Friday, August 15, 2014

Words of Wisdom: From Veterans to Virgins

As expected, the seasoned 14/48 veterans had lots of valuable advice to give first-time participants. Here's some of the wisdom they shared tonight:

To Writers:
1.) Make sure every actor has something to do (e.g. "don't write a goddamn corpse into your show" (Shawn Belyea)).
2.) The more words you want spoken out loud, the fewer you should put on each page.
3.) Consciously use the space you're given to your advantage - "let your limitations be your inspiration" (Shawn Law).
4.) It's always great if you have something to say.

To Directors:
1.) Trust your actors: cast quickly. The unconventional casting spawned from randomly assigned actors is part of the beauty of the festival.
2.) Use your tech time wisely.
3.) Communicate with your designers early.
4.) "The band is not your jukebox" (mentioned by a band member).
5.) It's your responsibility to meet time constraints - "that twelve-minute run-through isn't going to tighten up (Shawn Belyea).
6.) Product over process - now is not the time for two-hour viewpointing.
7.) "Make your playwrights happy and your actors safe" (Shawn Law).

To Actors:
1.) Let go of your ego.
2.) Communicate your needs to your director.
3.) Learn your lines early.
4.) "Nourish yourselves - it'll help you think!"

To Musicians:
1.) Grab the audience's attention at the top of each act.
2.) Use the microphone.

To Designers:
1.) Get everything done by tech rehearsal so the performers have a chance to work with them.
2.) Prioritize effectively.

and a bonus:
"Nothing creates tension onstage like a water balloon" (Shawn Belyea).

Shawn Belyea demonstrates the power of the water balloon.

Shawn teaches participants the difference between garbage and recycling ("Where does your beer can go?")

Shawn demonstrates the possibilities of the outdoor space.

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