‘In this week’s class we were divided into pairs with each pair told to write a scene between two people, about five to 10 lines long. Our tutor also gave each pair a location for their scene.

The scene had to have an underlying conflict, something small like a worker having their lunch stolen from the office fridge or a cashier giving out the wrong change at a petrol station.We were given about 15 minutes to work out the scene before performing it for the rest of the class.

Then we swapped our scene for one written by one of the other pairs. Again, my partner and I were given time to work on the piece before acting it out, as did the other pairs in the class.

But this time we had to add a subtext, something that is going inside your character’s head, and during the scene you would say the subtext to the audience in some way. Adding the subtext can open the scene up a bit more and give more options when deciding how you want to play a character. Our tutor told us that adding a subtext is a useful tool to help you build a character.

We also did a breathing exercise designed to help us control our breathing better using abdominal breathing. We were told to take in a deep breath and instead of letting our chest move up while our lungs filled, we directed the movement more towards our stomachs to try to feel the breath go deeper. This felt a little strange to do at the start as it can take a bit of getting used to but once we got the hang of it, it was very relaxing.

We then played a concentration game where we formed a circle of 10 chairs. Every chair had to have someone standing behind it but only 9 people sitting. The person standing behind the empty chair would have to select one of the people sitting by winking at them. They would then have to make a dash for the empty chair before the person standing behind could tag them. If tagged they would have to sit back in the original chair and the person picking would move on to someone else and so. While we were playing we had to try to pay attention to every movement that happened. It was a lot of fun and I think the class really enjoyed it.

Next week we get our scripts for our final performance and I’m really excited to see what I’ll get to work on. And to hash it out with the class!’

Paddy Ferry is a student in our Page to Stage class, January 2015

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Inspired by Paddy’s experience so far? Page to Stage is a follow on course which you can subscribe to on completion of Introduction to Drama  so why not sign up to one of an Introduction to Drama at The Gaiety School of Acting – The National Theatre School of Ireland today! We run ‘Intro’ classes 4 nights a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursday and Fridays.  Pick the day that suits you best andsign up here! We advise people to book early to secure their preferred day. Other Adult Short Courses running in Term 3 from April include Acting for Camera, Stand Up Comedy, Long Form Improv, TV Presentation and Radio Presentation and many more follow on courses….