Anne Frank

(Part A of Bronze award)

I never really thought much of Anne Frank, I just thought that what happened to her and all Jews was sad and hopefully will never happen again. Now that view has changed. I no longer feel that she was a whiny 13 year old.

Around about six months ago I was told that I was going to be acting in Anne Frank with my acting class. I was disappointed. The week later I was told that I was going to play Mr Van Dan and I was absolutely flabbergasted. I was going to act as a man, again! After I got over the initial shock I started to (although a little reluctantly) learn my line. I had a decent amount, not too many but still not too little.

Every Saturday morning I would walk down to my acting school for class. For the first few months all we really did was blocking. It wasn’t bad, actually it was fun. In the play there were many comical scenes that made us laugh silly and I got along with all the actors in the class. The only problem was that I could not grip my character. As hard as I tried I could not, at all, quite understand Mr Van Dan.

As the weeks past I started to develop a friendship between my class mates and the play was progressing well. I had memorized all my lines and all I had to do now was really try to develop my acting. It had always been fun to go to class, but now it was becoming more and more enjoyable by the week. I looked forward to it.

As the date for the production got closer I started to worry. I still had trouble acting as Mr Van Dan. Not only that but I had trouble with the laugh. I wasn’t able to force a laugh properly. This I think has to do with when I laugh, I chuckle silently. This really started to bother me and it was only around about the 2 days before the play did I actually hit a break through. I suddenly understood why Mr Van Dan did things. He was a family man, he loved his family. He loved his food and he was trying to keep the peace. The jokes and the cards games was because he was trying to constantly break the tension. What really helped when it came to lines I had difficulty with was imagining my teacher say it and trying to replicate that. In the end it worked and the play went really well and all my friends did an amazing job. It was really a great experience and I really enjoyed it. I learnt lots and I’m really glad I got a character I had difficulty acting as.

I reread the book, Diary of Ann Frank, recently and its alright actually. When I was nine, my mum convinced me to read Anne’s dairy. I got rather excited but was really disappointed. It was rather… boring. I disliked it, it was all just whining and complaining to me. Now i decided to try again after 6 months of acting as Mr Van Dan. The book was very different this time, instead of complaining, it was more like drama. I laughed a lot and as it progressed it became more and more solemn. Really I can only say that you should read a dairy of someone of a similar age to yours. If the person is much older it may be hard to understand, but if the person is much younger it may be boring. I found out that Anne was “bisexual”. She spoke about being attracted to female bodies and kissing the same sex. Although we are of the same age, these thoughts are peculiar to me and has never crossed my mind. It is good to read Anne Frank’s dairy if you are 12-16 years of age.

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Time to go Tom

Time to Go Tom was a play I not only acted in but helped to create. How it was written is simple, we basically took a topic, created a few scenes then put it together within a few weeks. We made no script, it was all improvisation. The topic we chose was world war one because it was the 100th year anniversary. We started by coming up with a few characters then did a few scenes, like at the front line, the night before the front line, writing letters home, hospital scene, etc. We kept working on these scenes until we knew them by heart, put them together then kept practicing them until performance night.

It was fun and I learnt that there is more than one was to write a play from scratch and also more than one type of play. My improvisation skill improved, and this is good because in acting you are improvise all the time. This was the first performance Block 15 (the class) ever did and I’m glad I was in it. Block 15 was the first class I joined in Centerstage and I am still dedicate to it now.

(Part A and D of Bronze Award)