is something I should have considered, however, when Scott suggested it, I was definitely up for that idea and would prefer that to my other ideas of having it performed as a monologue or sung with the backing track. Thinking back to this, as I didn’t think to have this as an idea, I feel that to improve, I could have thought through my ideas more to have more variety and options for a piece.
Jack Taylor-Balls- Jack’s three ideas involved one from ‘American Idiot’, using the song Saint Jimmy, he also had either ‘Totally Fucked’ or ‘The Bitch of Living’ and finally, a devised political verbatim piece. I have had experience on verbatim theatre through playing Peggy on ‘Lilies On the Land’ earlier in March so would be willing to have involvement in this. As much as I enjoy Spring Awakening and would love to perform these songs again, it’s something which I am not sure should go in the final performance as it had been worked a lot, especially at Conservatoire EAST, therefore, I would like to try something different instead. Presentation wise, it was clear, simple and his voice was at a good volume, he involved his audience with eye contact and made his voice clear at a good volume.
Harry Ladell- Harry’s three ideas were ‘The Night’s Templar’, ‘Gollum’s Song’ from the Lord of the Rings and to bring in improvability sessions which we had done, in particular, from Thursday 9th March with our dinner date scene. For Harry’s presentation, although he was one of the only member of the group to not have a PowerPoint, he was able to explain his points clearly and get his ideas through in great detail, explaining what his ideas were, what he intends for it and his ideas for casting. In order for us to get the link for Saints and Sinners into Gollum’s Song, instead of simply playing the song, he spoke out the lyrics to us. I had a similar idea to this with ‘Twisted Games’, but I chose to put it on my PowerPoint so if there was something they didn’t fully understand, they could re-read it. Overall, there was clarity in his voice and he spoke with a good volume so I could hear and understand every word he was saying.
Lou Rowe- For her presentation, Lou had put the structure of the show into consideration, with adding presenters in between pieces. I liked this idea because one worry for the show would be to have a revue-style show with sketches, but silence in between changing pieces. This would be able to fill that gap and keep it exciting for the audience, I remember from the year one commission ‘Inspired by Film’ and would say that there being gaps of nothing did make the energy fall in between pieces. Like Harry, she had also thought of putting improvability into one of the pieces, for me, if this happened I would rather it be Mike Leigh style. A scene is devised and then developed over the rehearsal process which can then be performed, I feel that this would be better than having improvability on the night as the piece can be more secure. Although I was able to hear Lou clearly, I wasn’t able to see much of her PowerPoint as the words were difficult to read from where I was sat as the font was quite small and was difficult to read with the background.
Emma Croft- One of Emma’s ideas was from Jekyll and Hyde, using the song Façade, the lyrics have the message that everyone has good and evil within them, something which I really liked the sound of. I immediately thought that using this song would go well in the actual performance as other ideas, including my own, just have a Saints or Sinners theme, not both, therefore, having that mix as a message to the audience could make up their own mind about good and evil. I thought that this could either go at the beginning or the end of the piece, as a starting message or as message to everyone after they have performed their piece focusing on good or evil. For the rest of Emma’s presentation, she had put casting into consideration with her Prince of Egypt idea and as she knew The Prince of Egypt, was willing to help others during the rehearsal process. Her final idea, monologues from songs from the Hunchback of Notre Dame received some questions from tutors that there are other versions of the story which would prove more useful. As there are other versions, I would agree with this as song lyrics can often not be reliable, which I took into consideration with my second idea when using ‘Twisted Games’. When it comes to presentation skills, her voice was clear and made the space her own and was very loud. Therefore, I was able to understand what she was saying and when asked questions afterwards, was able to answer them clearly.
James Ingram- For James’s ideas, he took moral dilemma into consideration when choosing pieces, in particular Animal Party. In his presentation, he put castings into consideration so we all had an idea on what he was thinking for his pieces. When it came to his Star Wars and ‘Fighting ISIS’ idea, he had taken other aspects into consideration, such as the budget and technical aspect. We knew from the beginning that we would have very little or no budget, which is why I hadn’t mentioned it in my presentation, however, it was good to see that he had put the piece into further consideration for the show with the technical aspects. Star Wars is something that I am not familiar with, however, as there are some members of the group who are massive fans of it, would be able to do it justice. Skills wise, there were moments when he fluffed on some lines, however, he was able to get his ideas across clearly, the only issue I had was that a lot of the time, he directed his ideas towards the middle, not always to the corner where I was seated.
