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Diary entry for a Shakespearian actor Essay

I got up at 7.30 this morning, which is earlier than I usually do. Last nights play finished early because of an accidental fire and I got to go to bed early. It was a nice day to perform a play. The sun was out but there was a nice layer of clouds to just cool the air. It was a Friday today and I had been doing plays every day of this week. I hardly have anytime to go over and practice the plays because I have to perform so many. It is a bit easier than people may think because we are all typecasted at the beginning of our careers. This means that we are given for example the role of a King and we will play that role or some role like it through the whole of our careers.

I’m not one of the main parts of the play so I never get to rehearse the play. It’s only the actors with the main parts that get to do a small rehearsal with the other main parts. WE have to learn the lines on our own in a very short space of time. My scripts consist of my full text and then a couple of small lines after my speeches, which are called cues, and when I hear this cue I do my speech.

In my play at the moment there are instructors who help the lesser people like me with their lines. These men and women are professional actors and are very helpful because we have no rehearsal of the play at all. The instructors didn’t teach us how to interact with other characters or how to do the story of the play. My aim was to perform my part with the adequate amount of passion and humour and express them in action and pronunciation. In our play there were clear vocal differences in the way verse and prose is spoken. In our play it is very clear when an actor hops from verse to prose or visa-versa because Shakespeare’s play required this to come to full effect.

Today when a play is extremely emotional for example when it includes, fear, horror, rage, we call it “passionating”. In our plays we are tested on how to portray this “passion”. It is extremely hard as it can make or break a play.

My instruction often took the form of simple imitation. My instructor often says, “Right you playing [whoever], I am going to show you how its acted and then you will imitate me.” I find this a very good way of teaching because you are able to see how professionals perform your part. Mr.Jones originally played my part and when he got too old to perform it he handed it down to me and taught me how to speak and act it. This way I would be as good or even better than him when it came to performing.

On the morning my mates and I from the acting department went to the stage early and did a run of the play before we performed. We do these most mornings just to make sure the play goes the way it’s meant to go and that there are no mistakes in the way the play is written. There was never a complete run through for our plays.

When we are doing are play there is always a person called a prompter who stands off the stage and if we get our lines wrong or if we go to the wrong point on the stage. The prompter was a very important person because he was in charge of much more than lost lines and missed cues. He was in charge of the entrances and many other things. The prompter was especially useful because of the fact that the actors didn’t have a rehearsal before the play.

The play today went very well apart from me falling over one of the props and we got a very good reception from the crowd. After the play I was very tired having had an exhausting day and I had dinner and went straight to bed.

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