I’m a senior about ready to graduate high school. What? That’s not supposed to happen. Somehow I feel as if I will forever remain a child. I can’t be more wrong. My life is about ready to start, with new dreams and goals just beyond the horizon. Failures, mistakes, upsets and worries will ambush me throughout my life, but I will continue on as long as I live to never give up.
For those of you who didn’t know, I have decided to pursue a career in the representational arts. It’s a strange thing, the acting bug. It bit me hard. From the first time I stepped out on stage during “Beauty and the Beast,” I didn’t know what I was in for. Little did I know, this passion for acting would continue onto my senior year, and would form some of the greatest friendships I ever knew. The rush of holding people’s attention, stealing their precious time, making them value, smile, and even laugh at your representation on stage is a feeling that I will never get over.
The art of acting has held my interest for a while. It began after I had such a fun time during “Beauty and the Beast.” After watching the movie numerous times to further study my character, I grew interested in the art of animation. How could you possibly make an audience react to a drawing? Then it hit me. The goal was to make an audience believe in the performance, to sell your craft, and give them that illusion. Realizing I could do the same thing, I was flabbergasted. I had discovered the power that lies within a performance.
High school has helped me learn many things, and over the years I realized that the best motive I learned from my senior year is to strive to always do my best. Life is not going to get any easier. If I plan to go into acting, I should know how to persevere. Life will throw its curve balls, but I will always know how to keep on rolling.
Hello world. I write to you tonight from an excited, yet tired, mind. It’s midnight. I can’t sleep. The show opens in two days and there is a lot to be excited about. Our cues, characters, minds and emotions are all reaching their final stages and are ready to be discharged Friday night. Words cannot describe the feelings that are going through my mind right now. As a senior, I never thought these days with the theater department would come to an end. It’s bittersweet, and I must say I’ve had my fair share of memories and experiences.
From the first time I stepped out on stage during Beauty and the Beast, I didn’t know what I was in for. Little did I know, this passion for acting would continue into my senior year, and would help me form some of the greatest friendships I have ever known. The rush of holding people’s attention, stealing their precious time and making them value, smile and laugh at your representation on stage is a feeling I will never get over. That is why, unless you didn’t know, I wish to continue my pursuit of acting outside of high school. I might not know where life will take me, but I know that because of the delight Mill Valley Theater has brought me, I shall pursue a life of representational arts.
My final thoughts regarding the play are strong. I believe that this could be one of our strongest productions yet. The story is hilarious, there are plenty of likeable characters, and our run-time is much shorter than previous shows, making this a very family-friendly production. There are many other reasons why I might think this was my favorite production, but nothing can top the fact that we can pull off Shakespeare. I had my doubts at the beginning, but we’ve made it this far, and I couldn’t be more proud. Starting tomorrow, the cast will be staying later, running the entire show from start to curtain call, in full make-up and costumes.
There’s also more exciting news for the cast: opening night will be recorded on camera, courtesy of my good friend senior Ryan Hannah. The Video Production team will capture that night of fun on camera, so be loud and proud Friday night. DVDs have not been decided yet, so don’t pester director Jon Copeland about them.
If you have yet to receive your tickets, now is a good time to purchase them for your family and friends. It is never a smart idea to buy the night of the show at the door. We have already sold half of our tickets. Don’t miss out; buy them now.
And so ends the spring play blog, I hope you enjoyed my weekly updates. If you see a theater kid in the hall, tell them to “break a leg.” This week, they’ll need it now more than ever. Thank you. See you Friday night at the show!
The days are quickly winding down for the cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Some students are having eligibility issues and the show is just around the corner. This week I’ll just give you a brief rundown of tech week.
Tech week is usually the last full week of rehearsals before opening night. We do things such as set up light cues, sound checks, assign body mics, and complete transitions and set changes. Tuesday, April 24, was a mess for the actors. Some stayed until 7:30 p.m. getting work done. We had to get all of the things mentioned above set for Act one. On Wednesday, April 25, we did the same for Act two, then Thursday, April 26 we ran the full show.
On Monday, April 23 we had to take production photos and get into our costumes, and that was fun as always. Hopefully the rest of the week doesn’t go as slow as Tuesday. I’ll see you next week with final words on the production. Don’t forget: the show opens Friday, May 4 and closes Saturday, May 5. Tickets will be on sale soon.
Hello everyone, this week I was able to interview one of the actresses of the production. Junior Misty Adkins is here to answer a few of our questions and tell us a bit more about the production.
Tell us about the acting troupe
The acting troupe is a lot of fun. We (the actors) have really good chemistry because there are only a few of us in the troupe. We have really interesting personalities. First there is Bottom, who’s full of himself and really cocky. He thinks he’s a wonderful actor, when in truth he’s not. There’s Snout, who is this “little boy” character, very eager to jump into his part and perform in front of the audience. Rachael Starveling is the one person in the group who does not care about the play at all. There is Flute, who is a real tomboy character, and she is cast to play the female lead in the play. She usually has troubles getting into character. Snug, played by me, is the nerd and is forced to play the lion. I’m always very shy. Finally there’s Quince, who is the director and somewhat micro-managing.
What are some challenges you’ll have to overcome as an actress?
Some challenges I’ll have to overcome as an actor are thinking like my characters, referring back to past shows and trying not to imitate my older characters. I don’t want to play the same person twice. Also, I have to keep in mind that I have a character voice, and when I mess up I might get out of character and speak in my normal voice.
Hello again everyone. This week has been quite a rush for me, due to a lot of things, but as far as the play goes, things are looking good.
Monday, March 26 the majority of the cast ran through the first two scenes. Some people were already off book (no script) which was great. Most of the first parts of the play are coming along nicely already. Director Jon Copeland says we’re already in great shape for where we’re at. He had told me Mr. Howard thought the “bad actor” scenes were very solid, with each of us showing of our personalities, like I had told you before.
