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R1 Performing Arts

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Aim: To introduce different performing arts. Taken from the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Recreation Project R-1


Taster 1
• Digital video camera
• Laptop
• Flip chart
• Pens

Taster 2 & Christian Faith
• Tickets
• Transport

Taster 3
• Musical instrument
• Music

Project 1
• TV
• DVD player
• Comic DVDs

Project 2
as required


Taster 1 Soap Opera

Aim: To create two episodes of your own soap opera.

Our television screens are full of soap operas and even if we don’t admit to watching them, in secret everyone loves a good cheesy episode. Now it’s your chance to create your own:

• Split into teams and allocate jobs
• Start planning:
— Story board the pot (there does need to be one!)
— Write a script
— Think about locations that you will film
— Find props and costumes
— Produce opening credits and theme tune
• Begin filming
• Edit the soap opera ready for its TV debut

Make sure that you have the correct wires to download the video onto a laptop.

Tips / Advice:
Don’t make each episode longer than 5 minutes.

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
Only film in areas within an agreed boundary.

Taster 2 - Performance

Aim: To spend an evening at a performance.

We all have stereotypes about certain pastimes, but have you ever been to an opera, theatre, or classical music performance? Choose one of the following, go along and try something new:

1. Opera
Believe it or not you may already be familiar with some tunes from famous operas. Listen to Nessum Dorma from Turandot, or something by the three Tenors, and you’ll know it. If you do decide to attend a performance go for one of the “lighter operas” — Turandot, Tosca, II Trovatore, Aida. Others are a bit heavier and could last for up to 6 hours — it is not recommended that you start with Wagner! Get a copy of the synopsis in advance and that you know how many intervals there are.

2. Theatre
Theatre for most of us either means the Panto or Shakespeare at school. A live performance of a modern play can be totally different — although there are still some excellent Shakespeare productions about! Why not get 4 or 5 tickets and take a few people along the next time a play is on at your local theatre. Some local amateur productions can be really good and are not too expensive. Or what about a trip to see a West End Musical — there are many touring productions going round the country.

3. Classical Concert
Have you ever listened to a live performance of Beethoven’s 5th? Do you know the difference between Mussorgsky, Sibelius or Tchaikovsky? Does Bach just put you to sleep and it’s only Coldplay for you? Whatever music you like what about trying something different? Go and visit the nearest concert hall get their programme for the season and decide on one concert to attend. Get any programme notes to help understand what it is all about.

Think about:
• What performance you want to see?
• How much will it cost?
• How will you get there?

• Check local press well in advance.
• If you ask nicely you should be able to get a discount or some free tickets.

Tips / Advice:
• Now that you’ve seen one of these arrange to go to see a band of your choice.
• Some of you might want ear plugs.
• Some groups may take some persuading to do this. You could link this with going out for the day or for a meal

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
Check the suitability of the production for the age group that you are taking.

Taster 3 - Instrumental

Aim: To learn to play a simple tune on a musical instrument new to you.

Can you play an instrument? Well it doesn’t mailer! To learn to play an instrument takes dedication and skill, but almost anyone can get a note out of one and most can learn a simple tune. It’s obviously easier with a piano, but try and be a bit more adventurous choosing something that you’ve always wanted to play. You never know you might be good at it!

Find someone who is good at playing the instrument of your choice to give you some tips.

Christian Faith - Rock God

Aim: To attend a Christian band’s concert or drama performance

Attend a Christian theatre group’s production e.g. Riding Lights or Saltmine, or attend a Christian band’s concert. Go onto Myspace and look for groups that you might like, there are loads of choices.

Think about:
• How much will it cost?
• How will you get there?
• Do you like their music?

Tips / Advice:
• Go to vw.ridinglights.org or vnv.saltmine.org for more information.
• Have a look at NQM’s Luv Esther production (www.ngm.org.uk).
• You could put on your own concert and invite bands,

Safety Issues / Risk Assessment:
• Concerts can get rough if you are standing in the wrong place. If things look like getting out of hand, simply move!
• No crowd surfing or stage diving!

Project 1 - Comedy Club

Aim: To write and perform a comedy routine.

