Monday, 27 April 2009

The Drama in the Community Experience!

The Drama in the Community experience was amazingggggggggggggg!!!
I have the chance and the opportunity to experience such weird and wonderful things. I've always wanted to get involved in community work. I think that my interest and aspiration in being in the big community project came from seeing 'Exodus' production which took featured in Margate. This being a huge scale community production which involved a large number of individuals, this bringing a pleasant and inspiring community spirit which allured me towards the big community project.
As it gave me the opportunity to go into schools and do workshops with the young students in order to get inspiration for our show as well as building a partnership with the schools in order to get them to be part of our audiences. In addition being able to work on a fundraising team, this making me aware of the demands and expectations that go towards a successful fund raising team, not only that I also gained and improved on various skills which before the project did not fully posses fully, due this module I learned various ways techniques in dealing with different circumstances which opposed towards the progress of the fundraising team.
Furthermore I not only gained various skills but also the privilege in preforming in the final production by playing the most magical, beautiful and fantastic character, this being the Water Nymph queen.
Finally being part of an amazing, wonderful and amusing group of people, this bringing me to a sudden sadness of realising that once the project will be terminate our time together will no longer continue. On the other hand I'm very happy to say that it was good whilst it lasted.I feel through the Drama in the Community project I came to get on with fellow colleagues that I did not really had any interaction with, but the story has now completely changed as we all built a strong platform of interaction and appreciation for one another. I personally think that this project not only gave the Hounslow community the chance get closer together but also brought our group closer as well.
Therefore I think that any one who is thinking about what module to take next year one should consider The Drama in the Community big project as it offers many aspects of theatre which enables one to be a better practitioner in the future as it enables one with various aspects of experience alongside being great funnnnnnn.

Reharsal process

Rehearsing for the 'Golden Travellers' is an absolute pleasure as it brought the group to serious friendship and banter. I feel that the rehearsals conducted by Emma C and Rosie are very constructive and beneficial towards the final performance. I particularly feel that the voice training is extremely helpful as it made me realise the significance of using ones voice properly, and in the case of our performance, voice is vital in producing a good peace of theatre due to the fact that it will be performed in park grounds therefore one would need to secure audience attention by having good projection along with a prepared and developed character.
I am very glad that we had the opportunity to influence our character to high extent as most of our character development came via improvisation, and than altered by Rosie and Emma C. I found this style of rehearsing very useful as it challenged my knowledge about my character as well as giving me the opportunity to play around with various ways of representing my character.
I found that I worked better when I improvised rather than when I worked with the script, as I felt restricted and unable to play around in the development of (Queen Scarlet). As well as feeling a lot more in charge of my character as I sank better in Scarlet's skin.
Once I experienced this freedom I than was able to work from a script as I had a better understanding of the way I had to pronounce the lines, this fully bringing Scarlet's nature to life.
On various rehearsals my location changed a few times as the park is going through building time. Even so this gave me the opportunity to adapt and accept the changes and simply go along with them. I have recently got the rest of my companions these being my water nymph helpers these being three second year students, which massively improved the quality of the scene as it gave me something to bounce off which helps to reveal the nature of my character better.All in all the rehearsal process has been a success as well as a massive improvement on the show and my character.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Promotion day at Ham House

Promotion day at Ham was a productive and fun day out as we successfully spread the word about our project and performance. We had various activities in order to attract the young people allowing us a chance to inform them and their guardians about our show. We had drama games which were conducted by Emma C and Rosie as well as the rest of us helped out in guiding the young people if we noticed them getting lost or simply needed support as some of them were slightly shy. We also had poi teaching with Dan and Amir and face painting driven by Carolina and Emma H.
I initially was part of the drama games group, but I got fascinated by the face painting, I never ever face painted before so I did not feel very confident in taking the risk of performing something that I had no training or skill beforehand. But as Carolina and Emma H, joined in with the games there were no one to fill in for the face painting stall, and as I was taking a break a group of young people approached me and asked to get their face painted, which brought me to complete panic, so I got a hold of my self and thought to myself that I should just get on with it. So I asked Luisa to help me out as there were a lot of children who wanted their face painted. I than got back to my first attempt at face painting, and asked the young girl what was hr name and what she wanted me to paint on her face, she was not so sure this made me feel so much better and a lot more relaxed as there was no pressure. So I thought about the easiest and straight forward thing to paint this being a butterfly. During the face painting I came across great and wonderful young people at the same time telling them about our show.

After my first ever face painting I no longer played games and simply carried on painting for at least an hour and a half, this teaching various ways of painting different things. This dragging out my creativity and communication skills as the I felt the best way to relax the young people was through communication in order to both have an enjoyable experience as well as the opportunity in getting to know the weird and wonderful minds of young people. Even though I spent hours in face painting it was a complete enjoyable experience which made time pass do rapid that I was not even aware of it passing. Not only I learned to face paint on the job, we also managed to receive a few donations as some guardians felt the need to contribute towards our hard work. I really enjoyed the day at Ham House it was a wonderful educational experience for both my self and the young people as well as a letting the public know about our project.

