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My Acting 1 Experience

Acting 1, it would be “an easy A” they said, “Ahh this class is a breeze” they said. As I walked into the black box I was super confident and thought to myself “Hey, I got this one in the (black) box”… But boy, was I wrong.

Our first project was to tell the class a few things about ourselves, which most people would think is easy because everyone loves talking about themselves, right? I remember I stood up and walked to the center of the class and I  completely froze for a good 3 seconds, because I was so afraid to speak in front of everyone! Overtime, however, I did start to get the hang of things and become more comfortable with the class. This is because everyday Mrs.Figg-Franzoi would start out the class with a quirky question such as “If you could swap out your arm in replace for something else, what would it be?” Most of the crazy sophomore boys would come up with something really funny.  This, and the many other outrageous games we would play such as “bippity, bippity, bop” really helped me get to know my classmates and warm up to everyone.

This class has taught me many things such as how to utilize my voice and movements, and how to speak publicly. Also, how to properly use props and the difference between them, and the different types of acting performances there are available such as pantomimes, monologues, dialogues, movie making and commercials. Making commercials was really fun because we go to work with a group and invent a brand that we wanted to endorse. Our group thought of the “anti-awkward earpiece” which is an earpiece that tells people what to say so they aren’t awkward. I liked this project (minus the 17 takes we had to take to get it all right) because we got to use GarageBand which I’m very familiar with.

My favorite project I did this year was the dialogue performance. A dialogue is a conversation between two or more people taken from a book, play, or movie. My partner Gavin and I chose a scene from “Finding Nemo” where we had to act like we were whale and we weren’t quite sure if it was going to eat us or not… don’t worry though, we made it out alive. When I did my monologue performance it was much more serious, so it was really fun to get a little out of my comfort zone with this piece and basically embarrass myself due to the fact I had to speak like a whale.

Acting is something I’ve always wanted to try and I am really grateful that they offer this class here at Homestead. So even though it wasn’t as easy as everyone said it would be It’s enabled me to get a really good feel for acting and the basics of it. I am a very artistic person, I love to dance, sing, play instruments and now I can add acting to the list! This class has been filled with lots of embarrassing moments and slip-ups but overall I’ve had many laughs and tons of fun along the way!

By: Ava Thorson
Acting 1
Trimester 1 2015

Adventures in Tech Theatre By: Thomas Blaubach

IMG_1539My experience in tech theater has been a good one. I enjoyed learning about the different aspects of theater. My favorite part of tech theater was building the doors for the background of “Arabian Nights.” I liked constructing the doors with the different tools we learned how to use. It was great to know that our work was going to be used in theater. I was able to actually see my work in “Arabian Nights” as part of the background in the play.

My least favorite parts of the class were the workbook and face painting. The workbook was sometimes frustrating because a lot of the answers were not in the book. It was tedious to have to look up the terms and figure out what answer they were looking for. Also, I was not a fan of the face painting. I did not like how we had to put paint on our faces more than once. I think that after the first time, the face paint should be optional. I had a difficult, but fun time putting on the makeup for the animal.

IMG_1895Although I did not like the workbook and face paint, I enjoyed the lighting and sound unit. It was interesting to control the lighting board and watch the lights change on stage. I also enjoyed using Garageband to create sound for Shrek. My favorite part was walking on the catwalk. That was an unique opportunity. I will probably never get the chance to go up there again. I liked creating the canvas by using the different types of painting techniques. The costume research for Phantom of the Opera was interesting. I did not know how complex and thorough the research had to be. Although I did not fully understand the point of Phantom of the Opera, by the end of the research, I fully appreciated the time and thought that went into costume and design. I individually researched the character of Raoul. His clothing alone was complex and took a long time to fully research. It was a bigger project than I expected, but it helped me fully appreciate what has to be taken into consideration and what has to be researched before costumes can be created for a production. I learned that if the right amount of research is not done, the costumes can look out of date for the production. It was amazing to see how much effort and work goes into Broadway productions like Phantom of the Opera and Shrek. Everything from the music and sound effects, to costumes and scenery has to be down to a science before the production can begin.

IMG_2864I also took Acting 1 last year. I had fun in Acting 1, but I think I had more fun in Tech Theater. I feel like I learned more from Tech Theater than I did from Acting 1. Both classes were interesting and were a good time. Overall, my experience in acting and tech theater provided me with unique experiences I will probably not encounter for awhile.

Written By: Thomas Blaubach
3rd Trimester 2015
Tech Theatre

What was my experience like in Acting 1 you may ask? By: Rachel Mortensen

What was my experience like in Acting 1 you may ask? Well let me just tell you it was more than thrilling.

I started my experience in Acting 1 off with a pantomime. My partner Alex and I decided to do our project on jump roping. In order to get a complete grade each of us needed to run into three problems and the audience needed to be able to identify them. Eventually after lots of practice we got to perform. Luckily, our problems were easily identified. Out of all the projects we did, I would have to say this one was the least exciting. This is mostly because every other project included talking.

