Alexander at Conservatory, Week Three

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9/14/13 – Week Three. Today at Conservatory, we started off with the topic that our final performance is going to be about.  Our teachers chose the topic The Human Body.  The class was, well, not that into the human body.  We wanted wizards and magic instead.  Soon, we looked at library books about the human body and we discovered interesting things, like you have dreams because what you think of every day gets stored in your brain then your memories come out when you’re sleeping.  After our research, the class decided that the human body is actually a good idea.  It seems magical in its own way.  Then, we had our break then returned to acting!  We did a few games about making up scenes…  It was it REALLY fun because we got a word and then groups of four had to use that word in a small play.  Our word was talkative.  So, we made an old peoples’ retirement center and a volunteer came in and he was very talkative, which drove the old people crazy!  Stay tuned for my next blog.

Alexander
Childsplay Academy Reporter

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Stormy Reviews “Robin Hood”

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In preparation for my first play review I thought it would be a great idea to read the book, Robin Hood. Honestly, from the first page to the last, I just couldn’t relate to it. I was panicking as I walked into the theater with my “book” vision – a man in green tights stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, eerie music and a lot of Old English words that I couldn’t understand.  As I waited nervously, pen in hand to take notes, the lights dimmed.

Bam! Robin Hood makes his incredible entrance flying across the stage in his Camo skinny jeans, black studded jacket and cool gloves. I was so excited to find out what was going to happen next. The music is loud and funky and sets the scene for a new twist on the Sherwood Forest. This Robin Hood even plays the air guitar. I glanced over at my brother and he was on the edge of his seat leaning toward the stage. He was totally into this play. I could see why. You can’t have Robin Hood without flying arrows. In this play they do something with arrows you’ve never seen before.

The Sheriff of Nottingham is also quite a character. He kept the audience laughing even though he was one of the bad guys. Keep watch for the greedy Prince John who suddenly pops out from one of the many mysterious boxes.  With her fighting skills and flowing red hair, Maid Marian becomes a perfect partner for the Hood. She can swing the sword and aim the arrows as well as any of Merry Men.  You will love the very comical, stunt filled adventure through this modern Sherwood Forest.

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After the lights came back on, I got to sneak backstage and see some of the props and meet the people who put this play together. The cast, Andy Cahoon (Robin Hood), Kate Haas (Maid Marian), Jon Gentry (Sheriff of Nottingham), Ricky Araiza (Prince John), Eric Boudreau (Will Scarlett) and Keath Hall (Little John) introduced me to the Green Room, a backstage hangout for the actors.  The actor’s favorite part was the big fight at the end of the play. Multiple sword fights were happening at the same time. Each actor had to train 3 weeks, eight hours a day, to practice combat, sword fighting, and martial arts. Some of the costumes were used for protection. For example, Maid Marian had to wear some extra padding to make sure the studs in her jacket weren’t rubbing against her so she could perform her stunts without injury. The costume designer did an amazing job setting the new mood of the play. I loved how the Merry Men had punk rocker outfits and rooster hair to add to the play’s theme. In the end, thanks to the actors and their fun quirky interpretation of Robin Hood, I can finally relate to this story. Be sure to check out this original performance and tell me how YOU relate to this story and its characters.

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Stormy Light
Childsplay Kid Reporter

Alexander’s Second Week at Conservatory

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9/7/13 – Week 2.  
First we sat in a circle and introduced the two new kids in our class.  We wrote down the goals we wanted to improve on for this semester of Conservatory.  After we wrote them down, we handed them to our teachers so they could look at them to know what we each want to work on .  We then played an improv game.  We had to get into a line and two people from the front of the line would walk to the other end and the first person would say something, the second person would respond, and then the first person had to respond again and then goes to the end of the line.  The second person then goes back and gets the next person in line and they do the same thing.  It was fun and challenging.  Soon, we had a break because time there feels like it’s going really fast because we’re doing so much.  We had time to eat snacks and then it was back to acting!  We went over some of the rules of improv, like A Duck Is A Duck.  If someone says “Oh, do you like my new bracelet?” and the other person says “That’s not a bracelet, it’s a cat,” you just lost the whole scene!  So, you should always go along with your partner.  We did that for a while plus a few more games meant to teach us about concentration and observing others and then it was time to go.  Our teaches definitely are excited to teach us.  I will be excited to tell you what happens next week!

Alexander
Childsplay Academy Reporter

Alexander Blogs About His First Week at Conservatory

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8/31/13 – Week One.  What is Conservatory?  Conservatory is a way to find other acting skills that are more advanced…a way to learn more about what a professional actor does.  Every week, you go to the Childsplay campus and you take an acting class for several hours.  My Teacher-Artists are Mr. John and Miss. Carolyn.  So far, my two teachers are great and always have planned something exciting to do.  Mr. John has been in many plays during the regular performing seasons.  During our first day in Conservatory 2A, we started with the Name Game because there are about 15 kids in our class and we should know each other’s names.  After that, we played a couple games to teach us to use eye contact and build character.  We then came to think on what our theme might be for our whole semester.

I feel the upcoming semester will feel like a big ensemble not even having to do any work because it will be so fun!

Alexander
Childsplay Academy Reporter