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Below are the 17 most recent journal entries recorded in The experience of a Drama&Theatre Studies Student's LiveJournal:

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007
8:41 pm
first workshop
Today was our first workshop in the Drama Lab.

When we went in we first of all talked about the seating arrangements. Ali's group wants to have the seating all in one corner which doesn't suit us. So we discussed it and Janice is going to talk to her about it.

Next we turned off the lights and did a warm up exercise in the dark. We each had out space and created sound and rhythm with our voices.

We then thought about the surroundings of the forest and created a very intense forest soundscape. We each had our eyes closed and moved to the sounds and the rhythms. We all felt very close to the earth and all independantly ended up on the floor.

We repeated the exercise and tried to let all our inhibitions go. We knew from the last time that we wanted to shout more and make more animalistic noises so this time we let it happen. It resulted in a lot of tortures screams and crying. In my mind I could understand how alone and yerning the star child was for his mother. When he is alone in the forest the story becomes very dark as he suffers so much. Torture.

The room fell naturally into silence but we all felt that the exercise was not over. Drawing from what we have just experienced we told the story together, from where we were and informed it with the feelings and discoveries we had made through sound.

When the exercise was over we all sat up and turned on the lights. Discussing what we experienced Janice and Kelly said that they now fully understood the strong biblical links in the story. Everyone realised the terrifying nature of the Magician and the whipping scenes.

Janice and I got up and started to block Scene 2, in which the Woodcutter brings the Star Child home to his wife. Because it was such a bizarre situation, we found it difficult to block. Physically we need to work on becoming closer to each other and more like man and wife.

We tried overplaying the scene and then we played it without text. Working the scene without text worked much better. We communicated more and the scene flowed better, it became more credible it terms of body language.

Unfortunately there we ran out of time but I am anxious to work on the second scene with Janice.

Current Mood: tired
Monday, November 5th, 2007
5:25 pm
Star Music
Okay, so today Una, Janice, Sarah, Kelly, Catherine and I had another FYP meeting.

We're adapting "The Star Child" by Oscar Wilde.

The Characters are:

The Star Child: Catherine
Evil Star Child: Una
Woodcutter/Magician: Janice
Hare/Child: Kelly
Queen/Beggar: Sarah
King/Lepar/Wife: Amy

Character Changes
Initially I was the Woodcutter/Magician but due to issues of height between Janice and Sarah and also problems with the role of the King/Lepar I volunteered to take that role. It doesn't bother me. Non issue.

I composed a melody over the weekend to use for the Star Child's theme. I wasn't sure how I wanted to approach it so I just sat at the piano and meditated on what kind of images, atmosphere and progression The Star Child creates for me. I playes around for a few hours and came up with a simple melody. It's sad and has a descending bass-line (symbolises the descent of the Star-Child to earth at the beginning). I think it's versatile. I have a lot of idead that, unfortunately I couldn't work on because of lack of equipment. (I don't have any music software, just a piano, my imagination and Audacity, the free recording programme)

Last night I recorded what I'd written and forwarded it to the group. This morning we talked about it and everyone is happy with it. Hopefully Catherine will want to co-write the music. Sarah also wants to co-write which is great. I am glad not to have all the pressure on myself.

I would like to create another theme for the Evil Star Child. Perhaps a distorted version of what I wrote for the Star Child. I would also like to write a complete piece of music documenting the entire story in music. We might use it to play in the foyer and I will submit it in the end with my documentation.

I emailed John Godfry, a lecturer in the Music Department over the weekend and asked him if it would be possible to use the MIDI and Audio Sequencing lab to compose the music. He replied with a yes, which is amazing and a relief as I would have had to have bought a MacBook and a MIDI keyboard and God knows what else. It would have cost me around 1500 euro.

Sets, Scenes, Costumes
Today in our meeting we combed through the story and divided it up into scenes and talked about possible sets. We divided the action into roughly 9 scenes. We talked a lot about the passage of time and how we could show it. We came up with several ideas for set, costume, makeup and lighting which would be useful.

In particular I liked the idea of a waterfall which changes as time goes on. In the beginning, when it is winter and the Star Child falls to earth the waterfall is frozen (glitter, not moving). Later in the spring and summer we would use fans, sheets and blue lights to create the effect of moving water (CHINESE REST. LIGHT PICTURE WATERFALL??). It was also suggested by Sarah that we could have a mirror in the shape of a pool of water for the Star Child to see his ugly face in. This could be IN the waterfall.

