Sometimes I do the strangest things during a block , sing the most random way , strike the craziest pose , holler and screech impromptually , mutter to myself on numerous occasions, say the weirdest of things and all as we rehearse our merry way …
But I don’t care , it doesn’t bother me that you stare , that I am like an ongoing performance; I care only that I am creative , that all that I do , is for the greater good of you , the stage number and the theatre show.
You may laugh at me , and laugh you do , look often confused in my direction , question my sanity even ? I don’t mind …it is all theatrical water off this “mama ducks” back …for the way of the artist is mad and bountiful , a necessary journey for all who are CREATIVE …
I do…so you do too.
The title of today’s “Post from PANTO land “, that infamous rag and currently well read “Beauty and the Beast Hard Times” , is no exception here:-
” giggling like a silly thing ”
Just one of those slightly odd directorial utterings, to make your panto-play more fulfilling …
Why add these little ” Mhairiesque sayings ” – if not to act upon them then?
They’ll certainly spice up your scene and bring a touch of festive cheer to your stage proceedings.
And yet …giggles, ney laughter , from these 4 budding casts, comes there barely none.
Too much yawning
Too many gossips still to share
Too few focused on the bigger picture
Because they’re :
Too busy looking at the black Spires 1 rehearsal floor for answers
Too busy worrying about hitting their blocked stage mark
Too preoccupied watching me…watching you for their ongoing approval
Too hot , too flustered and even bothered …to have a Panto good time!
The art of PANTOMIME is not easy . I can earnestly say that and it would be downright folly to assume you’ll get it right – first time.
Pantomime is big, huge , totally larger than life , a touch falsely felt but wholly conveyed , gestureful , artful , comically tragic and so much harder to play without one’s childish MASK.
The Art of Pantomime comes from those Italian fellows , the ones who pride themselves on their dramatic self expression, their Vita Bella , the ones who wear their hearts on their romantic sleeves, who laugh with life not at it and entertain for sheer pleasure
Their true Intent is always for their audience’s delight
And what inspiration can we take from this historical drama lesson ?
Maybe this :
That when the “theatrical laughter” teamly comes, when your casts eyes shine , your Panto hearts filled with unending light and you look like you could all float on stage air …then you’ll know you are part of the magic that entertains Paisley year upon year, Christamas upon Christmas, audience after audience.
You would do well to remember that you are entertainers now and that people are coming to see you – not just your friends and families who would love and support you no matter what you do – But others…school children , adults , strangers , the Christmas Panto Hoards, who want nothing more than to switch off , relax , be made HAPPY and full of Christmas Cheer.
You will be watched my young friends , you will affect that audiences behaviour , you will change them …for better or worse , even if for just a festive while.
Pantomime – Meaning – Communication by means of gesture and facial expression”
This ” communication ” is yet to appear – and the metaphorical concept of “giggling like a silly thing” is not fully understood yet
It is called for , frequently, by the director , but not acted on by all but a few , a happier few of , its 90 young actors.
Don’t you know …?
That a smile can cover a thousand mistakes, a friendly
stage-connection can save an entire opening routine from the perils of the” FLAT and BLAND”
The sound of happiness is the sound we need to convey even though we live in a town called ” Hard Times”
ART MIRRORS LIFE
” get your HARD TIMES ” may be our “paper-lads” opening cry to the audience and yet YOU seem to cry that too : you struggle , you feel tired , weighed down by your bodily insecurities , your feelings of inadequacy in the light of others performance around you , you carry those dark negative self doubts that form your performers chains – you show a scroogish Panto spirit that can only “give a little” for fear of “losing a lot”.
But please , please understand …
Hard Times are necessary for you to grow.
Easy times give little reward. They are too simple to show anything more than fun
Through what seems the difficult , the uncomfortable , the frustrating , the embarrassing , the unhappy , the baffling and critical – you’ll learn a little more about yourselves every time you feel the going hard to bear.
You will learn that things that look easy are often the most difficult to sustain – that acting comes from the inside not the outward show , that you have to let go of “who you are” to become a ” stage other” .
You will realise that putting yourself in a situation where you are going to be looked at , is actually called Performance , and it is necessary to be looked at , in order to perform.
The looking at you is the wish of all of who come to watch, to be entertained.
You finally understand that doing things “time and time” again is called REHEARSAL , that shows don’t happen in one block, that each move , step , line , word , partner change , prop passage , stage transition is a series of theatrical dots that need to be carefully connected by each and every member of the cast
… that if one of these stage connection fails , the whole performance falls short of its artistc potential.
You get over feeling stupid eventually , every does at some point , and you can feel happy knowing that you don’t have to fear others imagined ridicule of you anymore , that those that maybe do still laugh under their breath in the shadowy rehearsal room sidelines , with the weaker posse around them for support , just haven’t faced their drama demons yet and are truly green with envy at your freedom to BE yourself . Because in their laughter is the bitter wish that they could do it too.
You reach a point by panto end where the creative dots all connect , the expressive body engages , the performer’s mind becomes focused and you can ACT.
Hard Times become GOOD TIMES , become BETTER TiMES become the BEST OF TIMES
And for those of you who may know your Charles Dickens
Our PANTO novelly becomes that classic adventure ” A Tale of Two Cities ”
So my FizzypopumppapaTTfactors Don’t let the HARD TIMES get you down , look up , reach up , stretch yourself more fully and be better “by far”!
Make your team’s stage moments something to
” Giggle like a silly thing “
All the way to the BEST TEAM award for Beauty and the Beast 2014!
See you back in good old Hard Times