Today’s acting class consisted of learning vocal techniques and duo/monologues.
Vocal Techniques, sounds nice and easy, breathe, speak, blah, blah, blah. Actually, as any thespians out there know, there is a little bit more to it than JUST breathing. You need to get the breathing right, ie; a BIG deep breath, from the diaphragm, not chest, or shallow breathing. This is very important, not only so you can get a whole sentence out without having to breath midway but also you project your voice further, thus making it easier to be heard. As my tutor said “one has to image you are in a large theatre and people right at the very back need to hear you, avoid shouting, it hurts the voice, not good for an actor”.
Also with voice we did pronouncing the vowels, which sounds straight forward, but you have to over pronounce them, which when you are first doing it sounds ridiculous! However, ultimately it was a worth while exercise, even if you feel like a bit of an idiot! We had a few tongue twisters which has alliteration in them!
“Mining minerals in mountains.”
“Many military matters mustn’t mount.”
I dread to think trying to say those after a few drinks!
We then did duologues, I got one of the lads that is about my age, we did a piece from “Under Milk Wood” by Dylan Thomas, trying to get an idea of how the characters would have spoken was difficult without any form of major idea the type of characters they were other than a married couple. We also, thankfully, didn’t need to learn the pieces off by heart, it was hard enough reading and speaking and eye contact and remembering to breath without adding in remembering, saying that, I’m sure as time goes on I’ll come to learn that. We were each given a monologue, again we don’t need to learn it off by heart, but we are to say it next class.
The monologue I am reading is from a play called “A Doll’s House” written in 1897 by a gentleman called Henrik Ibsen, all I have prior to the monologue is the following;
Nora, 20-30s, is married to Torvald Helmar, a respected lawyer and business man. He treats her like a child and a doll. She has forged a cheque for family reasons and is now being blackmailed by the money lender Nils Krogstad. Torvald has found out about the blackmailer.
We were told we could if we wanted to record ourselves, not sure about that myself, I’ll think about it.
I was having a bad few days, and nearly didn’t go at all today, however, I am very glad I went. I enjoyed it, my fears are also subsiding slowly, which is doing me good. Now, to work on this monologue!