Hear Me Now
eBook - ePub

Hear Me Now

Audition Monologues for Actors of Colour

Titilola Dawudu, Titiola Dawudu

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eBook - ePub

Hear Me Now

Audition Monologues for Actors of Colour

Titilola Dawudu, Titiola Dawudu

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About This Book

A brand-new collection of original audition pieces written by and for actors of colour, commissioned by Tamasha Theatre Company and edited by Titilola Dawudu, with a foreword by Noma Dumezweni. Hear Me Now is a unique collection of over eighty original audition monologues, expressly created by a range of award-winning writers brought together by producer Titilola Dawudu and Tamasha Theatre Company. They're ideal for actors of colour searching for speeches for auditions or training, writers, teachers, and theatre-makers who are passionate about improving diversity. The book provides varied, nuanced stories that expand beyond the range of existing material available – from a cross-dressing Imam, to the first Black Prime Minister, the British Indian girl with dreams of becoming a country music star, or the young Black boy who loves baking as much as football – Hear Me Now is an essential tool for actors of colour to showcase their range, and seeks to inspire, empower, and create a legacy for generations to come.

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Information

Publisher
Oberon Books
Year
2018
ISBN
9781786824622
Edition
1
Hear Me Now Session Plan
A playwright-led workshop for actors, to develop diverse new audition pieces.
Session length: 2 hours 30 mins
Group size: (Up to) 20 actors, 10 writers, 1 facilitator
Age range: 16+
Room: Workshop space large enough for 30 people to move around in comfortably.
Materials needed: 1 large flipchart with at least 20 pages
20 marker pens
Blue tack
Ballpoint pens for all participants
Post-it notes
Watch/stopwatch for facilitator
Printed character questionnaires x 20 (see below)
Character prompts (for facilitator use only)
Aims
By the end of the session participants will have:
Communicated to their playwrights the distinct challenges they face in finding suitable audition pieces.
Developed 5-10 ideas (per actor) for unusual new characters for whom a monologue might be written to suit the actor.
Developed in sufficient depth one of those characters for the playwright to write a 3-min monologue for.
Developed some understanding of the elements of successful dramatic storytelling in monologue form.
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Notes and reminders for facilitator
Ensure all completed Character Questionnaire sheets are collected in and given to the writers. This is the main record they will have of the Actor’s character idea.
Once groups of three are established for the ‘life story in one minute’ exercise, keep these groups throughout the workshop so that the writers write for these actors. Give each group one post-it note to write all three email addresses onto – the facilitator can then connect them after the session so the writers can ask the actors any questions they have as they develop the character’s speech.
Remind the group about what happens next and the second workshop date, usually around 6 weeks later to give the writers time to do up to three drafts of the speech. The second workshop is not structured, it is just time for the writers and actors to reconvene so the actors can perform their piece in front of the writer and agree any final changes. It’s also a nice opportunity for the group to watch each other’s pieces in the final hour.
Character prompts for facilitator
Take these slowly – allow time for the questions to land and the actors to respond in their minds. This is a creative process so shouldn’t be rushed. Ask the actors to close their eyes during it, and sit or lie down as they prefer. They should be comfortable. There should be no background noise or interruptions.
Visualise your character in your mind’s eye – they are standing facing you. What do they look like? Zoom in, zoom out. Spin them 360 degrees.
Are they male, female, neither, both?
What is their face shape?
Height?
Body shape?
Hair colour?
Eye colour?
Skin colour?
The clothes they’re wearing.
What’s the expression on their face as they look back at you
Spin 360 degrees in your mind’s eye
How they’re positioned – standing, sitting, lying, walking.
Biographical
Where did they grow up? London? Another city? A town? A village? Another country? Have they moved away or do they still live there?
How do they feel about where they grew up?
Who brought them up? Parents? Grandparents? Siblings? Someone else?
What kind of school did they go to? Did they enjoy it? What were their favourite subjects? Were they academic, sporty, popular, nerdy, which clique did they belong to – or did they do their own thing?
At what age did they finish education? If they’re still studying, what subject? If they went out to work – as what?
What age are they now? (REMEMBER they need to be of an age where you the actor at the age you are now could realistically play them).
Picture the accommodation they live in at the moment: house, flat, hostel, halls of residence?
Who do they live with? Family, friends, flatmates, strangers, alone?
What do they do for a living? Do they work – if so, as what? Full-time, part-time? Do they like it? Have they started a career of some kind of are they in casual jobs they don’t much care about?
If they aren’t in paid employment, how do they fill their days? Studying? Parenting? Something else?
What hopes do they have for the future?
Personality
What personality type are they – confident and outgoing or shy and introverted? Do they follow their head or their heart? Are they impulsive, passionate, quick tempered – or thoughtful, reflective and careful?
What kind of friends do they have? What do their friends think about them?
What skills do they have – think of something they’re really good at.
What do they do for fun – are they sporty, booky, into music, pets, DIY. What unusual hobby might they have?
What are their parents like? Are they still alive? Do they get on with them?
Who else is an important figure in their lives? Someone who has really influenced how they see the world.
Think about the kinds of things they believe in – religion, politics, sport, other people, themselves. What kinds of issues do they feel strongly about?
Imagine meeting them for the first time. Where do you meet them? How do they introduce themselves? What does their voice sound like? What else do they say to you? Do you like them and think you’ll get on with them or are they more detached, withdrawn or even cold?
Imagine them at a party. Think about the energy they give off. What colour is it?
So now you know a bit about this person. You’ve pictured their physical appearance, you know about where they grew up, their personality type and their current situation in life.
Picture that situation. Imagine their average week, from Monday to Sunday.
How do they feel by the end of it? Happy, bored, frustrated, excited?
Think about something they lack in their life. Something which makes them feel unfulfilled.
Think about something they want, really really badly. Something they would take a big risk to try to get….
What are they doing right at this moment
It’s 7.30pm on a Tuesday evening (or whatever the actual time and date of the workshop).
Where are they? At home? At college? Working late? Indoors/outdoors? On public transport? Where are they going? Are they socialising? Where – with who?
Picture that scene… where they are, what they’re doing.
Ask the actors to open their eyes
Now show us them in that scene – take on the physicality of your character – stand, sit, walk as they are right this moment, at 7.30pm on a Tuesday evening.
All of a sudden they get up. They start to walk. Use the whole space. Show us how they walk – is it confident and strong, or shy and inward?
Where are they going?
Find the part of the body they lead with when they walk.
Think what status level they are from 1 to 10. Show us that status in their walk.
As you pass each other as your character, start to acknowledge one another as your character would. Do they nod, wink, smile, speak?
Start to acknowledge one another as you pass.
Stop and have a chat.
FREEZE
Ask the actors to come out of character and form a line in front of the facilitator, to collect a Character Sheet. They can now sit and fill th...

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