09/09 Dialect Work
Marc talked about how in the outer London area, there is a range of accents. There is Gentry which is also known as “RP ” and then Cockney. Gentry is a taught accent that is used to show wealth and Cockney is the accent of some working class people. In the middle, there is a wide range that is considered an Estuary accent. Estuary accent is the accent we will be doing. Marc told the named children that we can choose to be closer to Gentry or Cockney. I want Tommy to have an accent that is closer to Cockney, mainly because I’ve never done an accent like that before and I want to try something new!
09/24 Vocal Work
Today was the first rehearsal with Angie Benson and immediately once we started I felt more confident. She was so patient and helpful which put me at such ease. Learning all the songs before she can seems like a daunting task, but now I feel like it’s achievable.
09/30 Read Sing
The read-sing really put the whole show into perspective for me! I already knew the story from reading the script and watching a production over the summer, but singing with and hearing my castmates helped me understand how the story and songs flow together. I left feeling very confident in the songs and ready for staging!
Staging today was really challenging for me. I don’t consider myself a dancer by any means, so I knew from the day I got cast that choreography is something I need to focus on. “Miracle” is the first number and it involves a lot of the cast. It was a bit overwhelming having a few people missing because we’ll need to catch them up tomorrow.
Singing and dancing at the same time is what I really need to work on. It worries me how out of breath I get halfway through, but I hope with practice and more exercise I will build a stronger endurance.
Goal for tomorrow’s rehearsal: Work on accurately dancing the correct moves and even if I mess up I should continue to move.
Going over “Miracle” at the beginning was very helpful and I realized I knew it better than I thought I did. Some moments are still tricky, especially with some of the cast missing and people who missed yesterday trying to catch up.
Since Alice (Nikki) and Tommy have the same parents in the beginning of “Miracle” and the line “don’t put honey on your brother” is directed towards us, I think they are twins. Since they are both starting school at the same time that would make them the same age. It was something Nikki and I joked about, but I liked it so much, I decided I wanted to add it to Tommy’s character.
Goal for tomorrow’s rehearsal: Explore Tommy’s relationship with the other characters. Who are his friends at school? Who does he not know so well? Who does he not like? How does he feel about Ms. Honey? Ms. Trunchbull?
Growing up, I never really played hopscotch, so I was kind of learning how to play it for the first time during rehearsal. While I was learning and practicing on stage, I felt such a sense of freedom. The way children play is full of curiosity and silliness. They don’t care if they aren’t playing correctly as long as they’re having fun. And I realized that something that I can bring to this role is that sense of freedom, fun, and childlike curiosity. When I first got cast I was nervous how I, a 22 year old woman, can accurately portray a 5 year old boy. I knew I could do all the research I wanted, but I needed to tap into my inner child to make this as realistic as possible. Today, a little more of that inner child came out. I’m excited to see what playing and exploring during rehearsal brings out.
I was also trying to make sense of my line in “Chokey Chant” because I couldn’t reason how Tommy knew about Chokey while the other kids didn’t. To rationalize it, I decided that one of the big kids is Tommy’s cousin. She’s told him about Chokey and how scary Trunchbull before he was a student, so he’s been scared from before he started school.
Yesterday’s goals application: Tommy likes everyone in his class. He already knew Nigel coming into school because they live close to each other and Alice is his twin sister. He sees his other six classmates as potential friends. He doesn’t like the big kids including his cousin. They like to scare and make fun of him and the other children. Tommy really likes his teacher Ms. Honey. He thinks she’s very nice, he likes the pretty dresses she wears, and thinks she smells like hot cocoa. Ms. Trunchbull is everything Ms. Honey isn’t. She is rude and very scary. She wears scary clothes and smells sweaty.
Goal for tomorrow: Explore how Tommy feels about certain things. Does he like school? Does he have a favorite subject? Least favorite? What is his favorite game to play? What does he like to play with friends?
Today we had a 10:15-5:30 rehearsal which only went to 4:30. We did the choreography for “Bruce” which was really difficult for me. Everytime we learn a new dance, I feel like I’m the worst dancer in the company. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to other people, but I can’t help but feel like I’m holding everyone else back. I feel like I’m too clumsy and not fast enough to keep up with the dance. I really need to make the time to practice the choreography! And practice it while singing! Because by the end of “Miracle” and “Bruce” I’m finding myself being out of breath.
Yesterday’s goal application: I didn’t get as far with this exploration as I would’ve liked, but Tommy really likes the idea of school and playing with Legos.
Tomorrow’s goal: Be present in the moment. Sometimes, I feel like I’m so focused on remembering what blocks to move and to make sure that I’m doing the right choreo that I’m not actually taking in how awesome it is to work on this show. I want to appreciate the present today instead of looking back on it in the future and wishing I had savored it more.
10/08 Staging and Stumble Through
For the first bit of rehearsal we staged “When I Grow Up” which was so much fun. I get to come in on one of those scooters that elementary school children use during gym. It was fun, but also a little scary, using those. Fun because it was making my inner child happy. But it was scary because my adult self worried about bumping into people/getting injured.
For the second bit, we did a stumble through which was very discouraging. The blocks got all messed up during the first transition which messed up everything after. I wrote which blocks I picked up, but I didn’t really specify where to put them. I think a lot of other actors did similar things which got us all messed up. It was really sad to have worked so hard on these transitions this week and then forget them while doing the stumble through.
Yesterday’s goal application: During the first bit, I really was trying to be in the present. But as the choreo got more difficult and we did the stumble through, I got back into my own head because I was getting overwhelmed.
Tomorrow’s goal: Record the transitions we work on in a clearer way so that I will not forget them later.