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Can seem to tackle this one on my own!

Discussion in 'Drama and performing arts' started by bplanky, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Hi all.

    I have a lovely year 10 group who are creative, outgoing and all have bubbly personalities.

    Within the group, one is targeted at distinction* and on first glances, you would think she would breeze through it.

    This is the problem..... She has no confidence when in character. I have tried characters of every genre, age, background. Tried lots of confidence building within the class and as a group. All good in principal.... But the student loves to act... As long as its a 'normal' character. By this I'm taking it as HOLLYOAKS.

    As much as I see this as a fair comment to a certain degree. I feel I would be letting the course, the student and infact myself down if I just allow her to spend the next year and a bit taking on these basic characters with no layers and depth. Would this sort of character and performance only allow them to achieve a pass?

    Any ideas, opinions or suggestions on this?

    In my hour of need!
    Thanks.
     
  2. Sorry... Post should have read 'CAN'T seem to tackle this on my own!!!!!!' oopsie..
     
  3. Have you ever thought that maybe she just can't act or has no range no matter what you do. Maybe all she deserves is a pass.
     
  4. No not at all. She can act.... When the character is not Challenging, has no real grit to it. I think she feels uncomfortable with any form of confrontation, whether in her own life or when in character.

    If I can break down boundaries, she will deserve much more than a pass.
     
  5. Force her to play against type.
    You can do this by setting up a situation where two students devise a scene, say, betwen mother and son, or a boyfroend / girlfriend.
    Just before they perform, ask them to swap parts.
    It stuns them.
    My play "Changes" on my webiste has 5 actors but 10 characters. It makes them play an oppsite gender role, no matter what your group composition.
    Suitable for Edexcel Unit 3, if that's what you're looking for.
    As an examiner, I see a lot of "soap" acting. And soap plots.
     
  6. This seems a bit contradictory. You say she can act but has no depth, no ability to deal with conflict and only wants to play hollyoaks characters. what is acting? who has predicted her a distinction? What texts have you looked at? perhaps she doesn't really understand what acting is. She says she loves it but what exactly is it that she loves? this discussion may help clarify it a bit more. loving it doesn't mean she is a distinction student. I think you have a choice. Spend the next year and a half developing her by throwing lots of different stuff at her being clear that this IS acting- a professional definition but then on her exam give her a role she can 'succeed' in. I have a student who has inklings of loveliness but absolutely no range at all. We work together to push her out of her comfort zone but this lack of range can be seen even in roles she is confident in such as a lack of facial expression and in particular her voice. Is she talking about naturalism? if so she needs range and depth. I would go back and discuss with her what her understanding of acting is, why she loves it and what she means by normal. Then you can begin a dialogue with her and slowly move her onwards and upwards. With some that are stuck I occasionally will focus on someone else quite a lot, let them observe and then finally see how pushing and challenging themselves pays off (and trusting me- important with confidence- she has to trust that whilst you are putting her in risky situations you will keep her 'safe'). Have a look at Adult Child Dead Child. I use this with weaker learners as an ensemble, that need stretching a bit as it has moments that can be played naturalistically as well as more stylized. ensemble work means she has to work as part of a team, can hide behind others whilst she explores the genre as well as develop her confidence in a group setting. perhaps it is also about looking at a range of 'normal' characters that have small challenges in and roles that do have depth so her learning is in small steps? Good luck!
     
  7. could you do some entirely non-naturalistic things? have the group read a scene and then perform it, but as a narration by the furniture in the room in which the action takes place - just to shake her (and the others) up a bit and make them do something different?
     
  8. Why is she targeted at distinction and by whom?
    I would play to her strengths (sounds like Naturalistic acting) and go for some Stanislavski approaches, teaching her a Naturalistic system to get depth and to find a "third I" between her and the dramatic character
    Naturalistic approaches achieve A* grades too :)





     

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