Here’s a typical scenario: You’ve been assigned an acting scene in your high school theatre class. Your cast has worked the scene multiple times, adding new stuff with each run. You look at the clock and you realize you have five more minutes to rehearse. How can you maximize your time?
1. Run your lines, again
Run your lines multiple times in multiple ways. This is especially helpful if you are freshly off-book. Do them with funny accents. Do them while whispering. Do them quickly without “acting.” Scream them [make sure you are in a location that will welcome this.]
2. Do some homework
Not for your physics class, but for your acting scene. Look up every word you aren’t sure the meaning of, because you can’t act a word you don’t understand. Of course you know you were supposed to do this when you first received your scene, but sometimes we let things slide. Harness the power of your smartphone and look it up. How does it affect the scene now?
3. Work your back story
Who is your character? What happened to her as a child? What activity did he love during summer? This essential character background is often NOT found in the script, but scouring it is the first place to begin. Of course all choices must make sense for your character…Tell your scene partner three things about your character and have her do likewise. These should be new–now be sure to “add” this into your next run-through.
4. Run your into, again
Do you know how to pronounce the playwright’s name? What about the title? Double check this! Rehearse your slate [film acting term for saying your first and last name loudly] again.
- Slates in our theatre sound like this: “Hi, my name is Sandra Brown, and I will be performing an original monologue entitled, ‘How I Learned to Give My Cat a Bath.”
5. Get Your Elevator Speech Ready
In the world of business, if you can successfully pitch your idea to the company president from the time the elevator door closes, goes up two flights, and then opens, you may make that all-important sale. The same goes for your scene. What does your character want in the scene? What happens in your scene? Summarize your scene in less than five sentences.
Saved by the bell…
Congrats, you have just maximized your rehearsal time. Now your teacher thinks you are rock stars and the other students are still reeling from the yelled line-thru…
Leave a Comment or Offer Some Sage Advice Below
How else can you use this tiny bit of time for good? What advice do you have for the end of a rehearsal?
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