Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Actiontrack Week

Here in one post are all Eleanor Dolphin's pieces on the five days of Actiontrack, just completed:

Day 1:
As all 33 of us 4th years gathered in the BSR this morning. I could easily distinguish which people had done this before, the newbies to the year impersonating lost lambs while the rest of us looked on expectantly. We were introduced to the Actiontrack team; Nathan, Molly, Nick and Katie, who will be helping us put together a show. To warm up we played the legendary zip zap boing: it was nice to see that after 2 years I was still just as useless at it. The second half of the morning saw us split into groups where we had to make four inanimate objects out of our own bodies. So, people came up with human swings and blenders. We then had to work a story around these objects and then change the genre of the story to silent movie, sci-fi etc. This really got our imagination and creativity active, I think. At the end of the day we each had to come up with 2 song titles and then come up with lyrics for them.

Day 2:

We started off with a bang today by playing a game called Trinidad and zip zap boing again (hotel, motel and bungalow were introduced today). At the end of yesterday we came up with lyrics for our song titles, the Actiontrack team took our ideas and mashed them into 6 songs: Loose lips, the hero in the dirty tracksuit, hostile room, golden shoes, I’m starting again and black eyes. So for a huge part of the day, we practised the songs and tried to improve them. I think that this part was good fun and that it felt like good progress to all of us. After lunch Katie did a drawing/ visual exercise with us, where each person got a page and drew a squiggly line on it. We all passed our page onto the person next to us and they had to make something out of the lines. You couldn’t use text so the exercise helped us tune in to our visual description rather than explain in words.

Day 3:

Again we ran through the songs this morning and we worked out who the solo singers are going to be. Then Molly got us to do a kind of rhythm and dance workout. Then just before break we all talked about the plot of the play and we looked at the skeleton of the different aspects of the play like the set design, music of the band and choreography. We were each assigned different roles in the play and for the rest of the day Nick and Molly worked with some of us on our scenes as well as the choreography. Others worked on the set design, costume design and the band had their first practice.

Day 4: By today everybody had a job that they had to do; this ranged from set design to costume organising to revising the choreography to learning your lines, and if they’d finished people helped others out with their jobs. We finished preparing the canvas being used on set, now all we had to do was place it on our stage- a tougher job than it sounds. We got scenes 5, 6 and 7 scripted and today was everybody’s last day to learn off the lyrics and lines. The band were very busy practising with the soloists and at the end of the day the set was up and the band’s instruments were moved in and the general feeling was one of pride and that bit by bit our show, which seemed very obscure and patchy in the previous days, was finally starting to come together nicely.

Day 5: Showbuild Day!

It was great to see everyone come in this morning with a smile on their face, determined to give the audience an unforgettable performance this evening. Nick gave us a quick run-through of the day’s events and what had to be done. Everybody was together in the BSR all day today observing how the scenes clicked together, going over technicalities as in lighting, position and cue for performance. There was a great feeling of comradeship in the atmosphere while running through the whole show from 9.00 to 5.30. This show was unusual for both the Actiontrack team and St Columba’s students, as we came up with our plot and dialogue while we were actually on stage over the 4 days this week. This was a very difficult method of acting and it required a lot of determination and concentration from all of us: we weren’t handed the script on day 1, instead we made the script up each day. This evening the show started at 8.15. It was called The Girl in the Golden Shoes and it portrayed the journey of a girl as she discovers the truth of her unchangeable, irrevocable position in a ‘shadow’ world. We put together a total of seven songs for the performance; ‘I’m starting again’, ‘Loose Lips’, ‘Hostile Room’, ‘Black Eyes’, ‘The Hero in the Dirty Tracksuit’, ‘Golden Shoes’ and ‘Dear Jesse’. The soloists were Aifric Tracey, Hugo Hollis, Kezia Wright, Zac Stephenson, Alex Bowring, Sam Harley, Niamh Faulkner, Hamish Law, Pia Klippgen, Catie McGonagle and Maria Coloma. We had Zac Stephenson on the guitar, Mark Agar on the bass, Rachel Rogers on the cello, Annika Franz on the keyboard, Jasmine Blenkins O’Callaghan on the drums. Nathan played the acoustic guitar and I played the piano. I had done a couple of plays before this, but never had any of us taken part in a show quite like this one. I think I speak for everybody in 4th form when I say that we had a ball this week and we would like to thank the whole Actiontrack team; Nick, Molly, Nathan and Katie for everything they did for us.

No comments: