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1.  Choosing the right IE

Hello, My name is James Van Leishout and I taught a workshop at ITF on IEs. I am struggling with how to help a student choose an IE.I hear a lot about scenes, monos, songs, not to do, but not a lot about finding a scene that the student can successfully play. So I have some questions. Your insights as teachers would be valuable. How do you help a student choose a scene or monologue that they can excel at? Do you have a criteria? Does the student need to have an emotional connection? Can the emotional connection be learned? We often talk about "can an actor play a scene?" How do you determine that? I am sure there are more questions on choosing the right piece that I am not asking that have insightful answers, please answer those questions as well. Thank you James ------------------------------------------- James Van Leishout Edwardsville IL -------------------------------------------

2.  RE: Choosing the right IE

The first thing I tell students to look for is something that connects to them. I don't quantify what the connection is. They always find it easier to make choices and memorize lines when it is something they "like". I firmly believe that students can work to "find a connection" to any piece. After all, they have to do that if they are cast in an unexpected part once they leave high school.

(I'm completely stealing this) We talk alot about what acting actually is, "One person trying to get another person to do something" - Uncle Tommy. I don't like to tell my students to play the scene. This often, at least for my kids, leads to a presentational style of acting that I do not like. Something I do is tell my kids that they need to approach the monologue or scene with at least 2 seperate acting techniques. They tend to try one or two things, make a decision, and go. One of my favorite quotes to my kids is "Fail 67 times. the 68th timr might be it".

I alwas recommend that the kids choose pieces from full scripts or with hisotrical information available. I expect them to read the full scripts and/or do any necessary research to understand the character. We also do etudes to help create a more complete unerstanding.

One of the least favorite, but most important things, I make my kids do is a physicality worksheet. It breaks down how they stand, sit, walk, etc. If they don't know their ownidiosyncracies how can they make a choice for the character?

Hope this helps!  :)

Shira Schwartz
Chandler Unified School District
Chandler AZ

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