We talkes a little bit about costumes. I spent some time on pattern websites looking at patterns but I didn't see anything particularly helpful. I will look again for patterns for cloaks. I know that they are around 100euro to buy a real one.


Having talked about which practitioners we would like to think about using we came up with Stanislavski, Chehov and Meyerhold.

We divided into pairs and Catherine and I will research Chekhov's methods. I will read up about it tonight in order to have some exercises ready for our first rehearsal workshop tomorrow.


Sarah managed to get some rehearsal times in the Drama Lab by emailing Maeve Portley. We will rehearse on Tuesday (tomorrow) and Thursday. I am happy to be getting right into it as we plan to work out our dialogue and movements by workshopping.


Current Mood: hungry
Thursday, September 20th, 2007
6:51 pm
Photos of costumes, getting ready etc
__________THE FREAKS__________

The Fortune Teller:
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The Transvestite:
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"The Horse":
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The Majorettes:
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The Bearded Lady (minus beard):
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The Prostitute:
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<href="http://photobucket.com">Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Friday, September 21st, 2007
6:15 pm
Looking back
It's been three months since I did my internship with Corcadorca and in the last few days I've been thinking a lot about how amazing it was. It was different because unlike most dramtic productions it wasn't in a theatre. When I look back I can't help but remember how much it was like a mixture of being on a movie set and being in a play.

I learned a lot about what it's like to be an actor in Ireland, travelling to where the work it. For the actors they arrive at a new production and these people are their new family. Personally that felt weird to me. Maybe because I like to have my established relationships and hold on to them for as long as possible. But there was a definite role-system there. The older members of the cast were like the Mum, The Dad, The Aunt, The Annoying Older Brother... and then the younger members of the cast were all the brothers and sisters. It's strange to think of it like that but that was basically how the dynamic was.

To this day I still think Pat Keirnan is a legend. I have some pictures of him that just epitomise him to me. Like this one..Collapse )
Someone should make a movie about him. He's so cooool.

I have a lot of cool memories about doing the show. They're like... wine. The just get better as time goes on. It's frustrating that I can't explain it to someone who wasn't there.


You're on a small island at night time. It's dark. The part of the island that you are on is a ghost town. It's covered in abandoned houses and gardens. You arrive and stand at the water's edge watching the play begin on a tiny rock out in the water. The sound comes from all around you, there is sound bouncing off every building. As you go on the play makes use of its surroundings. When a house front is needed no set is build. The actors just use a real house, hanging out of its windows and shouting to each other above your head. When that seen ends suddenly the next scene bursts our of a shed behind you or you follow the sounds of voices. In the fair scene there are fairy lights and candles in bean tins. It takes place in an abandoned courtyard....it's spectacular. Weird music fills the air, I mean it literally comes from all directions. At one point there is a scene where the actors try desperately to get in to a church and the bang on the windows of a real church. Soon the eerie sound of choral music floods the whole island. Finally you watch the final see from the edge of the sea on that rock where it all began.

I am so proud to have been a part of this production.

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Outside the church.

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Inside the church.
Friday, June 22nd, 2007
12:57 am
The show went on!
DAY 14


Last night was opening night. It was a great buzz and the show went really well up until the very end when Lucianne fell down a hole. She was okay though and I don't think the audience noticed...

Tonight went well too. No one fell down any holes.

Photos to follow.
Tuesday, June 19th, 2007
12:33 pm
"The commencement of the commencement..."
Day 11.

Preview #1

We were in at 3pm today to get notes from Pat. That took us up to dinner time after which we ran over a few things that needed to be sorted before the preview.

So at 10pm we did the first showing to the public. It was so strange. I suppose that the audience didn't quite know what to make of the whole thing. Especially the fair scene. When Seb, the Horse came out, I could see shock on people's faces. A few people on my side laughed when he threw up. Maybe it was nervous laughter. Annoyingly two guys I know were in the crowd and because I was trying to make eyecontact with people to walked past (to FREAK them out). I ended up looking at them and, you know, saying hello with my eyes. Oh well. I blame Eoin Winning for waving at me. What's that about like?

