ASPIRE BLOG: Practice makes perfect

Practice has been the word of day, week and month for ASPIRE this year. I also say, never make the mistake of thinking you don’t need to practice. 

With the school holidays upon us and a month to go until we hit the Civic Theatre, the need to PRACTICE has never been more apparent. No one wants to turn up at the next rehearsal having forgotten everything we’ve learnt this term.

So how do you practice when you only have yourself to rehearse with? Well I’m a bit advocate for standing in front of a mirror. It’s also the reason behind my impeccable grooming, but that’s obvious.

Watching what you look like when saying lines, singing lyrics, dancing or even playing notes is tremendously helpful to your own development as a performer. You can see what the audience will see and often it’s a big surprise.

I often ask cast members to accentuate things, to make them bigger, try something ‘this way’, or ‘that way’ or very occasionally to make something smaller. The response that usually follows in something along the lines of “I am doing it like that!” *insert flick of hair or disgruntled exhalation*. My response to this tends to be, “No, you’re really not,” *insert return flick of hair or earnest expression*. If you’ve never watched yourself perform something, how can you be entirely certain your face or body looks to an audience what it looks like in your head?

When you watch yourself, it gives you the unique opportunity to be really critical of your own performance. In this scenario, you need to be critical, it’s how you get better. Hardly anyone ever gets it right first time. Your first impulse as a performer will probably be OK, but as you practice and refine what you’re doing, it will get to better than ok, good, better than good and maybe even awesome.

So over this break I expect the entire ASPIRE cast to have a good look at what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. It will be tough at times and frustrating as it can take a while to get things the way you picture them in your brain, but the results are so worth it!

Anna Kerrigan Image
Anna Kerrigan

Anna is the Artistic Director of ASPIRE, an audition-based drama, dance, music and creative and performing arts program produced by the Catholic Schools Office of Maitland-Newcastle.

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