Chloe Gilbert- One of Chloe’s ideas had included Shakespeare, which I was happy to see, as I had already done a lot of Shakespeare, I wanted to range my ideas further to something I either hadn’t done a lot of or wanted to develop. However, she had taken Romeo and Juliet and had the idea of turning it into a lyrical dance, with Juliet as the angel and Romeo as the demon. As she was discussing this idea, she often turned her back as she was going over to use the computer, this meant that I sometimes lost what she was saying and therefore couldn’t fully hear this idea. I also feel that to improve, she needs to look through her PowerPoint carefully as there were some spelling mistakes, there was also a lot of information on some slides, which made the font smaller and difficult to read, this made me switch away from the PowerPoint. Therefore, for future purposes, it would be better if the PowerPoint had minimal points on each slide.Despite this, the rest of the presentation I was able to understand well with her Take Me to Church and Beauty and the Beast Medley.
Tom Barber- Tom’s ideas were able to include everyone from all pathways with ‘Now You Know’ from Merrily We Roll Along. This group song is something that I really liked the idea of, especially as we watched a version of the musical early in our first year, so we would all be familiar with the musical and the song. Another idea Tom had also included everyone with Beautiful City from Godspell, with Scott as the main singer and Santa Fe from Newsies as his solo. I liked the idea of having Santa Fe in the performances as like Façade, there is a link to both Saints and Sinners, so once again, there is a message for both and not just one. I often got distracted during Tom’s presentation as he was constantly moving and sitting down, so I don’t feel that he fully made the space his own. For a presentation, sessions with Lynn involved standing still as part of being able to capture your audience.
Leah Smith- I was interested with Leah’s idea of the School of Good and Evil as there was a division between good and bad, not just one side. This idea of a good person going to a bad school and a bad person going to a good school could create the story of good turning bad and bad turning good, which would be different to the other ideas. However, while explaining this idea, she messed up and then apologised, which Lynn advised to never do during a presentation the day before. This is because I wouldn’t have taken much notice of her messing up, however, I definitely did when she apologised, therefore, for the future, if this does happen again, it is important to just carry on. As Leah was explaining her final idea, I noticed that she began increasing the pace in her voice, which sometimes made me lose track of what she was saying.
Josh Ely- Josh was able to include a lot of what he had learned over the previous two years, especially with an idea similar to mine, with choosing plays from playwrights we had learned about this year. He also mentioned during his presentation that he wanted to include other skills that he had learned over the previous two years, however, he didn’t specify what. For his first idea of creating a scene of a saint turning sinner through the use of drugs, although I like the idea, for it to be really hard hitting, it would require a lot of research before writing it. My only concern is that by the time the ideas have been arranged and put into to the show, we would be on very limited time to do the piece justice to the topic, so it would require a lot of time for a performance at the end of May. I was struggling to see all of the words on the slide for most of the presentation, particularly this one, another issue I had was Josh presenting his dance idea with his face away from us. This is also something we talked about with Lynn the day before as we will struggle to hear and connect if the presenter is not connecting forwards with their audience. For the comments afterwards, I liked Harry’s suggestion of the Basketball Diaries as inspiration for his first idea, which I agreed with as I watched the film as part of research for one of my monologues (Alex, As We Forgive Those).
Sian Davis- One of Sian’s ideas, an acapella version of everyone singing ‘Are You Wasted In the Blood’ was an idea which I really liked as acapella singing is something which I have really grown to enjoy this year through Amado. As not everyone was familiar with her three ideas, Are You Washed in the Blood, Abide With Me, Firm Foundation, and Fred Astaire and Ginger, she presented YouTube clips of the three ideas. Although I really enjoyed her first two ideas, especially ‘Abide with Me’ as it is a song that I was already familiar with, I was not sure where her Fred Astaire and Ginger idea would fit in. She mentioned in her presentation that there was no real link with Saints and Sinners but thought it would be enjoyable as a relief piece following something dark, however, I feel that all pieces need to fit in to complete the theme and maintain consistency of the piece. Skills wise, Sian had a tendency to speak at a quick pace, so I sometimes struggled to keep up with what she was saying. Like Josh and Chloe, she also looked away from us while speaking to us, often speaking while looking at the computer, which made the volume lower and words dropped off throughout.
Zoe Cole- Like Harry, one of her ideas also included the idea of a split personality, however, she also included the idea of multiple personalities and put problems for her ideas into consideration, showing good problem solving, she had put the fact that there were no twins in the group and had thought of other ideas instead. Her second idea of Take Me to Church was one which I really liked the sound of and would like to see in the final performance. This is because there is a clash between the saints and sinners within the piece and will be able to show the conflict between the two sides. I also like the idea of the purge and a dance showing it commencing, which could show the saints becoming sinners over that 24 hour period and the sinners either expanding on their evil side, or realise what they are doing is wrong. Skills wise, Zoe sometimes read her ideas off the screen, so that eye contact and connection between her and her audience could not be fully established, it also meant her voice was quiet a lot, so sometimes, I could not hear her.
