Carole – Scenes in South West Ross
1 bus and 2 trains deliver me to Strathcarron train station where Pam is waiting to pick me up. It was the first weekend in December and a little wild and windy as I was whisked to my temporary home with Rita and I had time for a quick rest before heading out for dinner. It was really nice having a chance to catch up with Pam and Rita to find out what had been going on recently and what was on the horizon for the District.
Sunday arrived and with it a great bunch of people with many travelling across from Plockton. There were some familiar faces and some new people with a good mix of experience.
The focus in the morning session was on the voice, as well as the physicality and technical things to consider we explored the importance of knowing why a character is speaking, what effect they want their words to have? There were many lightbulb moments when discussing light and shade and the risks of coming in to hard or too big with the voice leaving the actor with nowhere to go through the scene. Anger can be expressed in a quiet slow voice as well as by shouting and it was great to see people start to think about this and experiment with different tactics.
After a sociable sandwich lunch we continued on the theme of focus and intention through short scenes with the actors having to focus on a few specific things. This links into some of the feedback I see from Adjudicators where they highlight acting as being ‘too general’. Everyone did really well they enjoyed watching each other and giving feedback which moved beyond the very general comment of ‘it was good’.
Something that happens a lot in workshops is that people constantly surprise themselves and each other by doing things that they have never done before. I often hear comments like ‘I didn’t know she/he could do that’ – they probably didn’t know either. This is a really positive outcome as it broadens out the material that clubs can consider selecting for their performances when they realise what individuals are capable of.
People pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone and all helped to establish a supportive and creative environment. I always enjoy my visits up to South West Ross – it’s well worth the journey and the warmth of welcome I receive far outweighs the sometimes harsh weather outside.
See you down the road.