Week 6 – The Lurgy!!

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Argh!  Everyone is sick!

It’s half term, and lots of people are suffering from the dreaded Lurgy!  Lynieve is unwell, Maddy is unwell, half the members are unwell… what are we to do?!

On Saturday we soldiered on with who we had, but on Sunday – oooof! We were half the amount we should have been so it made it REALLY hard to get work done.

The members however, really came to our rescue by being amazing, responsible and helpful – the Juniors helped Maddy cover the singing class and learned the finale song for the Gala – they even put some moves together – look!

Weeks 5 – Dance, dance… dance!

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While the singing and acting tutors keep chipping away at those scenes and lyrics, some of the mostly challenging work we do at the weekend happens in dance.  Paradigmz, our dance tutor has been with Dreamarts for a long time, so he really knows how to get results – but boy is he tough!  He will make you practice again and again until you get it right – there is something to be said for this approach as our bodies have something called ‘muscle memory‘…. they say it takes 10 000 hours of practice to make someone and expert.  But we don’t have 10 000 hours, only 2.5 hours spread over 10 or so weeks so that’s why it’s such a challenge!

And the Juniors starting to bring Fat Sam’s Grand Slam to life…

Week 4 – Let the rehearsals commence!

BLOCKING.

We’ve got really stuck into rehearsals now… everyone has their role, and they are furiously ‘blocking’ the show – blocking is when the director tells the actors where to enter, exit and stand in the scenes.  Most directors work in this way – they spend some time at the start of the rehearsal period to block the show from beginning to end, and then once they’ve done that they go back and work on the details of the acting.

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Here are the Saturday and Sunday Seniors in the stages of blocking….

For the Sunday Juniors however, this is working a bit differently as they are devising the scenes around songs from Into The Woods, so they get to make up what happens in the scene in terms of the action – they just fit it around a skeleton story frame that makes up the show…

They read the description of the scene and discuss…

File 05-03-2015 14 12 19       and then they get up on their feet and make the scene…

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Casting conundrums… Week 3

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Casting is never easy… everyone puts their all in and there are always only so many lead roles to be filled, so it figures that someone is going to be disappointed.  It’s easy to understand why too!  For some of our members it is the first time that they have been put under the microscope in this way and it is REALLY nerve-wracking!  Ask any actor – it is a lifetime of anxiety!

What makes it worth it however, is knowing that you have challenged yourself to do something that is scary – even if it doesn’t come off the way you hoped.  We try to cast members in the role, not only that they deserve, but also one that will challenge them in some way.  Our idea of what they deserve and what they think they deserve is sometimes not the same, but we do try!  We spend a lot of time thinking about what our members have put into, not only the audition, but also the sessions – if you’ve turned up late a lot, or messed about in the sessions and not focused but done an amazing audition, we are not likely to take the risk on you, not because we don’t think you are any good, but because we need members who are totally committed to the show. While we have a lot of fun and learn new skills, what we also do at Dreamarts is provide life lessons for members – and this is a BIG one!

You get out, what you put in.

Any this is another –

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

Lemons-lemonade

What?!!!!  What does she mean?

Well, I guess what I’m saying is, even if you have one line, if you make the most of it and put the work in, people will remember you!  These guys were already on that, as soon as they had been cast…

“ I’d like to do more work on a US accent”

“I’d like to work on my characters physicality”

 “I need more physical character stuff”

 “I’d like some help with projection

 “I need help with how my character moves”

 “I need help with basic stage craft”

This is how you get a better role!

End of term!

We had a great day sharing bits of the work we’ve been doing over the term.

All the member had a chance to warm-up as a whole group and have some fun and then they had some time to practice the things they were showing back.

The Juniors and Seniors hardly ever get a chance to talk to each other, let alone see each other’s work, so it was great to see them giving each other such insightful feedback and supporting each other as they shared work-in-progress.

Here is a taste of what is to come!

Sunday Juniors performing a section of ‘Hello Little Girl’ from Into The Woods (man, I look scared too!)

The Saturday Seniors wowed us with this VERY energetic routine for ‘Make ’em Laugh’ from Singin’ in the Rain!

Meanwhile, the Seniors got up to some rapping for Bring It On…

Looking in great shape for the Gala next term already! Eeep!

Week 4 – Democracy in Action!

It’s crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrunch time!

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All the groups finished their taster sessions of musicals and it was time for them to vote for the one they would like to perform at the Gala next year!

Here’s a few of the Saturday Seniors after their last Singing session on The Wedding Singer – good to see they were making an informed choice after having worked through a song in depth!

The choices were:

Saturday Juniors:

Bugsy Malone

Seussical

Saturday Seniors:

The Wedding Singer

Singin’ in the Rain

Sunday Juniors:

Into the Woods Jnr

Annie

Sunday Seniors: 

Hair

Bring It On

It was all very hush hush, with members marking their ballot papers anonymously and they won’t get to find out until they come back next week what the results are!

Can we take the suspense!?

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Aaaand…

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The new year at Dreamarts has begun and the Weekend Programme got off to a banging start!

We welcome not only lots of new members, but also some new staff this term.  We have Keisha, who is our new Project Assistant and has been a friend of Dreamarts since she took part in one of our Special Projects a few years ago. Charlie, who is a trained dancer, is our new Youth Support Worker on Sundays. Alejandro is our new Sunday Acting Tutor and he is currently working on his Phd at Central School of Speech and Drama. Finally we have Anna, who was also involved in DreamArts as a young person and is currently on our Youth Arts Leadership Training Scheme, joining us as a volunteer on Sundays in Acting.

The Saturday members got stuck in with their first of two musical ‘tasters’: the Juniors looking at Bugsy Malone and the Seniors getting into Singin’ in the Rain – both of which proved big hits with our young performers. On Sunday, at our amazing new venue, the City of Westminster College, the juniors got familiar with Annie and the Seniors began to explore the 60’s musical, Hair.

It was absolutely great to see everyone again after the Summer and to meet so many new members, especially those who had come along as a result of one of my assembly visits during September. Feeling really excited about the term to come!

Whoop!

Maddy

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