Sophia Lerigo- Sophia had suggested a monologue between two lovers, one a saint and the other a sinner, she also suggested that for this piece there are singers. This was something that I did not understand as I do not know how it would fit, if this idea did go through, I would prefer it just with the couple, which could fit into some of the other performances, such as Josh’s drug piece, the sinner would be the one influenced on drugs, with the saint trying to help. Her second idea was one which had to be talked over again at the end because some were confused by the idea, including myself of adapting a musical as I wasn’t sure if she meant a full musical but cut down,creating scenes with songs from that musical or having short scenes from one. The third one is a similar theme to Zoe with a clash and battle between Saints and Sinners and again, she had an improvisation idea similar to Harry and Lou. However, this was different as it was devised on the night and includes the audience, which for a marked presentation, might be a risk on the night, it would therefore require a lot of preparation with all cases of what could happen on the night considered. If it works though, then it can be a great way to show how our improvability has improved over the two years. Her voice was clear and included everyone as she was presenting, making sure that she was connecting with everyone.
Daytona Florian- Daytona’s idea of the 7 deadly sins was an interesting one as for the piece, it can give us more chance to research deeper into both what makes a saint and a sinner through the 7 virtues and 7 sins. This would mean that fourteen people are involved with seven pairs and with each of these pairs, can be a different story. What I like about this is that each pair can be from a different pathway, meaning the idea overall can be varied and can be broken up over the performance time. Her second idea of mixing Supernatural and Shaun of the Dead would be comedic and therefore ranging in themes to add a light hearted fill from some of the other sinners pieces which would have more of a dark hint to it. Her final idea of Midsomer Murders would involve a murder mystery and could again have the idea that towards the end, who we thought was the saint was actually a sinner and the sinner was revealed to be a saint. Voice wise, she had good clarity and spoke at a good volume, engaging with her audience most of the time, however, I noticed that she had a tendency to pause a lot whilst speaking.
Beth Easdown- Beth had prsesented four ideas, one for the structure of the piece which was inspired from the musical ‘Rent’. What interested me was that in a way of her ideas were linked with a quote from Oscar Wilde, someone we had focused on at the beginning of our second year. One of her ideas which I enjoyed was the use of the song ‘Rebel’ by Alyssa Binagura, I looked for lyrics after this session, however, I was unable to find any, therefore, I listened to the song again, which Beth did play for us. It meant I really had to concentrate and listen out for the meaning of the lyrics, which has the message that everyo0ne is human and we have both sides of Saint and Sinner within us. Like Daytona, she also suggested the seven deadly sins as a relief piece after some possible dark ones. Skills wise, her voice was clear and she interacted well with everyone, she did apologise for the state of her PowerPoint though, but if she hadn’t have said anything, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, therefore, I would suggest never apologising and simply continuing. For me, apologising makes me automatically doubt whether the presentation will be worth looking at, however, she was able to explain the points very well and ease any doubt.
Jessica Last- One of Jessica’s ideas was about the structure of the show, however, a different idea of having a jukebox musical to link everything together. I was not too sure of having this idea as a lot of extra time would have to be researched of songs linking to the other pieces. Because of this, I’m not sure the idea of a jukebox musical would fit into the theme and the other ideas suggested, therefore, I probably would prefer other ideas to link it, such as Lou’s. For her presentation skills, although her voice was clear most of the time, she often got quiet towards the end of a sentence, so I could not hear some of her sentences and tended to drop off.
Scott Truin- Scott had presented four ideas, one including the structure of a nightclub, he didn’t specify a certain theme, however, the idea of involving the audience was an idea I would enjoy seeing developed. This is because they can also become involved in the piece and feel apart of the performance, without having to get up and perform. I was excited at the idea of having a pre-drinks bar in the college bistro prior to the performance, which actors would be involved in as we can interact with everyone. For the idea of bouncers, I would recommend either Harry, Jack or Josh on the door as I feel they will be able to create a secure atmosphere and be true to the character. Scott stated during his presentation that he was not sure where City of Stars would fit, after looking at the lyrics, I am not sure where it fits in terms of focusing on good and evil people, as the lyrics focus on love. While Scott was presenting, he engaged well with his audience, with clarity in his voice at a high volume. I felt that for his PowerPoint, the font could have been slightly larger as I sometimes had to really focus on the slides, meaning I was not fully focusing on what he was saying.