Tonight, Bruiser say goodbye to Level 2 after their Showcase Performance. They've worked so hard! A massive congratulations to them all. Here's how Emily, Sam and Josh have got on over the last ten days:
My name is Emily Foran and I will be starting my final year studying Drama at Queen's University Belfast this September. There are several reasons why I wanted to participate in Bruiser's Level 2 scheme, most of these surrounding my keen interest in developing my skills in theatre directing.
Studying a degree in Drama makes me no stranger to performance of course and by actively taking part in the scheme I have learned a wealth of skills which I cannot wait to start applying to my own practice. From warm-up games to the blocking and rehearsal process, the Level 2 scheme has introduced me to a variety of techniques in approaching and exploring a text. A particular aspect of this is the power the voice has in creating sound in performance and how this can be effectively combined with physical movement. Creating sounds enables the story to develop even further, which is why we had so much fun forming the perfect sounds to match our movements whether this was creating the sound of a giant catapult or amplifying the comedy in a particular situation with a melodramatic gasp. The scheme also emphasised to me the potential physical theatre has in story-telling in a completely non-naturalistic setting, one minute you are a doctor's crazy intern and the next you are part of a human machine - the possibilities are endless!
I've just left upper 6th year in school and have decided to pursue Acting as a career. However, having my experience limited to in-school work, and having been introduced to Bruiser 's Summer School courses by both my drama teacher and Carly McConnell, I decided that the Summer School would be a fantastic way to build experience and learn new techniques.
I quickly learned on the first day of the Level 2 course how deeply rooted Bruiser was in Physical Theatre by our first project, "Over the Wall" by James Saunders. Here I was quickly introduced to this new style, using new several techniques that I had previously never heard of, such as our ensemble creating a machine with our bodies. Having came from a strictly naturalistic background in regards to Acting, this was a brilliant learning curve for me, and I enjoyed every second.
Next we moved on to our two musical numbers, which were probably the highlight of the week for me. These pieces were "Raise the Roof", from Andrew Lippa's play "The Wild Party and "20 Million Reasons", from Flaherty and Ahren's "My Favourite Year". I had a high enough level of experience when it came to singing, but I was completely thrown by the level of movement involved. However, I believe I learned a great deal from these two pieces and I certainly enjoyed them very much!
Towards the end of the first week, we began to work on Clowning as an acting style, again something to which I was new. Our piece of choice was Dr. Suess' "Fox in Socks", which I can only describe as quite bizarre! However, under the excellent guidamce of our Director Podge, we were able to create a truly unique piece, enhanced by the creativity of Clowning. Again, I enjoyed this piece immensely.
I would like to thank all of the Tutors, Directors and Choreographers who have made this course with Bruiser possible. It has given me so much which I know I will take on with me to auditions next year, and has given me a true idea of what professional work in acting is like. I can't thank Bruiser enough for that!
So far I have spent six days with Bruiser Theatre and I can safely say it is tiring. My expectations were proved wrong only an hour into the first day, as I assumed we would spend a day (or at least half) on some form of workshop or a bonding activity (such as a trust fall or name game) but after a quick introduction we jumped head first into blocking our first piece ‘Over The Wall’ an eight page play. By the time we had blocked four pages it was almost time to leave. My feet were sore, all sweat had left my body and yes, I was very tired. Over the next few days we learnt, sung and choreographed two musical numbers. If I’m truly honest by day 3 I thought ‘there’s no way I can do this I’m only a human being I need more sleep’ But then we ran through everything we had done and the rewarding feeling was more than worth it. The feeling of running a piece for which we had worked so hard on was immense.
I am truly saddened that soon I will have to say goodbye to the bruiser experience alongside my new friends Emily, Dean, Sam and many others, as well as Lisa, Podge, Richard, Tony and Rachel. All I have to say is that I will thoroughly enjoy these remaining days and that this acting experience is one I will never forget “Fox in socks, our game is done sir! Thank you for lot of fun sir!”