Initially, I took this class because I’m a senior and I needed another fine arts credit. I am absolutely terrible at drawing and similar applied art skills, so Acting 1 seemed like a reasonable alternative. I have to admit, public speaking makes me extremely nervous. When I have to give a speech or presentation, I am that person who’s hands are shaking so bad that I almost can’t read my notecards. Even though my voice doesn’t shake, I do and it’s very obvious to everyone watching. Thus, going into Acting 1, my main personal goal was to become comfortable enough with public speaking that my nervousness would subside— for the most part at least. Over the course of the trimester, I think I accomplished that goal with every presentation we did.
The first speech we did in Acting 1 was the prop talk. Considering I vaguely knew one person in the entire class, this was extremely nerve-wracking for me. Having 20+ strangers sit in a circle around you while you essentially give your life story was not easy. Although this was kind of difficult for me, it was a good icebreaker because I got to know something about everyone. I may not remember half the things people said, but it gave me a feeling of community since everyone wasn’t a complete stranger. Next, we were assigned the task of a pantomime. My biggest concern with this project was whether or not my class would be able to decipher what I was actually pantomiming. I’m not a fantastic actor and I didn’t want to embarrass myself by doing a minute long pantomime where no one knew what was going on. One of my favorite moments during the trimester happened when 5 of us were practicing our pantomimes in the field house lobby in front of each other. Alex Kocab accidentally did the whip into his pretend golf cart during his practice run and we all were dying of laughter; then he did it during his presentation! Luca, Zach, and I tried desperately to hold in giggles during the rest of the pantomime. And luckily, I did my pantomime well enough that I felt pretty good afterwards.
Next, the monologue was another big task. Being a stereotypical teenage girl, I chose a passage from Grey’s Anatomy to perform. Memorizing my lines was done with ease, but as soon as I had to recite the lines for someone else in a more serious setting I got nervous again. Sometimes I would forget entire lines or jumble the order of a couple sentences— something I definitely had to fix by presentation time. I practiced it on my own multiple times to make sure that I correctly remembered enough to fulfill the time requirements. I was super nervous when I first sat down, but then the longer I talked the less nervous I got because I recited my lines so well. Towards the end I forgot a couple lines, so I just improvised and made sure it fit with the script. This was a big step in getting rid of my public speaking nerves. Another memorable moment can attributed to Luca who decided to flip a table during his presentation for dramatic effect. No one except for Ms. Figg, Zach, and I knew that he was doing it, so seeing everyone’s reactions was pretty comical.
Treat yo self! Dialogues were the next task on our agenda. Zack, Luca, and I were a group of three and we chose to do the Parks & Rec skit Treat yo Self. (I was Donna, Luca was Ben, and Zack was Tom) This was my favorite presentation because the role I had was perfect for my personality. Also, my whole group was really into the skit and was just as excited as I was to present it. At this point in the class, I started to become excited to present instead of being nervous which was huge. This time when it was our turn to present, I didn’t have any nerves! We all recited our lines with ease and it felt great! Truth be told, I kind of wish we had been able to do another dialogue like that.
Finally, the final exam is upon us. I’ve been working with Alex, Luca, Zack, and Cameron to create our movie. My group had to create an action/adventure film starring a robot pretending to be a human while incorporating fake flowers. It was an odd combination but my group came up with very funny way to include all those components. Luca had to leave earlier than everyone else while we were filming, so we recorded as much as we could with him and improvised the rest. Improvising two thirds of an entire movie was hysterical as we taped whatever we could come up with to go with our main plot. I just hope that my class finds our film as entertaining as we did.
Overall, Acting 1 was a totally fun experience and I’m really glad I took this class. It was a little different than I thought it was going to be, but definitely better than art would’ve been. I learned how to calm my nerves when it comes to public speaking and presentations which I think was the most valuable part of the class. (Besides the coloring and great laughs of course!)
Trimester 1 2015-2016