Project Description:
You may have been called a little comedian” before but was it a compliment? It’s one thing to make some of your friends laugh, it’s completely different to get on a stage in front of an audience and do stand-up comedy. To do any kind of live performance, you need to have a strong ego and nerves of steel. Now begins the tricky part:

1. Study the professionals

Watch some comics performing their acts, and think about what type of comic they are, e.g.
• Observational comics
• Topical comics
• Character comics
• Prop comics
• Gimmick comics
• Physical comics
• Impressionists
• Improvisationalists

Then determine their emotional attitude, are they really grumpy, hostile, or a little crazy?

2. Gather material for your act
Before you get on stage, you have to figure out what you are going to say. A starting point is your own experiences. Here are some exercises to get you started:

• Divide a sheet of paper into three columns. In the first, write down things that worry you. In the second, things that make you angry. In the third, things that frighten you.
• Make a list of all your negative personality traits or silly things you have done in the past. This is pretty safe territory. If you laugh at yourself, others will feel comfortable laughing at you too.
• Make a list of things that are unique about yourself.

These lists will provide you with the raw material from which to write your jokes. Always carry a little notebook with you wherever you go. You never know when you’ll see something funny, and you can guarantee that if you tell yourself, "I'll remember it later,” then you won’t! Write down everything, even the rubbish things, because sometimes bad ideas can lead to good ones.

3. Turn your material into a routine
Turn your material into an actual routine, you’ll need to:

• Write some jokes — Put the jokes in order. Look at your list of jokes and pick out the funniest one. Put it at the end of your routine. Now take your second funniest joke and put it at the beginning. That way, you start strong and end with your biggest laugh. The third funniest joke will go just before ID the end. The next funniest joke will go just after the first joke and so on until you’ve filled up your time allotment. The number of jokes you tell will depend on your delivery and how long your jokes c are. Most jokes are based on the setup and punch line formula. First, the setup explains what the joke is about and then the punch line delivers the laugh (or so you hope).

e.g. My brother Donald is so dumb, he thinks a Mars Bar is an alien food.

Customer: Waiter I’ll have a steak and make it lean (Setup)

Waiter: Which way? (Punchline)

So with the exercises you did earlier as a reference, write your jokes using this and the following other comedy formats:

— Lists The magic number in comedy is 3. The first two are alike, but the third is the opposite.
e.g. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire PR officers. (Daniel I. Boorstin)

— Comparisons Pointing out vast differences.
e.g. The difference between dogs and cats is that a dog thinks: Hey, these people I live with feed me, love me, provide me with a nice warm, dry house, pet me, and take good care of me... They must be gods!

A cat thinks: Hey, these people I live with feed me, love me, provide me with a nice warm, dry house, pet me, and take good care of me... I must be a god!

— Simile Describing something by likening it to something else.
e.g. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.

— Observations Pointing out how absurd everyday life is.
e.g. You can’t have everything. I mean, where would you put it? (Steven Wright)

— Mimicking Making fun of someone by acting like him/her.

— Callback A joke with a punch line that refers to a joke you did earlier in your set,

After you’ve written your jokes, try to make the setups shorter and work out how you will link the jokes.

• Decide what your stage persona Is going to be — Anybody can tell a joke, but real stand-up comics are funny to begin with. Work out which comics you identify with. Your personality is what brings your act to life. Otherwise, you’ll end up just reciting your jokes instead of bringing them to life.

• Rehearse your act — You must remember your jokes, but also how to tell them in the right way. Most jokes aren’t about the actual words, but about how you say them, so you have to practise your material over and over again. Remember that practising your jokes is not the same as memorising them. If you know your material too well, you’ll become over rehearsed.

• Be open to Improvisation.

- Find examples of comic performers.

Tips / Advice:
• Make sure that the comedy doesn’t offend or is inappropriate for a BB activity.
• Be careful when mimicking others not to be offensive. Choose who you do carefully,
• You could create comic sketches to include as part of the act.

Project 2 - It's Show Time

Aim: To practise for a show and put on a performance.

Project Description:
Is singing in a gospel choir, performing in a rock band, putting on a pantomime your kind of thing? Well plan a performance for wherever your talents lie,

Think about:
• What skills or potential you have?
• Who can help bring it together into a performance?
• When will the performance be ?
• Who will attend?
• How much will they pay?
• Where will it be held?
• What needs to be planned?
• How many rehearsals will you need?
• How will the performance be advertised?
• How will the jobs be divided?
• What’s the budget?

Tips / Advice:
This activity needs lots of forward planning and dedication.

For full details see the BB Seniors Challenge Plus Pro Pack, Recreation Project R-1


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