After completing the research for task 1, I then took my chosen technique and planned a technique session to teach. I chose Augusto Boal’s “Blind Senses” and his exercise ‘noises’ where I had each group get into pairs, one blind and then find each other by making an animal sound.
Here is the technique class (Video 6):
This class was witnessed by Helena Rudd, who wrote a statement to prove that I had completed the exercise and was watched by a tutor, the witness statement can be found in this link:
James Ingram: James’s technique class was based around Stanislavski’s motivation technique where we were tasked to devise a short scene. After getting into pairs, we were given a location and a sentence that we must include in the scene. We were able to devise the basis of the scene, however, because of the time limit, it would have been more beneficial to have spent more time as we were not fully prepared. In terms of the session, James explained it well and was clear with what he was saying, to improve, I feel that it could have been rehearsed better to avoid reading off a sheet, this would then allow him to properly connect and talk to us.
Leah Smith: Leah had chosen Steven Berkoff as her practitioner and after we got into groups, gave us the beginning script from Metamorphosis to work on without explainig what Berkoff did. Because I had already learned about this technique and worked on this script in year 1, I had an understanding on the technique. However, there were others in my group who had never studied Berkoff before so were very confused as we were rehearsing it, meaning I had to explain to them the basis, which wasn’t the aim of the task. Despite this, we were able to create some of the physicalisation that Berkoff wanted.
Zoe Mills: This was more of a movement technique rather than a dance one which made it more relaxing for me. As a performer, I know the importance of the diaphragm so being able to stop and focus on that was great. Zoe explained the concept really well and I was glad that she showed us the movements first before actually doing the technique so we had an idea of what she was doing. Overall the moves were simple and it was an exercise I really enjoyed taking part in.
Scott Truin: Scott had chosen Michael Checkhov and the aim was to teach us that in a show, you have to put all negative feelings away and treat everyone neutrally. This was very helpful as it made me realise that you or the show can’t reach the full potential if you struggle to work with everyone. The following exercises made me really focus on who I was working with, when I was partnered with Sian, I had to really focus on her characteristics to ensure that I copy the way she walked. With the exercise where we tried to move at the same time in paris and fours, Scott really emphasised that mirroring was not the point. I was also in full concentration when we were all tasked with clapping at the same time. However, when it came to jumping, I feel that we were not all in sync and was not concentrating as much. Overall, Scott put a lot of content into his lesson and explained it clearly with the reasons why they were planned.
Harry Ladell: Although I had read a little about Uta Hagen’s techniques from her ‘Respect For Acting’ book, however, this was covered by Harry in much more detail who explained her technique clearly and repeated them so they would be drilled in our heads. Out of all the sessions I took part in, I found this the most beneficial because I can put all of the questions into my audition pieces and add much more background detail to ensure the piece is more realistic. I will continue to use these questions to add them into my monologues and any future character work to truly get into the character.
Chloe Gilbert: When it came to Chloe’s session, I knew it was going to be dance which for me, is a weaker point, however, I found this session session very enjoyable. When I heard the clip for the first time, I was able to quickly think of a scenario which for me was a girl whose boyfriend had died in the woods. She returned to that spot and is seeing him everywhere. Because I have very little dance experience, I wasn’t able to put too much into the dance, instead I tried to act it out as well with limited movements. To improve, as mentioned, the music clip at the beginning could have been longer because when we were practising, the music changed and I got slightly more confused.
Jack Taylor-Balls: Jack had chosen the same practitioner as me (Augusto Boal), but had chosen a different technique which he emphasised was more of an ice-breaker exercise. The first exercise made me very aware of large spaces around the stage and Jack reminding us really helped. The second exercise was the main ice breaker and Jack was loud and clear on his instructions when telling us how many arms or knees were needed. It also raised the importance of working closely with everyone, we had to all communicate silently to ensure there was no spacing. The other exercise displayed the importance of working closely with everyone and being comfortable with being so close.
Emma Croft: Emma had chosen Stanislavski’s Emotion Memory technique where we were able to go further into our characters from our monologues emotionally. The hot seating exercise really helped, especially doing it in my chosen character as I was able to go further into her background. Emma had timed the session well and didn’t rush it, which allowed us to talk to everyone in character. I found this interesting because all of our characters have different situations and are not even all from the same time period, but we were still able to talk about stuff that mattered in the past and present.
Lou Rowe: Lou’s technique was Meisner’s Repetition Technique and it focused a lot on observation, because I feel that I can sometimes go out of focus, this was very helpful as I didn’t want to fall behind and not observe or fail to repeat anything. Lou explained the technique before starting the exercise clearly and also emphasised in the second technique that something bad will happen if they don’t complete the action. I would have liked to have done the second exercise as only one pair was able to do it but that was understandable with the size of the room and time.
Jessica Last: Jess had told me before the session started that we would be learning a dance, which worried me at first as I am not a dancer, however, I ended up really enjoying it. Because I study drama I don’t do too much dancing so it was exciting to learn a different aspect of the industry. Jess really took her time in teaching us the moves and broke it down into sections, repeating each section to ensure we knew what we were dancing. It was also very helpful that when played with the music, she was still there helping us if we got confused. We learned the routine without the music at first, playing the music afterwards when everything had been learned. I thought the music would be faster but it was at a speed that did not put me off afterwards.
Sophia Lergio: This session was again very helpful in terms of preparing for my audition, using Strasberg’s Method Acting and asking myself questions as to why my character has certain feelings or does certain actions. However, to improve, I feel the session could have been longer to allow us to talk to others so they can ask us questions or to think more about it to give a detailed answer. Because I know most of the characters that others in my class are portraying I would have also liked to have heard everyone’s answers to see what they have come up with to then understand their character better.