“Infectious” , that’s what I’d use to describe the current atmosphere in the WHALE Spires space . Infectious , engaging , heart warming and really makes you feel like going through a more intensive show-process is so worthwhile , especially when the cast really want to learn , to grow , to push the boundaries of what they know .
I think back to Sleeping Beauty and how many of this Whale cast were so inexperienced in it , so rough round the edges . But already 3 weeks in to these new showcase rehearsals: a shiny new penny is dropping and a light going brilliantly on, behind those former woodland-folk performance eyes.
I also think this cast is getting I’m picky , I think they are getting I’m sometimes ” relentless ” in my ” again !!! ” approach – pushing them in a more disciplined way towards the pursuit of their own perfection , their collective cast excellence.
But I know best of all , they are really starting to get that PACE can be more than just fun , when their Spires 1 space , is so alive with the sound of freedom and a switched on better mindset . A want to ” drama ” work and still just ” play” !
Of course this is much down to the natural energy of the cast . High school hasn’t quite impacted yet enough , to bring any more obvious excess teen baggage into the space .
Or maybe I’ve managed to just catch any whiff of ” I’m a teenager ….get me out of here ” in time .
Stop it from affecting the room in a negative way . Stop the cringe-at-it factor , the need to stay the same as others.
With any luck High School ( in its myriad of de-structure forms ) won’t actually impact that much on this “band of Spires brothers and sisters” , in future ?
I so hope so .
Now that a solid foundational understanding of the acting space is starting to ” dramatically ” take hold of them.
Enough to armour them from peer uniform image , shield them from the standard fit of others group blare.
Their March has certainly boot-camped them into great drama shape and schooled them in the art of another type of creative stage battle.
If you are not sweating …you are not working !
A physical-theatre chant , now repeated by these innooee Environmental soldiers – like rote .
WHALE is a beautiful show to experience as a young actor .
It brings out a different kind of acting spirit . The kind of performing , that has to reach right down into the souls of the audience , feeling good in every possible way .
Emotional , inspiring and uplifting really honest in its delivery method .
There’s no room for any pretension on this iced stage . You have to give to this show , in such a simple and affecting way and expect nothing but world unity in return. Expect that your show will make a difference to people’s sense of humanity
That’s a pretty tall order . But not one that you should ever discount , just because you happen to still be relatively young .
Watching the faces of my SPACE assistant-team ( who are invaluable to me at this time as I undertake 2 fast theatre projects ) ,
I watch , as they watch the rehearsals , and I see them getting their reward . They are almost young again themselves , perhaps remembering their own first real discovery of drama , in much the same process way – I see their circles re-opening and I see them not looking back and regretting – but being present and remembering , fondly . Feeling good , feeling just as involved as if a part of their scene
WHALE is infectious . I hope other Spires performers across the Scene board , catch its tale . Breach the surface of their limits and start to put the same energy and effort into their own theatre making .
And though it’s early days and a long show road to go . One can’t help thinking it’s not going to be that hard to make their bid for theatre happen .
Because the cast want it so badly .
And now for life in the other camp.
Cross the working line , and we enter another other type of drama space . A whole different TROJAN affair.
Trojans ? Trojans ? Trojans ?
…what can we currently say about TROJANS?
Well , we can say there is a glimmer of potential in a current handful of this slightly older cast .
Potential talent that could become something really exciting maybe in future , with some extra focused room effort, and a more disciplined approach to their understanding of better acting techniques , for their stage .
We could also say , that this script – adapted and beefed up a bit , offers challenges many of the cast have never met before .
Material that is not so obvious to explore . A departure from main stream PACE , a little less PPP ( perfect pace packages ) and a little more anarchic edgy stylised action .
We might even say that if this cast decided unanimously , to pull together , under a Drama-United banner ; A piece of theatre would reign
Maybe even lift some from their perceived current drama-obscurity and onto a bigger platform of Spires theatre notoriety.
We should say all that and more , but only if …and there’s a very very big IF.
I believe the basic difference between these 2 casts , is marked passion.
Whale cast show it naturally .
Trojan cast just consider the possibility of it .
And that’s not to say some Trojans don’t have it .
They perhaps do.
And in one HUB ACTING case more obviously .
Its just that it can appear such an effort to have to rehearsal find it .
And worse , at the start of any session , when they need it to find it quickly , most ; when picking up a script and starting to try – to act , or at least attempt to let themsleves “play”
(As our veteran King Priam would say)
What’s in the way I wonder ?
Is it all just an age thing ?
Is it STILL a bit of a social thing ?
Is it the ever present excuse of the whirligig of time thing ?
Is it a lack of basic interest in the project ?
Is it a bit of all of it and everything else that’s going on and in no particular order ?
What is it that makes it seem like I have to work twice as hard to pull the Trojan room , into more focused action? To get them even a bit , excited , about performance ?
