Author Topic: MORALE: Warm-up/ Games (do you participate?)  (Read 12577 times)

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smsam

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MORALE: Warm-up/ Games (do you participate?)
« on: Nov 29, 2006, 06:47 am »
Hi all,

Just wondering how many of you, as Stage Managers or ASMs in rehearsals, participate in the company's warm-ups or games either in rehearsal or before a show??

For me it entirely depends on the company and the director and how comfortable I feel with them. Here's two examples;
  • Recently doing a show (straight play) with a lovely cast and directors. First day everyone was so warm and welcoming my ASM and I felt really comfortable to join in with the 'name-games' (getting to know you) and introduction/ trust-building games. As soon as it moved into more character driven or actor games though we both stepped out as I certainly felt it wasn't our place to do these. Doing the intros though I think really helped both of us become part of the company! We continued to do these every morning throughout the rehearsal process and on occasions when the director was late I even led the games/ warm-up. Once we moved into the theatre for our run I was generally too busy to do the warm-up with them however I tried every night to do the vocal warm-up with them, this was because it was a really busy show to call (hundreds and hundreds of cues) and warming my voice up really did help! Let me know if you want to know what these warm-ups were - I found them really helpful
  • Situation 2; big musical for a west-end type (it was regional) stage. Here they didn't even do many into/ warm-up games and I didn't feel at all comfortable doing the warm-up with them therefore I just stayed behind the desk and watched. I worked really hard in breaks etc. and in my 'talks' for the first few days, to seem extra-friendly and approachable! It worked because I had a really good bond with this company as I did with the other - just used a different style.
Would love to hear your thoughts.

Sam x
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 12:10 am by PSMKay »
Sam x

thehayworth

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #1 on: Nov 29, 2006, 08:44 am »
I hate getting dragged into actor games.

HATE!
"This time for sure."

ChaCha

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #2 on: Nov 29, 2006, 09:07 am »
I'm pretty much with your first scenario - happy to participate until it gets into character territory -or too far down the process when the cast are more comfortable with one another and having the 'less practised at games' stage manager involved might interrupt the flow a bit. Also I find I'm generally happy to have the extra 15 minutes or so to get a few more jobs done so I don't have to be doing them in the break...
ChaCha

ReyYaySM

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #3 on: Nov 29, 2006, 09:11 am »
I don't recall ever working on a show that played "games" as part of the rehearsal (unless scene based improv where they paraphrase dialogue counts).  In college, I remember some pretty extensive warm-ups that the various directors/choreographers/vocal coaches had come up with.  On Chicago, this warm-up included a "crunch session" for the dancers--a 10 minute ab workout. There were even heated discussions as to where it should fall in the warm-up.  I usually took the warm-up to relax before settling into the nitty-gritty of rehearsal.  I was in the room and double checked that I was totally organized and ready for the rehearsal, and then would alternate between seeing that the actors were on task (although the director/choreographer/vocal coach [a faculty member] was usually there to lead them) and chatting quietly with my ASM(s).  

I have yet to work on a professional show where the full company does a warm-up together.  I have had individual actors come in before half-hour to use the stage to warm up.  I'm present simply because I'm there overseeing my crew and making sure we're all set for the performance.  

ChaCha

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #4 on: Nov 29, 2006, 09:53 am »
Oh I've done professional shows where there's been a warm up but it isn't very common.Or it only lasts for the first week, then everyone gets too busy!
ChaCha

smsam

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #5 on: Nov 29, 2006, 10:26 am »
In the UK, so not sure if its different over the pond, I have only done one or two professional shows that haven't done warm-up "games" in at least the first week of rehearsals when there have been full company calls! The rest all have. By games, which may be the wrong word, I mean doing physical activities/ vocal warm-ups etc. etc. As for before performances the same applies, most companies I have ever worked with have come together before the half (with the dance captain, resident director or whoever the assigned 'leader' may be) and done a warm-up of some variety be it fun/ vocal or physical.

For Dance Rehearsals there are often physical/ sports warm-ups, I never take part in these! No need as I won't be the one dancing  :-*

Sam x
Sam x

LisaEllis

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #6 on: Nov 29, 2006, 11:09 am »
I have participated in children's warm ups and games in the rehearsal room, although not in the theatre.

