Savannah's Theatre Blog

Ophelia – Reflection

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on August 31, 2010

I was quite happy with my final performance. I had a few issues (technical and my own) aswell as aspects I was happy with.

The Technical issues:

– The video: I then made the playback slower so it took about 2 minutes and 11 seconds. This seemed to work pretty well but it ended up looking a bit disjointed and I realised I couldn’t use it. However, I felt that the video was one of the most vital parts of the piece (for lighting anyway) and I couldn’t just throw it away altogether. So I went back to what I originally had which was the video in 30 second (approx.) blocks. At the end of each ‘block’ there was a pause in which the screen/projection went blank/black before it recommenced with the waves. I was really nervous about incorporating this in because – due to time constraints – I was unable to physically rehearse it before hand although I had an approximate idea of where the pauses would fall so I could at least mentally prepare myself. When it came to the actual performance I was really  happy with it; I was able to incorporate the pauses successfully and I think it was effective in portraying Ophelia’s state of mind i.e. I thought it added to the performance. I find it rather difficult when things aren’t perfectly ordered or go to plan so it was difficult to overcome but I did and I’m actually glad the problem came about because I think the performance was heightened because of it.

Noise of overhead projector = This was definitely not a big issue but it was a bit surprising so I though I would mention it. I hadn’t actually realised how much noise the overhead projector made. I had used it before but I just didn’t realise. When Cathy turned it on right at the start of my monologue, I got a tiny bit distracted but quickly got back on track and realised that I would need to increase my volume just that little bit.

Using Cathy  instead of Daniel for lighting = Due to Daniel famining, he was a bit distracted and forgot to come to rehearse the lighting plan with me. This meant I needed to use Cathy. This wasn’t really a problem for me although I think Daniel may have been a bit disappointed because he let someone else down and I am always fearful of that (although there was an easy solution). At this point, I was very grateful that my choices were simple and easy otherwise it would have been very difficult for Cathy to learn.

Other Issues =

Focus/the switch from drama student to Ophelia: I remember a couple of weeks ago we were working on our monologues in class. We physically as well as mentally explored them. I was incredibly happy with the quality of work I produced that day and I think it was because I had greater focus. I had that greater focus due to immediate work we had just done on our characters (although I was feeling mad for a while afterwards, I had trouble disconnecting). I think this is where the switch from drama student to Ophelia comes in. I found it really difficult because I couldn’t get totally involved in Ophelia’s world, thus my focus wasn’t what I wanted to be. This is not to say that I had no focus, I just felt I could have thrown myself in that bit more. Perhaps in future it would be a good idea for me at home the night before to do those same exercises we did in class so I can feel more involved and tap back into that for the performance.

– Scratchiness of voice I felt – especially during the singing segment – that my voice was a little bit scratchy. I would say it was because of sickness but I know that it is possible to work around a scratchy voice. I honestly hadn’t thought to take considerations and do a bit of extra vocal work at home in preparation: this is something that I will definitely do next time if the issue of sickness arises again and perhaps even work it in to my general preparation.

Improvements:

I have stated  some of these above in relation to performance preparation however there are still a few more points of improvement.

– Seating of the audience: I hadn’t really thought this through; how the position of the audience members would impact their perception of my performance. Melissa, for example, had the audience standing at different points to make them feel as isolated as her character (Lady Macbeth) did. It was to illustrate that ‘they couldn’t quite connect with her, they were just (onlookers), they couldn’t comprehend what was going (through) her head, (just) as she couldn’t’ (Melissa speaking here). I thought this was really insightful and I think it would have made the performance more effective and powerful.

– Picking the plants (rue, etc): I don’t think this was something I did very well. I would have liked the motion of picking the plants to be clearer. I think I should have practiced with props to begin with. I didn’t want to use them for the actual performance because they are, of course, a figment of her imagination; a method she has employed to deliver warnings.

– More written preparation in regard to what has happened before hand. I think if I had actually written down the events prior to my scene with a great depth rather than with a narrow depth from simply reading and not analysing. I think this would have helped with my focus and it is something I will definitely do in preparation for other performances.

– My hair was in the way. It was very annoying but I didn’t like the idea of it being pinned back because it didn’t fit with Ophelia’s disarray (which I was trying to emphasise with the costume). I think I will just need to do more experimenting next time to work out a solution. In this particular performance I could have perhaps had my hair out with braids at the front (for my fringe to get it out of the way); I would still be getting the chaotic effect but without the infuriating obstruction I had on the day of the performance.

Other’s work:

– I really liked Mel’s sudden floodlight at the beginning on the word ‘yet’. I think it just zapped the audience right into her monologue, it was like ‘watch. this is happening now. There is nothing you can do. Just watch.’

– I liked the shadows that Daniel created with the trees and the gels he’d used to create that really pretty glow of colours. I think it was subtle but effective because it helped to create the mood.

– I really really liked the shadows that Taleah had filmed and then projected! I thought it was such a creative thing to do! I think because it was silhouettes, it created that classic vibe she was going for (judging by her costume and performance choices).

 

 

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