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The leave your ego @ the door speech...

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Topic: The leave your ego @ the door speech...
Posted By: Colalola
Subject: The leave your ego @ the door speech...
Date Posted: 11/08/05 at 1:00pm

I am 3 weeks away from opening night of a fabulous, if I do say so myself, pantomime.

Recently I made the mistake of being away for a rehearsal and a lot of the cast turned into directors in my absence much to the chagrin of the music director and band leader.  Needless to say I now have some ruffled feathers to smooth.  As this is community theatre I want to do this in a way that is not going to point fingers. 

Does anyone of a story, inspirational or teaching, that talks to the fact that we are all players.. etc etc.


Posted By: MartyW
Date Posted: 11/08/05 at 1:38pm
Sounds like you already know what has to be said and it also appears you are going to have an insperational story to tell after.... It comes to all of us from time to time... good luck.

Marty W

"Till next we trod the boards.."

Posted By: castMe
Date Posted: 11/08/05 at 6:30pm
This is shutting the barn door after the horse, but do you work with a stage manager?  A good SM will keep people on task and in line in the director's absence.   In '96 when my mom died and I left for the funeral, we were four weeks from opening and hadn't had a full run thru yet.  My SM ran the rehearsals (with my blocking, notes, adjustments, etc).  When I returned, not only were my actors ready for a run thru, they had all their lines and blocking.  I realize this is an extreme and they may have put so much into their work to try to ease my pain, but it wouldn't have happened without my SM. 

Investigate. Imagine. Choose.

Posted By: Gaafa
Date Posted: 11/08/05 at 8:20pm
 "He?s behind you!!?"
I was weened on panto by the good old Widow Twanky!
In the land where the Dame is a bloke & the Principal boy a Sheila!
There is nothing more fun or memorable than a panto season!
I assume your in the US & it is good to read your having a go at Panto!
However as marty suggested I?m sure you will come up with a home grown homily or inspiring speech of what it is all about!
But the SM is most important during all stages of the production, especially in panto as it can be flying by the seat of thier panache & brought in on a wing & a promise sometimes. So your SM has to be wired up & tuned in as the pilot, as it can twist & turn on a thrupenny bit  & at the whim of the audiences participation,
Bewdy Colalola!      

Western Gondawandaland
turn right @ Perth.
Hear the light & see the sound.
Toi Toi Toi Chookas {{"chook [chicken] it is"}
May you always play
to a full house}

Posted By: Colalola
Date Posted: 11/09/05 at 11:46am

Gaafa -> We are in Canada actually.  We do a panto at least once every 2 years.  Our small town loves them.. as does the cast.

All -> Thanks for your comments.  My SM was at the rehearsal where all opinions were let loose.  As he had not been at many before that he did not step up or did not hear what was going on.  Either way he was unable to contain the situation.  

Posted By: Gaafa
Date Posted: 11/09/05 at 7:46pm
It looks like your group are old hands at the Panto bis.
Something I use every now & then is the ?Talking Stick? which was used by the American Indians & there is a very famous stick in a museum in London that was used by a Celtic tribe in anciet Briton.
This was something  I remembered, having been a Wolf Cub & Boy Scout since was about 7 years old.
I joined the Ralph Reader Gang Show back in ?57 & gained my Red Neckacief  & became a Gangster.
I use a lot of the Scouting Knowledge I gained thru that time & apply it to theatre.
I first used it while directing a large cast show & it worked so well, I have used it ever since.
The first time it happened by accident, there was a bit of up evil going thru the theatre from the committee at that time & it was efecting my cast.
I was trying to come to grips with it at a rehearsal & as I was about to start giving them all a homily about it. I picked up a dance cane that was on top of a props/costume basket. So I thought I?d use it to try & beat some sense into the assembled cast.
So I held it up & said this is a magic & mystical cane, which has been handed down from generations. The beauty of this is that, who ever is holding it, can say what ever they like & get it off their chest. Without any fear of reprisal, because it is not the holder who is speaking but theatre production & me, through the person holding the stick, until it is passed on. I set a few ground rules that they could not verbally attack anyone personally & could not use their real name, only their named character or role position in the production. Also who ever was holding the stick could not be interrupted until they passed it on to the next person. I was the soul arbitrator & rule maker!
The irst time it took about 10 minutes for them to get the hang of it & open up. But it was enlightening & accomplished a lot. The whole session took less than an hour & even the quiet member who never said a word, felt empowered to let it all hang out.
Actually I picked up a lot of useful suggestion about the productions, it totally changed the whole atmosphere & it permeated through out the theatre group in general. What I did find that everyone had a new found respect for each other & it assisted their performance, through clearing the air.
I use this as a tool in every production now!
I still have the dance cane & it know is adorned with various pieces of little things from previous productions. The decoration started with a feather & a piece of leather, which apparently symbolises true & fellowship.
Give it a go Colalola & develop your own personalised talking stick - It?s magic!

Western Gondawandaland
turn right @ Perth.
Hear the light & see the sound.
Toi Toi Toi Chookas {{"chook [chicken] it is"}
May you always play
to a full house}

Posted By: k8tt
Date Posted: 11/10/05 at 8:24am

Oooohhh, another Canuck!  Welcome Colalola! 

I will just advise that your SM attend rehearsals from the start and you let the group know that he or she is in charge in your absence.  As SM for most of our productions, I let the cast know that I am the Director's right hand and they come to me first.  I run rehearsals when the Director is absent.   

Love Gaafa's story about the 'mystical magic cane'.  I was going to use my new cane to whack butts, but this is a much better idea!

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