Students will demonstrate their ability to create a professional quality resume by turning in a resume for the mock audition. Students will also be able to establish the moment before in their monologue by performing and checking it off with a partner.
• How we present ourselves, even on paper, affects us • Theater mirrors life, and life never had a starting point
• What is the best way to present myself on paper? • How do I infuse my character with real-life experience?
Hook: (15 minutes)
When students walk in the room, have several headshots and resumes taped up on the wall, and numbered. Ask students to go around and cast the hypothetical show of Spiderman on Broadway, and you are looking for Spiderman and Mary Jane. Once students have decided who they are going to cast, have them return to their seats.
Step 1 – Discussion: (10 minutes)
Ask students who they decided on. Why? What was it about their resume or their headshot that made students want them? Talk to students about the importance of a clear, concise resume, and a eye-catching and versatile headshot.
Step 2 – Group Practice: (15 minutes)
Pull up a word document on your computer and project it onto the screen. Together, as a class, write up a resume for John Smith. Make up heights, weights, shows, etc. Have students call out the shows and demographics of John – let them have fun with it. The point is to get students to see how to put together a resume. Once students have created this resume, tell students that they will need to bring in their own resumes (with real information) by the next class period. Tell students that you will be reviewing those resumes, and giving them back to students for them to fix by the time they perform.
Step 3 – Modeling: (10 minutes)
Let students know that you will be switching gears a little bit. Hand the following script to two students and have them read it in front of the class.
A: Hi! B: Hello. A: How’s everything? B: Fine. I guess. A: Do you know what time it is? B: No. Not exactly. A: Don’t you have a watch? B: Not on me. A: Well? B: Well what? A: What did you do last night? B: What do you mean? A: What did you do last night?
B: Nothing. A: Nothing? B: I said, nothing! A: I’m sorry I asked. B: That’s all right.
Step 4 – Discussion: (5 minutes)
Ask the class when the scene started. Was it when the lines began? When the actors entered? When the first gesture was made? Once students have given those answers, ask students, “when does life begin?” Students may answer first breath, when they’re born, conceived even, but explain to students that many religions believe that there was an existence before mortality. If we hypothetically go along with that belief, life has no beginning. Many theatre artists believe that theatre mirrors or imitates life. If life has no beginning, your monologues have no beginning. Every moment in your character’s life has led up to your monologue. As an actor, you must thing, “where did I just come from?”, “What information have I just learned?”, and “how has my world shifted recently?”. Explain to students that the answers to these questions are called “the moment before”.
Step 5 – Modeling and Discussion: (10 minutes)
Have two more students come up and read the same scene, but this time, have the class decide where each actor has just been, what information each actor has just learned, and how their worlds have shifted recently. The scene should be drastically different. Ask students how the scene changed. What made it more interesting? Were lines delivered differently? Do this same thing a few more times, letting students see that different moments before change the scene.
Final Assessment for Lesson 6: (informal)
Have students pair up, and explain to each other what their character’s moment before is. The have students perform for each other, implementing the moment before into their scene. Have partners coach them through to make the moment before as evident as possible. Remind students that their resume is due next time.