“This week a merry band of AOs met, as ever in these times, through the wonders of zoom. We were pleased to welcome Tim, who joined us for the first time (and our first newcomer since we went virtual). We began with news of our weeks as usual – and got to know Tim – as ever it was good to reconnect and share. For me the weekly ritual of catching up and the role of Acting Out as a supportive community has been an important anchor throughout a stormy year.
Haina then led us in a reading of a script – ‘Obsession’ that had been written by a member of a local writing group. It was a powerful tale of hoarding and the disruption that can cause to individual and family lives. We hope to be able to invite the writer to a future meeting to hear their script being read. Part way through one of the key cast members suffered a technological interruption with amusing consequences PJ: “you all froze” All: “No, you froze” – after several failed attempts at reconnection sadly the part had to be recast (not a problem we ever encountered when we met in person and someone popped to the bar!).
We ended with a discussion about ideas for our future productions – which the committee are working on and will be sharing with us very soon. Watch this space!”
This week (the first after the new committee met), the group discussed ideas for ways that we can resume performing via virtual means such as YouTube videos, audio productions and in house pieces to be performed to the group, possibly around a theme (or not).
Creatives within the group will be working away both independently and within the format of the newly re-launched writing group, Scribbling Out, which will run on 25th February. Keep your attention tuned to social media for more updates…
Last Thursday the group held their first official meeting under the new committee. We exchanged news about how our weeks had gone, both good and bad, and met one members extremely cute dogs. We then read through a script from “Fleabag”.
14th January was our AGM and elections for the committee for the forthcoming year, and had a guest in the form of Maria Hughes of the Birmingham LGBT centre to act as returning officer. We had some emotional speeches from resigning and prospective officers – well, we are a drama group…
Our out-going chair, Tom made a moving speech, stating that he hadn’t been the chair he’d wanted to be, but the chair he could have been in the annus horribilis that was 2020 (due to working on the coalface of the NHS). To demonstrate our gratitude, the group gave him an Amazon gift voucher.
The story of 2020 was next told via graph form in terms of group attendance, as it ebbed and flowed in line with our freedoms and their being curtailed. However, as we have not been able to put on any productions, we have had scant outgoing expenses, but have earned £162.48 via Easyfundraiser app.
If (like Maria was until we put her right) you are unaware of what this is, it basically does what it says on the tin and is an easy way of raising funds for a charity of choice when making on-line purchases, and by going via https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk and, hey presto, “money for nothing”!
Candidates were then placed into zoom breakout rooms while voting took place (with the exception of the person who had set up the meeting, who for sake of ease, literally went into another room within their home). All officers were voted in unanimously.
We rounded off the year in style with our first ever on line party, kicking off with a catch up, then opening our Secret Santa gifts before having Christmas dinner.
Chris led the Longevity Awards, with certificates sent by email for length of service, then Haina took the lead co-ordinating the talent show, featuring people singing, performing skits and even interviewing this years top personality, Corona Virus. We also premiered our Christmas song/video, put together by George. This is available on AOTV (YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWMfm8utuRk
We then had a fun quiz, hosted by Dean. We will be reconvening in the new year.
This week, to get us into the spirit(s) of the season, we read a script of Dickens’s “Christmas Carol”. This was multi-narrated by five actors playing multiple characters (fun after a few drinks).
We are looking forward to our Christmas party next week, being held at this year’s top venue – HOME! We also discussed future plans for a splinter writing group, which will be organised by next year’s committee, whomever that comprises.
This week we had a bit of chat and some music from Sam prior to reading a excerpts script sourced by Dean of Blithe Spirit (Noel Coward). Haina’s echo-y flat really helped add an other-worldy aspect as she played someone’s dead wife.
We also discussed plans for our Christmas party and the possibility of doing a seasonal music based feature.
This week, after our weekly catch up and a discussion about the merits of ginger based beverages, Dean set us a quiz, which Chris won. Along with trying to work out the answers there was also a theme linking the answers – no one guessed that this was the late great Des O’Conner and the lyrics to his hit “Dic a Dum Dum”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OUiuVNWxYA