Scarlet The Water Nymph Queen

Water Nymphs are known as a female spirits typically associated with a particular location or land form. Other nymphs, always in the shape of young nubile maidens, were part of the retinue of a god, such as Dionysus, Hermes, or Pan, or a goddess, generally Artemis. Nymphs were the frequent target of satyrs. They live in mountains and groves, by springs and rivers, also in trees and in valleys and cool grottoes. and frequently associated with the superior divinities

I feel very proud and honored in given the opportunity to play such magical and beautiful character. Having to play Scarlet the Water Nymph Queen makes me feel very special and afraid at the same time as I have the responsibility in representing a magical legendary character before the eyes of young people. This meaning that I have the power to indulge the young people's imagination towards a mystical world, so therefore I have make sure that I put across a honest and believable character.
I think that my costume will most definitely give me the boost of confidence, as well making me embody my role a lot better as the extravagant beautiful costume designed by Carolina really makes me feel like a water nymph as it echoes my characters mannerisms and sparkle.
Therefore I can not wait for the performance as I will truly have the chance to be a Water Nymph Queen for the day. Yessssss!!!!!!

Egyptian Night at the SU

Egyptian night was an utter success in raising over £500, through all the different thematic stalls such as the entry fee monitored by Kathleen, Emma C, Emma H, shisha which was looked after by Amir and myself, the henna conducted by Sonu and Anita as well as palm reading driven by Carolina, Rosie and Emma H. The entertainment was looked after by Luisa, which included of belly dancing, St Mary's dance group, fire dancing and Live music.
I feel that everyone worked extremely hard in making this night possible. As the rest of the group monitored the back door which included Hardeep, Matt and Dan, in making sure that people would not come in with ought paying the fee entry. Overall it was a busy successful night.

I feel that the preparation for the Egyptian night was through the means of frequent meetings.
I think that the Egyptian night was a very popular and enjoyable subject which was occasionally talked about. This helping us construct the different ways of raising money. We luckily did not need to invest any of the Drama in the community budget for the Egyptian Night as all the components that we needed to make the Night possible were through donations and favours. The Shisha pipes were provided by Amir and my self, the coal and flavours were provided by Amir and Emma H. The henna was also free and the entertainment was done as a favour to support the Night. Therefore we did not spend any of the original budget and profited with ought making any investment on the night. There were no particular problems that we were faced with in which jeopardised the success of the night, just that it would be even better if u had a better turn out as it would of improve the profit of the night.
In addition I feel that some people made the effort in dressing up for the theme which improved the presentation of the night and decorating the Su improved the seriousness of the event as well as it made it a lot more official, I personally took a lot of pride in making the Su live up to the theme. The material was very useful in making the Su come alive as well as having the Egyptian posters provided by Suzie was very useful as it made a bigger impact and contrasted the material placed around the Su.
I think that getting the Su ready was a smooth and rapid process as everyone helped out which made the process of it move very fast, this meaning that team work was at it's highest.
Overall I really felt proud being one of the coordinators of the Su night as it brought on a lot of responsibility and running about in making sure everything was going right.
I feel that both Luisa and myself worked really hard in keeping the night from falling apart as well as the rest of the group. Even though I was on the helping out with shisha I made sure that everything was going right this was through reporting to everyone in case of any problems.
Working on the shisha was an absolute pleasure, at first I was quite nervous whether we would have any costumers. So my self and Amir decided that the best way to get people interested was by actually going up to groups and advertise the best way we could in order to get a positive response. Amir and my self decided that I should take on this role as Amir monitored the shisha pipes. At first I was very nervous and shy about going up to people and asking them if they wanted to do shisha, but I after a few attempts I began to get very confident and began to enjoy doing it, this managed to bring a lot of costumers which than attracted other people, and ended up not having enough shisha's to go round so we came up with a Que list. Our prices also changed through out the night as the night and demands for the shisha progressed we began to raise our prices also which contributed towards the DIC budget. It was a tiring, demanding and stressful night but compensated by the utter enjoyment team work.

