Last Saturday Mixit had its first class with Tama Jarman from Red Leap Theatre Company.
We started off with some sweet games – the old classic ‘Bang’ (which we love) and a new one, ‘Biddy Biddy Bop’, which was the cause of much hilarity. Here’s a pic of the group struggling to get the Biddy Biddy Bop Elephant pose in time.
Games are a really important part of performing, and a great way to warm up. They allow a group of people to work together with focus, and bring up energy to performance level. They are also all about play, which is one of the most important parts of acting. As Tama said on Saturday, if you’re not enjoying yourself on stage the audience will be able to tell, and won’t enjoy watching you. So while we were having heaps of fun, we were actually giving our performing muscles a good stretch.
Playing a bunch of games put us in the right zone to start mucking around with different walks and how they can create characters. We began by walking across the room as ourselves, and it was really interesting to see how peoples characters shone through just by observing how they moved through space. Observing the walks of people out in the world is a great way of collecting some character traits you can use later.
Tama gave us a bunch of stereotypical characters to find the walks of. Stereotypes are fun because they are larger than life caricatures, so you can have a ball making their characteristics and physicality really exaggerated.
After finding our favourite characters we got to work with them in a scene with some others, focusing on their movement through space.
I’m looking forward to next week where we will continue to look at character physicality (and perfect Biddy Biddy Bop with some new commands thrown in). We will then be able to take these new skills and work with Justin Haiu to marry great characters with snazzy movement choreography.