Week Seven: Emer Clark

It was another great session with Bristol New Voices this week! We arrived in a hurry and made our way in to the drama studio, a space we are now very familiar with. Within minutes we were huddled in a circle playing a very competitive game of piggy in the middle… whilst also having a dance to Justin Bieber of course! The session this week began with a game of ‘Beans’. This involved everyone acting out different types of beans as they walked around the space. We had some fantastic runner beans, jumping beans, jelly beans and some of the most interesting looking kidney beans I have ever seen! Keeping with this food theme, we then did a vocal warm up, going around the circle and shouting out the name of different kinds of fruit and vegetables, adding an action and altering our voices to go with this action as well. We had some excited blueberries, some loud apples and an exquisite pineapple.

Once warmed up and full of excitement, we did an activity which involved walking around the space in different ‘manners’ (carefully, confidently, suspiciously…) and then being led by different parts of the body. We started walking around as if we were being led by our noses… but it got trickier. We had to then lead with our stomachs, and eventually our toes. With each action, different types of characters started to emerge. When leading with our nose we felt sneaky, but when leading with our stomachs we felt more relaxed and as if we didn’t have a care in the world! It was really interesting to see how changing how we walked really influenced the types of characters being created.

Following this, we were then put in the pairs from last week and we reminded each other (and ourselves) of the characters we came up with last session. We re-introduced these characters and quickly recapped their age, family members, favourite things and their dislikes. Our strange and curious characters once again came to life! We did something called ‘hot seating’. We all took it in turns to sit in a chair as our characters whilst our pair asked us a series of questions. If you ever want to know what a Cupcake Panda does on a day to day basis… this is where you find out! We discovered loads about our own characters and our partner’s characters, which was great.

Now time to get these characters on their feet! We did some improvisation exercises in our pairs and were given different scenarios to act out. We focused on how our characters walked and talked, and how they interacted with the other character in the scenes we were creating. The space was filled with the noise of different characters chatting enthusiastically. A pair of scissors waddled about, feeling guilty after taking a precious feather from their best friend, a bird. Luckily it seemed the bird quickly forgave the scissors and all was mended. We watched each other’s improvisations and tried to gauge the different characters and their relationships. After each scene, hands shot up with eager guesses as to what the characters were! It was great fun and a really interesting experience. We are all becoming more comfortable performing in front of each other and this meant some really funny, dynamic scenes were created.

We then finished with a fast paced game of ‘Zip, Zap, Boing’, which we are becoming very good at! The session this week was fantastic and the scenes we created really reflected how we have developed as a group. We all left this week full of excitement, especially as we get closer to our show date on the 20th of March.

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