On Tuesday night we had a very interesting rehearsal for the devised piece that will be will be directed by Dr. Scott Mackenzie. It all started when we were instructed to take off our shoes. Everyone was pretty hesitant because they were afraid that the carpet was dirty and they didn’t want people looking at their socks, or in some cases, bare feet. Finally, after working up enough courage to remove our shoes, we all got in a big circle and started to do ” warm up ” exercises.
For those of you who may not be familiar with theatre, actors have particular warm up routines just like athletes do. We do basic stretches and vocal exercises like blowing through your lips and jumping up and down. You may be wondering ” why would they warm up like that? Actors aren’t athletes” Well , the answer to that is like an athlete, we need to be loose to perform our acts with the proper energy. In addition, we also need to do vocal exercises in order to warm up our voices and our vocal chords. As an actor you need to take good care of your voice so you will not lose your voice on stage. Since Westminster actors and actresses perform without microphones, we need to warm our voices up so that we can project our voice with the proper volume so that everyone will be able to hear the performance.
But, I digress. Rehearsal was not only interesting because we took off our shoes or because of our acting warm up. The interesting part of our rehearsal was what we did afterwards. Our director put on various songs from the movie Gladiator. We were then instructed to move around the room and react to how the music made us feel. At first, everyone was hesitant about this exercise. When the first song came on everyone was watching one another to see what other person was doing. After a while, once everyone was comfortable, we slowly came out of our shells. 🙂 The third song blared through the speakers and it was an upbeat battle song. If someone just happened to wander up to the mezzanine they would be in for a show. Actors were running around pretending to do sword fights, people were running, jumping, rolling on the ground and much more. It was quite the sight to see.
The point of this exercise was to teach us how to express ourselves by putting us in touch with how the music made us feel so that we could become comfortable with each other. It was truly a rehearsal that I will never forget.