Kiwanis Fraser Valley Speech & Drama Festival

A couple weeks ago, me and a couple other students from our school participated in the 4th annual Kiwanis Fraser Valley Speech Arts & Drama Festival. I participated in this same competition last year, performing my very well-received and somewhat over-used, Tuna Fish monologue (receiving a gold standing). This is partly why I decided, this year, to do a more serious, dramatic monologue: Horror from Apocalypse Now. After watching Brando’s performance and the brilliant cinematography of the scene, I thought it would be interesting to study the piece in theatre. Transitioning the setting from film to stage posed much more challenging than I had expected, although sessions with my Theatre teacher were drastically helpful. We managed to exaggerate the true motivations of the character and extend his emotional limitations; the audience needed this added engagement as, unlike the film, they have no knowledge of the leading plotline. This was the first time that I had ever transformed a movie script to theatre, and I definitely underestimated the difficulty.

After a couple months of preparation, I finally performed Horror on April 12th at the White Rock First United Church. This was the same location as the year before so I had some sense of comfort, although the acoustics weren’t ideal so I had to be much louder than usual. The adjudicator was very impressive, a professional actor, director and theatre instructor: Scott Bellis. I really enjoyed performing for him, his first words broke from his laughter, “Why did you choose this monologue. That was horrifying.” He then went on giving suggestions and asked me to try running through it again. I felt as if I was in a workshop rather than performing at a competition. After giving some final constructive advice, Scott Bellis awarded me gold standing with a certificate and an evaluation.

I’m not sure if I’ll have another opportunity to perform this piece, but if I do, I have a lot of things to work on thanks to Scott Bellis. I’m very satisfied with my standing and look forward to attending the Honors Performances in early June.

Mine was a much less bone-chilling rendition:

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Movie Buff Stuff

Movie Buff Stuff

A little bit about Serena

– Although I was only born half Italian, I consider myself at least 3/4
– Favorite movie director: Martin Scorsese
– If I could live my life as any imaginary character, it’d be as Tyler Durden
– I don’t just cry when I watch Titanic, but anytime I hear the opening to Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On
– Ask me what my favorite movie is and I’ll give a different answer every time.
– “Favorite movie’s a triple way tie: Goodfellas, the Departed and the Usual Suspects (All Martin Scorsese)”
– “Favorite movie will forever and always be Pulp Fiction”
– “No movie will touch you, in every way possible, the way Titanic does; obviously my #1 fave”
– “Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock is the best classic and is my favorite.”
– “My favorite movie? The Godfather part I. Why’d you even have to ask?”
– If I could rewrite an ending to any movie, I’d make Eli Wallach (AKA Tuco, AKA the Ugly) kill Clint Eastwood (AKA Blondie, AKA the Good) in the Good the Bad and the Ugly. I think’d it make for a good plot twist.
– Favorite actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (The actor who appears most frequently in Martin Scorsese movies)

Into the Woods

“You’re so nice. You’re not good, you’re not bad, you’re just nice. I’m not good, I’m not nice, I’m just right. I’m the Witch. You’re the world.” – The Witch

This year in my Theatre Performance class, I will be taking on the role of the Witch from Into the Woods. Yet another antagonist, I am super excited about this character and have already started an intense analysis of her role in the musical, using techniques from my experience in Doubt. For those of you unfamiliar with this character, or musical, the Witch is more unique than most in that she actually transforms into a youthful version of herself halfway through the plot. This allows me to explore two completely diverse physical characteristics while still maintaining the true mental and emotional nature of her individuality. Although I am a little worried about the musical aspects of this performance, as I am an inexperienced singer, I am anxious to take on the challenge and broaden my abilities with the hopefulness of a great overall, final performance!

Southridge Speech Day Competitions

Ever since grade eight, I have participated in the Southridge Speech Day competitions. In my first year, like all other grade eights, I was to perform a persuasive speech. However, starting in 9th grade I was able to perform dramatic interpretations which I discovered a strong passion for. In grade 9 I performed the monologue “A Leap Year Leap” by Walter Ben Hare. For this performance I received 2nd place. The next year I decided to perform a more contemporary piece, “Tuna fish” from the play Laughing Wild written by Christopher Durang. I really loved this character and as a result of working with her for numerous performances, I know that she’ll always resonate with me. With this monologue I placed 1st in the grade 10 Dramatic Interpretation category. The following year I wanted to try a more solemn piece and placed 2nd with my performance of “Cold Blooded Murderer” by Elisa Thompson.

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Doubt a parable – John Patrick Shanley

Doubt a parable - John Patrick Shanley

In drama 11, our class consisted of four students. As part of the course, we spent most of the year working on a play called Doubt, a parable. In this performance, I played the character Sister Aloysuis. Researching and analyzing this play was one of the most rewarding experiences for me as it proved how intricate our roles and characters can get if you put time into truly understanding their history and motives. This was my first real performance for me; I will never forget the amount of effort we put in as an ensemble, the deep, intellectual connection i shared with my character, and the accomplishments we all deservingly achieved.
Awards:
– Placing first in the Fraser Valley One act play festival
– invited to attend Sears Provincial One Act Festival
– Best Supporting Actress award from Sears Provincial One Act Festival: Abby Wells