The Parent Trap

The Parent Trap

Overall, if I were to pick a favorite part of this class, it would be the dialogues. My new partner Sara and I decided to do a 5 minute dialogue on a scene from my favorite movie the parent trap. Everyone knew this movie in the class so we had no choice, but to perfect it. I had a great time and I wouldn’t have chosen a different script even if I had the chance. I can still remember the whole script if I was made to repeat it, as long as Sara was at my side reciting her lines. Its kind of funny actually, I had my mom practice over the script with me and I couldn’t remember what came next some times because I was so used to hearing Sara say it. Sara and I ended up performing first and got an amazing reaction.

To me acting is a way of expressing yourself. Theater gives you that option. I love the idea of turning into someone else for a while and reacting in ways I may not actually act in real life. For example, when I did my monologue being Gossip Girl, I had to act very sassy and like I knew everything. Obviously I don’t, but Gossip Girl the character portrays a very ruling and brainy nature. Having to turn myself into another character, I had a blast. Theater was created for people to be able to express themselves. I believe theater can make people much happier, whether they are watching a play or actually in it. I enjoy performances and those who don’t should give it a second chance.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 2.53.18 PMMy final project in acting included a romance theme. My group and I are still at this moment working on editing it, but once we finish that we are done. I had a great time recording with my group, we all got along very well. There were some disagreements, but once we got through that we were able to continue what we were doing. The hardest part of the final project was definitely finding time to record everything. Many of the people in my group play sports, as well as I do. We had to work around these time schedules and find time to do things. Overall, I had an awesome time recording my final project.

So my opinion on acting? I would definitely recommend it for anyone getting the choice to do it.

Written By: Rachel Mortensen
3rd Trimester 2015
Acting 1 2nd Hour

She Kills Monsters

12094908_756026437835301_5402770885798005270_oToo often, the narrative in stories about geek culture focuses on dudes. It fits with the stereotype of what a geek is — some guy in his teens or twenties, covered in residual dust from the powdery snack du jour, slurping down some unnaturally-colored, nauseatingly sweet, caffeinated beverage, while obsessing over a reality far removed from our own, be it a world where superheroes save the day, where clans clash for power in a deadly political system or where daring protagonists go on quests to defeat dragons, loot treasure and get the girl.

That last storyline preoccupies the heroine of She Kills Monsters. 25 year old Agnes (Sarah Verespej), a “normal” girl by all accounts, looks for closure following the death of sister and parents. While packing up her sister’s belongings, Agnes stumbles across a homemade Dungeons & Dragons quest, written by 15 year old Tilly (Emily Boehlke). Determined to get to know her sister after her death, Agnes embarks into the world of game, dripping with sarcasm and disdain for geek culture.

Once she starts, Tilly comes to life as Tillius the Paladin, and Agnes is able to role-play conversations with her sister, lessening the estrangement between the two. As the play (and quest) progress, so do Agnes’ attitudes towards geeks and geek culture — an idea that’s conveniently framed by Agnes’ life outside the game, where she works as a teacher at the school Tilly attended, meeting the real-life versions of the characters Tilly transported to her fantasy land in the game.  As the play progresses, we see the relationship between Agnes and her boyfriend Miles, the bullying of gay teens, and the benefits of acting out your fantasies in a controlled environment. Agnes is now coming to understand a lot about her sister, and the way a lonely, geeky lesbian teenager who never felt she fit in at school was able to find strength, conquer her fears and come to terms with her sexuality in a world of supernatural enemies, magical allies and dangerous tasks. Agnes is able to speak with Tilly, to travel and fight beside her. But though she’s in her lost sister’s mind and privy to her deepest longings, she is constantly reminded that the Tilly she’s interacting with isn’t flesh and blood, but a Paladin, an avatar Tilly once created. Here, the script touches a deeper chord, though the overall tone stays light.

12119158_756024401168838_3304441605167918568_nPlaywright Qui Nguyen has created a compelling world that’s easily accessible for n00bs (a.k.a. those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of structured role playing games). The story is compact, but skips quickly over characterization, forcing the actors to fully flesh out their characters without much help from the script.  All of the performers are lively and appealing, and every one of them shows a great deal of stamina and endurance, clambering over obstacles, leaping from place to place, chasing, fleeing and fighting. Much of the time, Agnes plays straight man to the craziness around her, but Sarah Verespej makes the character lithe, gentle and grounded, and when she springs into action, she’s powerful. Emily Boehlke is an impish little sister Tilly. Derrick Karas is funny, goofy and disconcertingly graceful as an incompetent demon prince, Orcus, and Matthias Wong makes his mark as hapless and eventually armless gamer Steve.