What is it more prophetcially that makes me think – is this play ever going to happen ?
Because the basic nature of TROJANS is PASSION .
It’s a play about “a struggle to the death ” ” a fight for glory ” ” against all odds ” – and all bound up in a sense of youthful significance ?
Well If that’s the case . We have our work cut out for us then ; to ever March this show to its come-what-May performance end .
Not impossible .
Hannibal marched his elephants over the Alps to fight the Romans . I can surely take 25 Spires and herd them through, and over , the difficult hump of a tight rehearsal period ahead ( needless teen baggage and all) , towards at least a one night deserved Wynd Triumph !
But only if the cast want it , like they appear to say .
It’s never impossible if a cast’s hearts, minds, even eyes are wider open and in tune with the bigger rehearsal picture.
And there in lies the rub ? As our buddy Hamlet says …
( albeit paparphrased …)
“To act or not to act …because that is going to be the TROJAN’s biggest question! ”
And Easter Monday is going to be a good opportunity for us to see what we have in the Trojan show pipe line ?
We’ve 3 scenes sketchily down now . An opening , a royal affair , a Peace bash .
Let’s see who stands out now for the right reasons .
Cassandra is already powerful Image to follow .
But then again , we have in Miss Morrow a young Spires actress well up for this part .
Well up for the chance to be in a show – any show . Her passion as infectious as her whalish counterparts .
And she is already rallying some Trojan Peace troops around her ; letting her voice -albeit at times , be super-heard above the room Frey .
Just as frustrated I suspect , by apparent lack of progress at times , frustrated more I think because she knows it could all be so much fun, if people just let it go !
Realise this isn’t the school playground but a drama one !
And maybe she feels like shouting from her Ivory Tower top (as I do )
“Why come – IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO ACT !!!”
We also have a one-armed Chic , a Biggish Mac, a soft drink and a potato- , creeping up on her Trojan performance coat tails , that and a couple of twin-princes now vying for a bit of new stage attention .
These are intersting interpretations of character to keep a rehearsal eye on , for well needed room motivation.
We’ve got a small kernel of growing acting effort here , but we need to more seriously flesh it out, and make it just as appealing to others around them.
Cast Overall we’ve got a bit of enthusiasm , a bit of effort , a bit of spare time , but we also have some who should know so much better : Firefly 16 and Odyssey 16 Cast members , who could and should be doing so much more to help.
Odyssey /Firefly – Why pretend you get it in another project space . When you aren’t really getting it in the one that currently matters most now ? You could turn on and off that kind of standard . It will out wherever it is placed . Which makes me think are you the standard you set or the one I set for you ?
With all theae notes in mind , we are so going to have to fight hard now to get this project on !
Trouble is I don’t think any of the cast will read this post .
Correction – Maybe one or two ?
And though I know that WHALE are 100% much more likely to read and comment any Spires Scene post , and to take cyber notes given after any period of rehearsals as intended follow up.
I think Trojans will on the whole , miss this further opportunity to learn here
Will prefer to Group Chat – trying to find their own direction amid the peer approval and likes of others .
Again unfortunately not the point . What can you friends teach you ? Aren’t outside friendships some times the very thing we have to let go to become better room versions of ourselves here ?
That’s why actual progress will continue to allude you , in the cast of this Trojan affair .
Because you don’t want to change your basic drama modus operandi ( way of operating ) .
You prefer to bring your version of yourself into the space , Your current lives , Your ways of doing things , your safe and easy drama comfort zone .
Talking the talk for me , wagging your head when you think I need you to , sitting up straight for show, but no real forward motion , just a slow continual walk , round and round the space , in ever closing circles .
Of course you like the thought of it : the being in a Spires show , getting to put one finally on …
Isn’t it your time to shine ?
But rehearsals ? Direction ? Notes ? Real effort ? Extra focus ? Exposing yourself emotionally ? Making it actually harder , in order to get better ?
What do you think ?
What advice could you give yourself here . If you won’t ever take mine …?
Tick tock , tick tock goes the PACE year clock . Forward Into Spring today . An hour less …
Troy has fallen
It’s blood will stain our walls
Our souls will haunt the ruins
Ghosts of the ramparts
We died for our city
We never gave in
And Cass, noblest daughter of Troy
Cass came with us , to the end
The bitter end
I’ll leave you to work out the cryptic theatre analogy in the final stanza of this Trojan PLAY.
Yes , so maybe I’m just being a bit of a Cassandra ? Maybe I’m being a bit ” dramatic ” . It’s my job isn’t it ?
But I honestly can’t help feeling …?
I do really hope Trojans start to pick up the pace , see the light of a much better effort, take the initiative more as a cast of young actors , not a room full of teenagers .
Before their show bid maybe finally ” goes dark ” .