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Five anarchist phrases to get your rehearsal back on track
by David King
Let's face it, whether you're exploring all your animals in the rehearsal hall or creating a lighting cue for a scene while everyone's whispering around you, the power of silence and listening are often underestimated in the theatre.
Eventually, you'll need to speak with that costume designer about the five buttons he hates on the actor, get the lighting designer to refocus a light or let the actress know you'll squeeze in extra time for the scene in the rehearsal schedule tomorrow. For now, it's silence time! And there's nothing like taking it to the extreme with five phrases you can always count on to kill a room!
1. "[the name of the Scottish Play, otherwise known as MOCHSHPLOT!]":
Sure, everyone will have to leave the theatre, turn around and do their thing then come back in, but you're sure to get their attention!
I know, it's a film expression. But just watch how everyone stops dead in their tracks and looks at you like you're from outer space.
3. "We didn't get the grant!"
I've personally had to use this one, and let me tell you, people, it works brilliantly!
This only works on actors, but it goes right to the base of their spine and signals improvisation neurons to the brain, along with memories of acting school they thought they had once forgotten. While they're frozen, take a quick break and enjoy the chick pea and onion salad you brought with you as a snack.
5. "WHAT THE FUCK!?!"
This works on two levels: firstly, you'll get the attention of a younger WTF internet generation of artists. Secondly, almost everyone in the room will think you are talking to them and likely critiquing what they call their artistic prowess. Make sure you don't make eye contact for this one, and look in every direction so you've captured them at all once!