The show went really well. Personally, my beard began to cut off circulation to my ears and then began to fall off. It was falling off throughout the entire Inn scene. Not cool. And in the end my torch wouldn't switch off on the island and I nearly fell down a rabbit hole. I'm worried to hear Pat's notes about it.
Monday, June 18th, 2007
1:54 am
It's starting to get to me.
Day 10

Down at 3pm again today. Home at 12.20am. Finished the tech rehearsal. Very productive. Pat seems subdued. I keep watching him to see what his mood is. It's fascinating. After lunch today he produced a fishing rod and attempted to fish off the side of the canteen.

After the tech rehearsal, which took all day, we had a proper dress rehearsal. That was enlightening. Now we sort of know how it's going to look tomorrow night. It rained on us, OF COURSE. There are still a lot of things that need to be tweaked so tomorrow Pat has us in at 3pm again to give us notes. Yay.

Because it was a tech rehearsal there was a lot of sitting around which meant that I got a chance to chat with various people. That was fun. It's sad that when this ends we won't get to chat anymore.

I had a dream that the cast of Woyzeck was at a red carpet awards ceremony and we were all sitting away from each other and John, the Stage Manager had to run and find us to give us our awards. Yeah, that's right, I'm dreaming about it. Why do I always dream about my jobs? (tearing tickets, stacking shelves etc...)

a few picturesCollapse )

Current Mood: drained
1:48 am
Day 9

So we got to the base at 6pm. Did nothing. At 9pm we stood in the cold in costume "standing by" until about 10.30pm? Then we went in to have a cup of tea. But the tea was all gone. And so were the biscuits. I'm not blaming anyone. Okay, I so am because I know who ate the last penguin but I'm keeping it to myself. We went back out to stand in the cold until we could do the scene. I can't really remember what happened because I am/was so tired.

Fin brought pizza to the house for everyone. What a legend. I am dead. Didn't get home until 3am but had to get up the next morning for a gig before going back down to Haulbowline.

It was a loooooooooooooooong day. PhotosCollapse )
Saturday, June 16th, 2007
11:45 am
"Well, well, wellie..."
Day 8

My day down in Haulbowline was cool. We were meant to be in from 3pm to 12am and I knew when I got there at 3pm that nothing was going to get done. They're really behind with the tech stuff because the weather has been so rainy and bleak. So for the first few hours we, the community cast chatted and read and kept ourselves amused until dinner at 5pm.

Dinner deserves its own paragraph it was so good. Everyday the navy feeds us. We go to their canteen and up until now we've been having nasty lunches comprising of things like chips and burgers. Dinner today was a choice of roast beef with gravy and yorkshire pudding, roast stuffed chicken and I can't remember what the last thing was because I was sold at "yorkshire pudding". There were carrots and cauliflower cheese and lovely potatoes and an apple and berry crumble with custard for dessert.

Eventually we returned to the house and played charades and Louise's suggestion. The boys got really into it. Like, really. It was very fun. It all stopped when we had to go rehearse the Inn scene. Today I wore my wellies because of the rain. I've never met a group of people so fascinated by wellies. Pat liked them too. I tend to play in the puddles when I'm wearing the wellies, possibly something to do with not having a pair as a child. I was playing in this HUGE puddle that's right next to where I stand in the scene and Pat came up to me and said "Yeah, Amy that's great. I want you to do that in this scene". I was balancing on one foot for as long as possible and changing feet just before I fall into the puddle. I have terrible balance. It probably looks quite good in the scene because Pat wanted us to look like we are all in our own little worlds and doing our own thing.

We started the scene at 8pm and it started raining at about 8.45. We kept going until about 9.30 though. Then we had a sort of crazy session in the kitchen wher Anthony and Jimmy rapped. They're so good. Mel was all encouraging it. It was sooo good. At 10pm we were allowed to go home because the rain wasn't stopping.

I'm loving being down there. I love the company and the buzz. I feel like I'm meant to be there. I'm getting a feel for what it's like to be a professional actor or stage manager or a sound designer or a set designer or a lighting designer.

Current Mood: blah
Friday, June 15th, 2007
11:28 am
Day 7

It rained all day today. After sitting around in the house for about an hour we moved down to the little theatre that belongs to the navy. (The navy guys are so cool and really helpful). Pat gave us notes until lunchtime, which I found quite interesting.

After lunch the rain stopped and we went out to rehearse the inn scene. Then we went home. :P

photosCollapse )
Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
11:46 pm
The freaky vibe.
Day 6

Today was our first run in costume. I got mine. It's a long red and black velvet dress. (Un)fortunately the beard has yet to arrive. I'm also wearing long black and white stripey socks and shiney black shoes. Apparently my hair will be on end as well. I should look interesting. :D

After lunch a photographer too promotional shots. There was one group shot. What must we look like... There were guys in navy costume, girls in marching band costume and of course we, the freak show people. I'm sure we all look really miserable too. Although that naturally fits in with the atmosphere of the whole play. Such a bizarre play, such a bizarre experience.

