Location, The Lowry Theatre, Salford Quays
Mentor: Anne Marie Crowher/ Aliki Chapple
The Lowry Theatre is one of the most dynamic and respected theatre spaces in the Northwest. This would be the location for where we would present our speeches to a number of theatre creatives, directors, writers and associates. One of them would choose us to join them and work alongside them during the days leading up to the 24:7 Theatre Festival.
We all met in the cafe area of the Lowry, having cups of tea and coffee and general conversation. Looking at the posters for shows that were going to perform at the venue. Later Anne Marie arrived and let us to the room where we would prepare. We each got into a circle and begun discussing how we've been and what new interesting things we did or learned.
We started the exercise with a few warm up sessions. This including walking around the room counting 7 items within the room that were colored green. After that we were put into groups and together we had to create and design a theatre group, a logo and what shows we intended to create. We were each given a piece of tin foil and were told to use it to create our logo. My group and I decided that our company would focus on creating abstract, and experimental stage adaptions based of classic films and novels like Frankenstein and Hitchcock's Psycho , bringing a different take on the well known. We called our Alternative Theatre and with our logo it would be a opposite reflective alphabets, so from one angle it would say AT from the opposite side it would say still spell AT.
Following from that workshop we were put into groups of two and were asked to grab a program or poster for a show and discuss that intrigued to see that show and its appeal. My partner and I chose the Dial M for Murder poster and explained that it appealed to us because it was a stage adaptation of a well known Alfred Hitchcock feature film and both being fans of film making would like to see how they adapted this material from screen to stage.
Mentor 2: Aliki Chapple
After a quick break, Aliki arrived. Aliki asked us how were feeling, which we all replied both nervous but confident. She started her session with a few breathing exercises that we previously done with her and a stretches to make our bodies loose and control our breathing. With our bodies stretched and our diaphragms exercised we begun to share our edited and polished speeches and performed them to our group and Aliki. After each speech Aliki gave us constructive feedback and methods that would help us present the speeches with more life and for our personalities to shine.
After the exercise Aliki told us to keep calm, take your time and most importantly be yourself when you present your speeches to the guest.
After lunch, a strong coffee later, we were introduced to the members and others who were associated with 24:7 team like David Slack, theatre director Ian Townsend, James Harker whose piece was performing in the festival and many more. My friend Tom Byrne was there was well as he was there to represent Scallywags Theatre company, a group that focuses on children's theatre.
Once all the attendees arrived, we all sat down and Annika welcomed everyone who attended. One by one we would each get a small introduction from Annika and whilst we would give our speeches, the attendee's would with notes on what they liked about speech, what they thought of us and what we could do to improve our speech.
When it was my time to present my speech, I felt calm and confident and remembered the exercises that Anne-Marie, Akiel (who was there) and Aliki had taught me. I gave my speech, making sure to tell the key details (coming from a working class background to becoming an actor and wanting to direct theatre and film) and making sure that I kept my speech alive from my presentation and that I showed appeal. At one point a phone went off and I had to wait until it put on silent. Which gave me more time to remember what I was saying and to control my breathing.
When I finished my speech and received an applaud from the audience and returned to my seat to listen to the other speeches. Once all the speeches were told we all got up and shook hands and received our notes from the attendees, all who gave us praise and respect to present to them.
my notes were all positive words which said that I 'had great experience and clear motivation'. Another note said that my speech had a 'nice pace and tone'. The only criticism from one speech said that my speech cam over as a bit 'rehearsed'.
When all the attendees left, we all made our way to the bar section of the Lowry and waiting for us were a number of wine glasses and two bottles of red and white wine. We all cheered each other and to a job well done. We all decided to create a Facebook group to share notes and keep in contact with each other and share out progress. It was comically called 'Footies 2015-Check in Bitches'.
I felt a great sense of achievement and, having the courage to stand in front of theatre and business professionals and to give a speech in front of them, as a professional and hoping to expand my knowledge.
Now was the time to wait and see which attendee would select me to work with them for the Festival.