Lauren Burghardt and Riley Truttmann are powerful as Tilly’s warrior friends in the game, Lilith and Kaliope, and each has a scene or two as Tilly’s real life friends Lily and Kelly that are equally strong and moving. Burghardt is quite effective as the fierce, leather clad dominatrix Lilith and a knock-out as the gentle, sexually unsure of herself Lily. Truttmann is as moving as the sleek Elfin Kaliope and wheelchair-bound Kelly. Shawn Wilkerson gets just about everything right in bringing teenager Chuck to life. He’s got the appropriate demeanor and mannerisms of a typical “geek” who at first gets flustered when meeting the older woman Agnes.

12088569_756023947835550_6426564900900098920_nAndrew Lococo is appropriately immature yet sincere as Agnes’ boyfriend Miles, who isn’t quite ready to commit after dating Agnes for five years. As Agnes’ no nonsense, high-school guidance counselor friend Vera, Emma Zander has a perfect droll delivery.  Lauren Brill, Haley Stevens, Cassidy Buffoni and George Ballesteros are hilarious as the “valley girl” speaking, gum chewing, evil cheerleaders. Nick Gardison has the fun dry delivery as the Narrator of the piece and Jada Davis wins us over as the not-so-cute forest fairy Ferrah.

She Kills Monsters is a much-needed exploration of girl geek culture, and under Amelia Figg-Franzoi’s direction, the comedic scenes play quite well. The result is a flowing, fast-moving, high-spirited evening of pure fun, with a few insightful and touching moments thrown in.

11224829_756024114502200_4281672386927703551_nTech Director, Wayne Peters had his work cut out for him with this show, but his crew pulled off magic.  Erin Meskimen designed beautiful projections that take us in and out of the D&D world, school and home.  The stage crew students designed the set, a 90’s kitchen and living room that the actors run around on as the D&D world appears around Chuck sitting at the kitchen table telling the story of the game.  Christian Loukopoulos headed up the building of the set while Aeriana Monohan designed the props with assistant director, Lonnae Hickman’s help.  Nicole Platz takes us through the 90’s with popular music, telling the story through sound as TJ O’Connor works magic on the lights.

The evening is a silly, hyperkinetic good time, and a primer on what it means to tell your own fantastical story — because don’t we all have a few dragons to slay?

She Kills Monsters has one public performance before heading off to their State Competition at UW-Whitewater.

November 14th @7pm

It’s Free!

Homestead High School James Barr Auditorium

Due to the nature of Tilly’s sexuality and relationship with her girlfriend, this play may not be suited for all audiences.  

Dancing along in the booth to the transition music

Or watching Figg during rehearsals jam out during scene changes.  When she wears her lights up boots, those are the best to watch… pitch black scene change and then flashing red, blue and green lights appear from the audience.  You know she is jamming.

Acting 1 By: Katelyn Meer

Acting one has been a new adventure to me. Overall, I have really enjoyed acting. At the beginning of the trimester I was really nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to juggle acting and my other classes. The first main project was the prop talk. It ended up being a lot easier than I thought, I had to bring each kind of prop; hand prop, costume prop, and stage prop. I was very nervous because I am not a big public speaker especially in a new class.

Each time I learned about a new project like a dialogue or pantomime I started to become very nervous. I would rehearse so much for each performance that I would end up not even remembering the information. Most people think that since I am a dancer that I like being in front of an audience. But, the truth is I don’t I become very nervous and want to just run off the stage.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 6.22.45 PMActing is not just about performing in front a of an audience but, becoming the character that is in your script. ¨Becoming the character does not just mean saying the lines and dressing up as the character. It means transforming into what you think the character will be like. I think that Mrs. Figg chooses to quiz us on our lines but then, doesn’t for the actual performance because we need to put our own twist in the character and the lines. Working with someone for almost all of the projects helped me see how others understand what the teacher is directing.

The most challenging thing for me was the monologue. With the monologue came having all of the pressure put on you and only you. I had to remember almost two minutes of script which may be seem easy but, it really isn’t. You have to rehearse and really change into character. Having friends help you makes it a lot better. You are able to let it all go and just have a good laugh. I was especially nervous because all of my classmates had to write a good and a bad corrections for me. I could feel all of the eyes staring right at me. I only ended up having one or two little mistakes which wasn’t that big of  deal.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 2.54.49 PMI think my favorite project is the final movie. Even though we are still working on it right now I am having a blast. We started by picking a character, prop, and a a genre. My group got a guy named lil’ Marko, cereal, and the genre of romance. I think my favorite part was being able to write our own script but also have to follow a few guidelines. Currently, my group has finished filming and we are editing. Editing is really fun because we are able to watch what we have been working on for a few days. I am looking forward to seeing what our final movie will look like and what the rest of the class will say when they see our movie.

Going into acting i was scared but, now I can talk about how much fun I had. Meeting new friends from different grades was nice but, also getting to see other people I knew but, in a different setting. I would recommend acting one to everyone because it really brings you out of your shell and it is just fun to have. I wouldn’t say that acting one is easy but, as long as you try and look for extra opportunities you will finish having had a great time and being successful in the class.

Written By: Katelyn Meer
3rd Trimester 2015
Acting 1 Hour 2

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