So we did the run and it was so good to see what will actually be required of me. I love the end of the play where the entire cast stands on Rat Island and watches crazy Woyzeck after he kills Marie. Cool cool cool.

I love when people wander past me and call me darling and ask me how I am. The cast and crew are so sweet. Pat, the director sang "amy amy amy amy!" to the tune of Ruby by the Kaiser Chiefs. I love everyone's wit and community.

Current Mood: sleepy
11:40 pm
I'm so tired. I can't type.
Day 5

Today was spend rehearsing the Fair scene. I learned how to operate a pianola. Pianolas freak me out. It's not right, pianos should be played by people.

Most of the day was spent standing around doing nothing. About half an hour was spent running the scene. I was glad to go home. Haaa.

Clearly I am in no condition for typing up a day.
Monday, June 11th, 2007
9:35 pm
At the fair...
Day 4

Today was amazing until it began to rain after lunch. In the morning we worked on the fight in the Inn. I got put in the Inn as "the Bearded Lady". I get to sit with the freaks! I love Pat's attention to detail in this scene and just the whole dynamic of it. Rory, "The Drum Major" is drunk and dances and sings to some really awful metalish music while Gina, "The Master of the Fair"(or something) and I are dancing to the music in our minds. It's COOL. Gina dances on a table. Meanwhile Jimmy "The Strong Man" sits and sways and Seb, "The Horse" cries and falls around. When the music stops Rory comes at us and we have to run away! It's really fun. Having Pat direct us was amazing too. He's so enthusiastic about everything. :)

When the rain finally stopped we worked on the Fair scene. I have to sing operatically. That was hard as everyone was listening and I wasn't warmed up or anything. Pat tried to sell it to me: "Okay so you're like the BEST opera singer EVER, right? AND you have a BEARD!" I can't help but laugh. I just nodded. Like having a beard was the icing on the cake.

At lunch I sat with John, the Stage Manager and quizzed him about what it's like to be a stage manager. Stage manager looks like the hardest job ever. You have to be so in tune with absolutely everything. Everything is your responsibility. I told him this. I also said something along the lines of "and if something goes wrong - it's all your fault!". He laughed. He's really good at his job so obviously nothing major will go wrong anyway!

I can't believe the previews start in a week :O

Current Mood: tired
Friday, June 8th, 2007
10:53 pm
Working behind the scenes
Day 3

This morning Mel came down to the base for the first time. We chatted for a long time about how he goes about designing the music for plays. I didn't so much get an idea of what it would be like for a person to design a musical landscape as get an idea of what it is like for Mel to design a musical landscape.

All day the cast and crew rehearsed the Inn scene. I stayed at the sound desk with Matt, the Sound Designer and quizzed him about all sorts of sound things. He explained to me which programmes he uses and told me about the kind of gigs he does. It sounds really cool. After talking to him and Opera Paul (the opera-loving Lighting Designer) about where they've worked I've realised that it's not just actors that get to travel with their work. Paul has been everywhere.

All of this has also made me see the "behind the scenes" work in a much more positive light. I know that if I had been doing admin work I would have lost my mind by now but all of the other facets of the production are fascinating. I wish I could do them all. I suppose that's the beauty of being The Director. You get a say in everything.

Pat Kiernen is so cool! It's funny because I've heard roumers about his "artistic temprament". He is such a fun guy though. He's beetroot red at the moment because Haulbowline is a sun-trap. I wish I'd had a chance to see him direct in the early stages of the rehearsals. Watching directors direct actors is really interesting.

photosCollapse )

Current Mood: tired
Wednesday, June 6th, 2007
9:28 pm
Change of direction...
Day two!

I arrived at 9.30 and waited for about 15 minutes for the next person to arrive. Lorna, my main contact and the dep stage manager brought me aside and told me that last night there was a meeting and after she left I came up in conversation. She said that they wanted to offer me a small part. I accepted, of course. Lorna said that she didn't want to let me go but this was an amazing oppertunity. It was a little disappointing that I wouldn't be as involved with the behind the scenes but my ideal scenario from day one was to perform for my internship.

