I have been working quite hard on the new show I am doing, Buttercups, recently and thought that I would post a little something on how it is going so far.
The first time I read the script the night of the audition, the script made me cry! I find the story very moving and the script well written. What the show was about was what I think brought me to tears, especially the Little Girl and Little Boy’s sections where it progressively talks about the disaster and the discriptions of what was happening and the aftermath of what the disaster caused.
I knew about the disaster from school. One year we had an assembly on it and I had no clue what my Head Teacher was going on about but quickly became aware of how big the event was in Welsh history. Although I realised this, the day still didn’t mean very much to me as I still knew very little of the country and the valley.
I have done some more research on that day in October, 1966 and considering it is now coming up to the 10th Anniversary of September 11th, the play and that day has never meant more to me. Donna has always said that Buttercups is not so much about the Aberfan Disaster, but more about disasters in general and the pain they cause and how different people deal with them. The two older characters in the play show us this. That idea I grasped very quickly but it is today that I realised how relevant this play is to now, and not only to those who experienced that horrid day in 1966 but to anyone who has ever experienced in some way any disaster.
End of show blues were cut short by an amazing opportunity to start doing classes with Earthfall every tuesday for the next 7 weeks. I have so far done 5 of them and they have been spectacular! The classes have asked for me to sustain a certain energy for 1.5 hours with intensive warm ups, choreographed routines and creative work fulling the time. I have worked with some amazing people already and met some awsum dancers on the way. The classes have been run by 2 Earthfall members each week, including 3 sessions which have been taken by Rosalind Brooks and Beth Powlesland who both performed in one of the greatest productions I’ve ever seen, The Factory.
I got into Earthfall from a workshop I did through university with them based on The Factoryand that production itself. It was a type of dance theatre I had never seen before. I love the organic feel and energy the choreography entails and the stories they tell. Doing these classes are a priviledge in my opinion and I am very grateful they are running them as this is definately work I would love to approach in the future.
I plan on taking all I’ve learnt from this as well as my previous experiences with Sam Boardman-Jacobs and creating a new piece soon myself based on ideas I have had for a really long time and never knew how to approach them.
The classes are going really well and it just sucks they finish in 2 weeks but hopefully from then on I can continue to do this time of work myself and have more chance in being suitable for companies like Earthfall. Bring on the rest of my life!
So, I got the part! I shall now be starring in Donna Griffiths’ new play, Buttercups.
The audition was initially nerve-racking. Ms Griffiths kindly informed me of how many people she had already seen and how picky she was. She exclaimed how unfortunate it was that the other girl could no longer do it and that they strive for excellence. I told her that I did too and that I hoped she was happy with what I had to offer.
After Donna had told me about the role, I was given the script to have a read through. The part I was going for was in fact Donna when she was a child. I remembered all that I was told about auditioning and just did it. I found myself not thinking about the job but about the role and what it meant.
It was Donna’s story of when she was not yet four years old and she had witnessed the Aberfan disaster. She say the “mountain come down”. It was in her street that the disaster happened. What was to be her school. The section I read was her account of what she saw, or was seeing. That was all that was in my head.
I was instructed not to pretend I was a little girl but to just read the part. I found myself not trying to act a young girl but just “living in the moment”. The show is a piece of experimental theatre and Donna says that people who aim to act the age and not the character always come across unreal. I share this feeling.
After my reading and an ‘on the spot’ movement improvisation that focused on the theme of the show, I was offered the part and invited into the family!
The show will be performed on Friday, the 9th of September in the Atrium Theatre, Cardiff at 7pm.
So I have an audition coming up and thought I’d share knowledge given to me by various people. (I shall let you know if it worked once I’ve gotten the job)
Make decisions and commit to them.
Don’t focus on why you need the job or anything else than what you are doing in that room at that time. Live in the moment.
Forget about it. If you are not toooo worked up about getting the job (this does not mean don’t be passionate about the role!) then you can just concentrate on what you are doing. Once you have done your best, release it and the universe will take care of the rest.
I am still learning how to master auditions and my nerves and hopefully these 4 things will help me do that!