I find the idea of a vocal warmup before calling a show very interesting...and probably could have used it on my last show.

smsam

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #7 on: Nov 29, 2006, 12:11 pm »
Yeah, doing a vocal warm-up before calling a show had never really occurred to me before but I did it on my last show and it really helped. It made sense really! If your calling a busy show (200 cues + type thing) then your practically using your voice for the whole show not to mention that it would probably already be strained from the tech. Doing something like a vocal warm-up also really helped me focus and calm before the show. Here's some that we used, they all improve diction etc.;

Say the following in these different styles; Slowly, Quickly, Emphasizing Continents, Emphasizing vowels etc.
"To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!
To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison, with a life-long lock,
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock,
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block!
A dull, dark dock, a life-long lock,
A short, sharp shock, a big black block!"


Do the Grand Old Duke of York - first time through without saying the work UP or Down at all. The Second Time saying them. Third Time Not etc.
The Grand old Duke of York he had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.
When they were up, they were up
And when they were down, they were down
And when they were only halfway up
They were neither up nor down.


Say these slowly but being careful to pronounce all the vowels and continents fully;
Thoughtful thinkers think things through.
An awed audience applauded Claude.
There's your cue, the curfew is due.
Boots and shoes lose newness soon.[/i - there's a whole list of these on the web somewhere!

Sam x

snopesmanager0610

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #8 on: Nov 29, 2006, 05:40 pm »
I've never used vocal warm ups as an ASM or SM, but that sounds like a great idea! I'll try that for my next show. In high school our company played games on a daily basis for one specific play because of the director's style, and the company was starting to dislike itself. I participated in those games, and throughout the ones we did in high school, but at college we've never done any kind of games - the actors just do their vocal warm ups when they're ready to do them, and that's it.

killerdana

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #9 on: Nov 29, 2006, 06:35 pm »
When my cast is doing a physical warm-up, I'll often participate (or do my own in a corner).  Even if (or especially because) I'm not doing anything physical for the rest of the day, I know that it's still good for my body to get a little movement going.  Otherwise, I spend too many days sitting on my butt doing paperwork and taking notes.
Science without art is sterile.  --Albert Einstein

LiLz

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #10 on: Nov 29, 2006, 11:00 pm »
When I work a professional gig my idea of a warmup involves one more cup of coffee.  However, my high school crew kids found an Internet video called "Asian Boys Dancing" and insist on playing it and dancing along before every show.  I don't participate, but I have to admit that I get a real kick out of watching them do it.

Mac Calder

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #11 on: Nov 30, 2006, 02:20 am »
I usually use any warm up period as a time to talk to any "other" members of the company that are not participating (includes ASM/designers etc) and make sure we are all on the same page, make sure everything is in order to start and of course, drink a cup of the nectar of the gods - tea. I also get a few quiet giggles in with the non participants about how silly everyone looks. Then I glance over my "schedule" (which sadly tends to be ignored from the onset, when the director decides to move in a different direction to that which we decided on together prior to the rehearsal), lay out my stationary (if not already done) and sit back and get ready for what will probably be a very long day.

Prior to calling a show, or any time I know I will be talking a lot, I always like to do a decent warm up of my vocal chords, tongue and other muscles involved in the process.

I have never really gotten involved with the "Name Games" - I hate them with a passion unsurpassed. I think it came from when I was in high school and used to attend student conferences etc - which ALWAYS started off with name games.

cuelight

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #12 on: Nov 30, 2006, 08:14 am »
Warm-ups for stage management before calling a big show is a great idea. Must try that next time. Maybe then I won't lose my voice after press night.

I've never participating in actors/performers warm-ups as I tend to use that as a time to make sure I'm ready for the day ahead. I've also never worked with a director who hasn't has something else for me to do while they conducted the warm-up.

ljh007

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #13 on: Nov 30, 2006, 01:25 pm »
I do not like them on the page;
I do not like them on the stage.
I will not do them with the cast;
I will not do them slow nor fast.
Not in tech nor rehearsal hall,
I do not like warm ups at all.

ChaCha

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Re: Warm-up/ Games
« Reply #14 on: Nov 30, 2006, 07:14 pm »
I do not like them on the page;
...
I do not like warm ups at all.

That's hysterical. Thanks for the giggle!
ChaCha

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