For an intern to get to work with Corcadorca at all was a fantastic oppertunity. To be performing with them is phenomenal!

So now I'm a part of the "Community Cast" and I will also get to work a bit with Mel and the instruments. This is really good. It gived me a better structure of things to do during the day. Today I did absolutely nothing. I sort of followed Catherine, an assistant stage manager around all day and helped her when I could. It beat sitting in the SCORCHING heat all day. Furnace.

The cast was all at the base today so I got to meet everyone. It's shocking how lovely and fun everyone is. Everyone is very funny and quick witted. Luckily I managed to remember most people's names. (a triumph!) There's a 10-year-old boy playing Woyzeck's son. His name is Eanna. His professionalism and diplomacy impress me. I was bored after an hour of doing nothing and was trailing after Catherine. He took it so well. He is so good around the cast and crew. He spent the whole day on the base. Ha, maybe he's the next Cillian Murphy... XD

Some Photos!Collapse )

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A scene with the doctor.

Current Mood: exhausted
Tuesday, June 5th, 2007
7:06 pm
First impressions.
Day one is over!

For the first time I drove to the naval base today. It was easy to find and I wasn't late (yay!). Within seconds of arriving I spotter Lorna, my contact. She's the Depty Stage Manager. She piled me and a big builder named Jim into a white van and we drove down the road to unload some pieces of wood. That was random but I felt initiated being squished into a white van in my first 2 minutes.

We immediately trundled back up the hill in the van and Lorna showed me the pianos that are going to be used for the show. There are four pianolas and two pianos. (A pianola is the kind of piano that plays itself). Apparently Corcadorca got them for free from someone in England. They're destroyed. Absolutely in heartbreaking condition. I undertook a mission to see if I could repair them in any way at all. When I got home I phoned up two piano repair people. The first man sounded solemn. I could actually hear him shaking his head down the phone at me. He told me that with the pianolas especially there was nothing I could do but I should make sure they're not damp by blowing them with a hairdryer and trying to get them INDOORS. He told me that Corcadorca had been in contact with him back in January about the show. Apparently he had told them "...just don't do it".

When I called Jeffers, the second place, I spoke to a man called Dave. Dave was very sympathetic. He really wanted to be of help. I told him that any advice was welcome. He then informed me that there is no one in Ireland who repairs pianolas but I should look it up on Google and urged me to call him back to ask him what to do with the instructions. "No reall, do please call back." That was very sweet and helpful, I thought. It's an odd case though. HA!

There's something so wrong about seeing pianos outside when you know how it damages them. These pianos and pianolas are DEAD though. SO dead. So it doesn't really matter. Admittedly, I do feel a bit sad for them. It's strangely beautiful thought to see them in the midst of old stone walls and houses. There were dead leaves too. Mixed with the battered wood and odd keys it was a wonderful effect. The piano(la)s fitted in so well in their surroundings that I missed a few of them until I went back to take pictures. (I thought it would help to find instructions.)

I love Haulbowline. It's so weird in a great way. It's an island so it's isolated from the mainland and from Ringaskiddy but it's like it's own little town.There are houses and the naval school. There's a little roundabout on the island, which I thought was cute. There are amazing views of the mainland from all over the island. Especially of Cobh. It's interesting to see the naval people walking around the place, wearing their uniforms and doing their thing. Yeah, it is very nice to be next to the sea.

I'm excited about tomorrow. I feel like that's when I'm really going to start. Mel will be there and hopefully he'll have me working on instruments and things. I'm going to bring down a hair drier just in case that helps. Maybe a screwdriver too....


Current Mood: good
Monday, June 4th, 2007
10:55 pm
The night before...
It's the night before my internship is meant to start. I've had no email from Corcadorca to tell me where to go or at what time, what to bring or anything like that. So I've sent them another email to ask. If I don't get an email by 10am tomorrow I'll call them. Driving to Ringaskiddy from my house is no joke. It's something ridiculous like an hour and a half. The fact that I don't know exactly how long it takes is also slightly worrying. As is the fact that I've never been there. OH WELL IT'S ALL PART OF THE EXPERIENCE I SUPPOSE! It's an adventure....

I've never done an internship before! I'm not anxious. I'm looking forward to working with Mel Mercier and seeing what he's done with the music. Apparently he has made instruments specifically for the show and it will be part of my job to take care of them. I don't really see how that will make up 120 hours of an internship. But sher, it's meant to be educational so I'll learn how. =)

Current Mood: sleepy
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