Well it’s week five and we’re halfway through our course now.

It’s hard to believe we’ve had so many so far because, I’ve been having so much fun that the weeks are just flying in.

This week we started out with our loosening up exercises and a couple of games to help get us in the right frame of mind. They also help release any of the stresses that you might have been feeling from your everyday life. I must say that they work very well, some of the games can seem similar but every week our tutor puts a different spin on them so they feel different.

This is very important in drama, because you have got to change your emotions so frequently, so it really helps to have a clear head when doing so. Our tutor then discussed beats with us and explained that beats by definition were units of action, which mean a change in mood. Every scene will have beats throughout and as actors we should be able to know these points in the scene and make note of them.

After explaining that, we were then asked to discuss with our scene partners where the beats were in the scenes we were assigned last week. We were given about twenty minutes to work on it. We would then have to read for the tutor and the rest of the class up to the point where the first few beats happened in the scene and to explain why we thought they belonged there.

Seeing other people’s interpretations of where they see the beats in their scenes also gave us new ideas for working on our own. We then had to act it out with our tutor provide blocking, which was telling us where we should be positioned on stage and where to move to at certain times throughout the scene.

It’s always important to take notes on the blocking that is given to you, because sometimes when working on a production you might not work a scene for a few days at a time and it will be your responsibility to make sure you know.

We were also given direction on how we should feel and deliver our lines, while always being aware of the beats. There are queues you need to know that tell you how your character should be feeling during a scene and how their objective might change.

Some of the direction that was given felt strange at first, but our tutor explained that sometimes a director will give direction that sounds odd, to help an actor if they are having trouble grasping what the director wants from them.

The worst thing for an actor to do is get hung up on the first impressions of a character but by doing things differently, and in a wider range, you break out of it.

For next week’s class we have to read the play that our scene belongs to so we know the entire story and can understand more about our character. It was another great week!

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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….