Hey Look At Me I'm Acting! - My First Stage Play Review
Look at me I'm acting!
So, how did I get on with my first sojourn into local theatre? Well let me tell you! I haven't had so much fun since well just since! I have taken to acting like a duck to water!
Not that I am that good yet, but if enthusiasm makes you a genius then Einstein look out!
I love the way that we train, I like the other guys who are so professional they should be on a London stage earning tons of money. And I even like the Director who to start with scared the heck out of me! Lol! I was wrong of course, he is a nice guy really.
The one thing I will say about the Director is that he is fab at what he does. Why? I will let you know as we go through the rehearsals blocking and learning lines.
There are two ways to start rehearsals. Well two that I know of so far. The first is to sit down and read through your lines for a few weeks, then get up and start blocking (stand where you are told, move etc) then put the two together.
The second is how we learned this Play. We just got up and started acting from the get go. Taking our books with us. Seems like a great way to do it to me.
For the first few weeks we practice in the Studio. Which is full of costumes on the shelves, and fun stuff that we can use in the Play. But after a few weeks rehearsals we then go down to the Theatre and practise some more.
This is when it starts to get serious. And this is also the place where I was saying 'Thank goodness' for only having a small part in the Play!
Let's take a look at the Stage. The first thing you see is obviously the main Stage. But there is so much more going on than that.
For starters you have Stage Left and Stage Right. That's what its called when people are told to come on from different sides of the Stage. Behind the back screen is a wall. And behind that there are a row of seats where the Actors who are waiting to go on, sit and read through their lines or check their costumes.
I actually sat there for nearly an hour, purely because it was soothing just listening to the actors voices and staring at the wall! lol!
If you are facing the Stage, on the right hand side, behind the curtains are all the tech crew and so on. And a couple of prompters just in case someone forgets their lines.
There is also the pit where all the electronics go on. And a guy sits there controlling various things such as curtains lights and so on. He is also in constant touch with another man who is placed at the back of the room behind the seats in the projector room.
The projector room is the same as the Cinema. There is a small window where he can look through to aim the lights in the right direction, as well as noises for the door bell, telephone ring and music.
I love acting. It is so much more real than life.— Oscar Wilde
Preparations for a Stage Play at the local theatre.
A week long rehearsal in the main theatre, and its all hustle and bustle. Doors have to be painted and rubbed down, the chairs, sofa and table have to be set up on the Stage, and there is copious amounts of other painting and polishing.
This is where all the 'Behind the Scenes' guys come in. They are so quick and efficient and all the props end up looking fantastic!
As you can see in the bottom photo there are lots of boxes being painted. They will all be put together to make a great set of steps to the 'upstairs'.
All the hard work is soon over and the Stage is soon set.
Preparations for a Stage Play!
The Dressing Room.
What can I say? Its just like you see on TV! A long line of mirrors with side lights. A bathroom with shower, toilets and dryers. And the main room has driers too. Makes you feel like a real actor!
On a personal note. I made the most of it. Along with the chocolates that the powers that be brought down for us to stuff before and after performance!
Its also a great place to chat and go through your lines without any pressure. I didn't need it really because lets face it, I only had about three lines! Yes I know.......!
Its great to see behind the scenes so to speak. I would imagine it being a bustle of activity if there were loads of girls trying to get changed in there. Luckily there were only a few of us so it was fine.
The Performance, curtain up!
As I already mentioned, behind the back wall/curtain is a row of chairs where we can sit and listen in to the performance. And of course you have to sit there while waiting to go on Stage.
In between the first and second act you can go back to the dressing room as long as you know when its your time to go on. You do have prompts but not all the way through.
Its a strange feeling waiting in the wings so to speak. You can't see the audience from the sides, only a small smidgen of stage. You can hear their voices, and the laughter from the audience, and this is when you start to get nervous.
Then you hear your key line as I like to call it. The one word, phrase or exit that is your cue to go on.
Luckily for me there were four of us due on at the same time. So no big panic there, but still the butterfly's wing their way through your stomach and up to your head!
Then your on!
Taking a deep breath you step onto that stage, say your lines and...exit!
But its not over. You wait for your next cue, and then off you go again. You don't look into the audience, if you did you would probably totally forget your lines.
In fact the one surprising thing about it is that you don't get to see the audience at all!
Two reasons, one being that its darker in the audience and the stage is so lit up it blacks everything out. And second by the time you have remembered and said your lines its time to go back behind the curtain.
But when the Play is over and we are all walking onto the Stage for the final Curtain call and bow, we can see them then! And boy did I have a huge grin on my face! Talk about fun!
But at the end of the day, Its not about the audience, or the other Players. Its about you.
Whether there was only one person in the audience or a hundred. Its the fun of the rehearsals, learning the lines and doing something awesome!
Simple as that! Would I do it again? Yep, in a heartbeat!
Acting is standing up naked and turning around very slowly— Rosalind Russell
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© 2017 Nell Rose