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Thursday, 08 September 2005



Thanks for the nice mental pics.

Theater Squirrel

I just have to say that I - truly - feel your pain. I HATED those ridiculous "acting" exercises and juvenile "warm-ups" before curtain. How does repeating "Sally sells seashells by the seashore" 100 times before a performance somehow make you better connected to your character? I would show up at those ridiculous pre-show festivities and marvel at how much more important actors think they are when they're acting like second-graders.

They all retaliated by calling me a diva. As if that's a BAD thing...

tongue twister

The point of saying "Sally sells sea shells" isn't to get you more connected to your character. The point is to warm up your voice so the audience can hear and understand what you're saying. That's usually an important thing when performing in front of an audience -dontcha think?

Theater Squirrel

I just think it's a cop-out to disguise actors who aren't up to the task. Why wait until you are just about to do your job to be "warmed up?" A good actor is ready to dive into a role at any given moment, supposing that he or she has the chops to do so. All of these bad actors who have to do jumping jacks to "prepare" for the stage... that's just a fancy way for saying "Look at me being so actor-y with my actor-y ways." I can't picture Judi Dench needing to recite Sally's Anthem or playing Bunny-Bunny. She just HAS it - and when YOU HAVE IT, you have no need for silly theatre games and affirmation from your fellow actors. Let the work on stage speak for itself... when the spotlight is on you, people know if you're warmed up, and it doesn't matter how you did it.


whether or not you "have it," you still need volume and clarity so the audience can "get it." a dancer wouldn't go on stage without doing plies. a singer does scales before a show, as does a concert pianist. an actor must warm up her body, mind, and voice. to not warm up is a bit careless--it's actually more egotistical to think you are above warming up. i say actors are allowed to do whatever it is they need to in order to give their best. your body is your instrument.

that said, i hate GROUP warmups with a passion, but that is mostly borne from my own self-consciousness because i didn't study theatre in college so i always feel like the last kid picked at kickball and i often blanch when it's my turn to be a bunny. nevertheless, i recognize the helpfulness of such games. perhaps what you're taking exception to is the type of person who may use them to assert some sort of self-importance, but they're probably quite tedious in many other ways as well and i wouldn't discount the value of warmups based on their behavior.

as far as whether or not dame judi warms up, i'd be more surprised if she didn't.

Theater Squirrel

I'M NOT SAYING ACTORS SHOULDN'T BE PREPARED VOCALLY BEFORE A PERFORMANCE. I'm saying that all of those second-grade theatre "warm-ups" are usually just an excuse or needless opportunity for bad actors to assert their theatricality amongst OTHER ACTORS. I did study theater in college and I absolutely hated those group activities (like Bunny-Bunny) we were subjected to. It doesn't help gain any perspective of character and it's a substantial waste of time!! I still have a hard time picturing Judi Dench getting excited about playing Monkey See, Monkey Do 30 minutes before curtain.

That's all I'm saying.

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