Working on the Fundind Rasing team

Being part of the funding team was a pleasant and tricky learning experience. I have never been involved in such thing before, so I didn't really know my way round. This being one of the reasons why I choose to be part of the funding team as well as I wanted to take on the challenge and responsibility. Working with Luisa and Suzanna was an absolute pleasure, At first I don't think that we communicated our ideas to one another very well, as we lost out on a considerate amount of money which could easily been approved if we were to apply for them in time.
This particularly deflated and disheartened me an awful lot. We than realised that somewhere along we went wrong...A particular meeting that opened my eyes towards this issues was through our daily meetings on Mondays and Thursdays. As I was the only one present in that particular meeting as both Luisa and Suzanna could not make it to the meeting for various reasons. I had to be the one who answered to all the questions on the behalf of the Funding team, as the rest of the group wanted to be informed. I mus admit I felt guilty for the errors of our team but I knew it was not about me personally it was about our working unit as whole. Even though I felt guilty about it it was a good experience as I become to realise how important my role was to the Drama in the Community project, because it's success depended on funding.
Following on from that meeting my job was to arrange a meeting with all the members of the funding team and discuss where we went wrong and what can we do about it. This meeting also involved Mark as he was able to gives a better aspect of where we went wrong and how can we improve our faults. As a result we came up with another plan to get our hands on some funding budget this was by ringing up the Hounslow, Richmond and Kingston business directories and ask them for their support. We each took one borough each and got calling. Suzie looked after the Hounslow area, Luisa rang Kingston area and I took on the responsibility of calling Richmond area, By the sounds of it seemed straight forward, but it was not as simple as I thought i would be. My first call was on my way home on the platform waiting for my train, as I was really keen and ready to start working down my list of calls as well as curiosity playing a huge role. So there went my first attempt, the first business on my list, my phone call was answered, told them about our project which than I got transferred. During my wait I began to get really excited as I thought it was promising. Not long after the person on the other line answered so I thought it was my job to inform my reason for calling, instantly I got told to stop as the news was not very pleasant, as the business was not interested in helping us out. My adrenalin completely went from 10 to 0...I than realised that our task was not as straight forward as I thought, but I had to set my self a strong state of mind and made a pact with my self that every day I would spend at least 3 hours or more depending on how much free time I had in making calls. and even though I got rejection after rejection I kept caring on. On my first day I managed to get a 'Yes' out of 20 'No's' this bringing me to a strange addiction, that if I would not get at least one 'Yes' a day I would not stop ringing until I did, having this state of mind completely enhanced my drive and determination.
Furthermore I felt that this particular task of the fundraising project improved my communication skills as well it boosted my confidence in working with various business in partnership. On various occasion I came across really pleasant and not so pleasant people but I maintained a professional and respectable relationship with all the people I spoke to, as some were annoyed with my phone call and others eager to hear about our project, no matter the situation I kept my cool and tried to change their state of mind by alluring them with charm and politeness. One particular business was not very happy to supporting our project at first but due to my calm and polite approach I managed to get them interested. On some occasions I came across business which made promises but not kept to them, as they wanted to know about the project but than replied via email with a 'No', as well as having some odd incidents which brightened my day as well as coming across strange and wonderful characters. All in all I feel that this particular stage of the fundraising was tiring, enjoyable and extremely mind opening on top of a wonderful experience.

The Last Workshop at Alexander Junior School

Over the four weeks I really looked forward to Fridays not only because it was the last day before the weekend began lol, but because of the set workshops at Alexander school.
I had the R&B group or the RNB as the pupils want to call it, even though I made it clear to them that it stood for Rhythmic Blues, one of the young pupil's contradicted that the way I wrote it down wasn't the correct way, so the solution they come up with to solve the contradiction was by resorting to the World Wide communication system 'Google'. This made me realise how times have changed so much since I was at school, and the young people of today are a lot more documented due to the Internet, is this bad or good? I would say yes and no.
Furthermore the group that I worked with was very interesting as it had both confident and non-confident pupils, but in the end I managed to balance out these qualities of the group.
I think that after my second workshop with the pupils, I become aware of the dynamics and the roles within the group. This giving me the opportunity to know the different types of approaches when problems came up . The last workshop was quite emotional as we came to realise that both ourselves and the pupil's came to a personal attachment, due to the feedback of the pupils.
The majority of the responses expressed the appreciation of the workshops and our presence, as well as their confidence being boosted, learning the different skills of story telling and the opportunity of being able to perform and the privilege of working with ourselves, this was all very overwhelming and flattering for all of us.
Finally once the feedback session ended Daisy one of the pupils which was considered as a difficult pupil to work with this being because, in the second session was taken outside by the assisting teachers to be told off, leaned over and embraced me, I came to get on with Daisy brilliantly and I had no particular difficulties, She came up with lots of great ideas maybe too many but I managed to control them. This gave me the opportunity of choice rather than no choice, as well as she stimulated her fellow colleagues to come up with ideas.
Having daisy embracing me was absolutely breathtaking as it showed a sign of appreciation of my existence in the workshops. As a result Franco also choose to embrace all of us and the rest of the pupils followed.
Emma, Rosie, Hardeep, Carolina, Maria and my self felt absolutely ecstatic, as we were all hit with an emotional state. As a result we could not stop smiling. One thing we realised as a collective was that no matter how rundown and moody we felt before the workshop, once we began we forgot about all our problems all due to pupils. Once we finished the workshops our aura completely radiated, even though before the workshop was negative.
Being around and working with young people totally enhances self appreciation, due to the fact that one can feel and see the difference, in supporting young pupils confidence through the means of 'Drama' to in order to teach a particular philosophy. Therefore I think that my great discovery to due the workshops at Alexander Junior school, is that 'Drama' is on of the most approachable techniques in teaching young people about life and the world in a fun and relaxing manner, in addition it helps young people's creativity to flourish.