The next day I go in is Thursday and we will start blocking the “bad play” at the end of the production. Hopefully everyone will show up at practice in good spirits and play their “fake” parts well.
That’s really all I have to say this week. Next week I’ll be back with hopefully another video and information on the fairy scenes.
Did everyone have a great spring break? I know I did. Spring break ate away more days until opening night, but it also opened up opportunities for me to study my lines. I tried making note cards (with my lines on them) for the first time, which was a tremendous help. They strengthened my memorization for most of my lines. Act one is all done for me.
This week was the first week we started staging our scenes. On Monday, March 19 the Athenian court met in the theater to stage the first scene of the show. Some of the Athenian characters have a lot of words to speak in one sitting.
“My character (Demetrius) is quiet most of the time,” senior Drew Smith said. “But then I might just speak up and preach a ton of lines. It’s a bit overwhelming.”
Tuesday, March 20, the “bad actors” rehearsed the bar scene. Copeland told everyone to act as if they were at a pub in ancient Greece. “The stand-ins” played their parts and acted as if they were really in a pub. Arm wrestling took place, betting money on the winners. Freshman Jesse Laning has a stand in part as a pub goer who loses an arm wrestling match against Flute, played by sophomore Hope Riedel.
For the rest of the week various groups will meet and learn the blocking for their scenes and next week people should have Act one memorized. Monday is my next rehearsal, there we will run through all of act one.
Hello again, everyone. This week has been a great one. Having just started rehearsals, the actors are eager to get their feet wet. As I have said before, the leads have had their scripts for a while now to prepare, but now we are finally beginning to bring our characters to life.
Monday, March 5 marked the very first rehearsal for all the actors. We were given a calendar of events and played a few “get to know you” activities. We learned many things about each other, and realized we have a lot of chemistry together as a cast, which is usually the case.
Tuesday, March 6 I was called in to work with the “bad acting troupe.” After going over lines with everyone, director Jon Copeland wanted to make it clear that each of us needed a different personality. Here is a quick rundown of all the “bad actors”:
- Patsy Quince, played by sophomore Madison Plouvier, is the director of our troupe. She is bossy, but she wants us to stay in order and put on a good show for the duke.
- Nick Bottom, played by me, is a man who is full of himself. He is a very over-the-top actor and he wants to be the center of attention. His stubbornness is foreshadowed nicely by the transformation into a donkey, and then his tale takes on a strange romantic turn.
- Flute, played by sophomore Hope Riedel, is a burly tom-boy. She is fit for her performance at the end of the show, and her mannerisms are quite anti-lady like.
- Snout the tinker, played by freshman Adam Segura, is a goofy, silly character. Picture him as foolish; he is impractical, and always tries to get his remarks out. He wants to speak his mind, when it is not quite needed.
- Snug the joiner, played by junior Misty Adkins, is a timid girl, who, ironically, is set to play a lion in the play (within the play.) Snug is a rather quiet character, but her roaring makes up for it.
- Last but not least we have Rachel Starveling, played by junior Betsy Wendorff. She is a snotty, pessimistic character, who doesn’t show much emotion. She threatens to leave the actors during the show, but she is eventually persuaded to stay by her co-workers.
Story moments we learned the other day included the tavern scenes, forest, and the donkey transformation. After working with them, I believe they have a stronger grasp on who they can become. After being with Copeland, he made it clear that each of the actors required different personalities to make them likeable. Think of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, perhaps.
That’s what I have to say this week: quite a mouthful. Make sure you check out my video blog as well; there is more information about the play on those videos. Have a great spring break.
Week 2: Discussing Nick Bottom’s character and other new info
Hello, everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to talk with you about what is going on in our drama department here at Mill Valley. It’s been approximately 89 days since the Wizard of Oz ended its run here at our school, and the theatre kids are antsy to get back on stage. Things have never been more exciting in the drama department, with a Thespian Troupe started and Shakespeare on the way. Shakespeare is the topic of my new blog I’ve started, and for the next few months, I’m going to take you on an inside journey backstage through the sets of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the spring play.
Shakespeare has never been attempted before at our school, and plenty of students are ready to accept the challenge. Freshman Adam Segura is ready to take the necessary steps in order to succeed on stage.
“I’m going approach this play with excitement and the hope that we can pull of an amazing show.” Adam said. “ To do my part, I’m going to learn my lines as soon as possible so I can focus more on the acting, rather than reading the script in my hand.”
I believe this could become our most amazing experience yet. Trying to learn the difficult language, and understanding the situations that arise in the story could prove to be tricky. Director Jon Copeland has meetings set for the actors to help them comprehend the story and assist them in learning their characters better. Before we start blocking on March 4th, he will meet with us individually and talk about the plot.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream will prove to be a rewarding experience for all of us. Not just on becoming better actors, but it will help us with our reading comprehension skills. Shakespeare is not easy, but I’m glad sixty students have the desire to tackle it. Look to a new post every Wednesday regarding the spring play.
Hello, fellow Internet goers. I’m here to talk with you today about the Socially Awkward Penguin Internet meme. Many of you Web veterans out there know what it is. Similar to the style of Philosoraptor, Socially Awkward Penguin is a picture of an awkward penguin and a reference towards every day awkward situations. Maybe you farted and blamed someone else. Maybe you stretched your hands, only to be called on by the teacher to answer the question on the board. Maybe you are uncomfortable around your crush. All of these are perfect examples of the Socially Awkward Penguin meme. It is a popular meme, with many new pictures a day surfacing on websites like Reddit. Today, I will share with you five of my favorites. Are you an awkward penguin?
Hair stylist asks if hair is cut short enough.