September 10, 2008

Night of the Living Dead

Zombie University began last night, and each member of the horde of zombies got posters and cards to distribute. Creepy, isn't it?

Speaking of creepy, one of the first things we worked on was vocalization. Someone asked if any of the zombies had speaking parts. As it happens, zombies don't so much use words as -- oh, what would you call them? Moans, wails, drones, grunts, and all of the other sounds the living undead make in times of duress. All except words. We practiced sounding miserable in small ways, and then we were asked to do our miserable sounds together as a group. It sounded to me like a bunch of drunken Clemson fans. Then we were asked to do the same thing but at about half that level. And when we did, the sound was downright shivery. And that was just the first element of the first class.

From then on, we worked on movement. Walk with your nose leading the way. Walk with your knees leading the way. Walk with your left shoulder, your right ear, the tips of your toes, your fingers leading the way. Very interesting to see how differently people walked and the way in which changing one aspect of carriage changes everything. The angles of the body change. The plane/height changes. Attitude changes. Oh, it was lovely, indeed to observe and to partake.

This week's assignment is to work on character as in who, how old, past history, family story, etc. We've got two weeks to develop character and then two weeks to learn about costume and makeup. The play is set in 1968, and we were given sheets with information about that year for those of us -- many, many -- weren't alive or potty-trained -- or their parents weren't alive. 1968 was a very good year for me, and it's fun reinventing it differently.

The other teaching of note is that safety is the first concern. And that early is on time and on time is late.

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