Staying indoors doesn’t have to mean staying alone

This week, the blog comes from Greg:

“Another week as rollicking as we can possibly be without leaving our houses, starting with a finish the lyric and a large discussion regarding the smash hit Tiger King in which the following was unanimously agreed; Carole Baskin killed her husband and Jeff Lowe is not her husband in disguise.
After a short catch up we then attempted a new game where popular scenes are changed to a more local setting, for example finding a missing girl who was supposedly travelling from West Bromwich the other day – after a couple of hiccups we realised the film was Psycho and that she wasn’t actually from West Bromwich, but imagine if she was? I’m not sure Hitchcock would have approved.
We’re once again keeping eachother safe and sane staying indoors and keeping eachother company – everyone should remember to do the same. Staying indoors doesn’t have to mean staying alone.”

Discord: working out pretty damn well!

This week, Ed had the following to report on AO life on lockdown:

“Our usual Thursday meeting is continuing despite the lockdown. Thank the stars for technology! Our platform of choice is Discord which is working out pretty damn well.

This week’s warm-up was 2 Facts, 1 Lie. It was a great opportunity to learn something new about our members who were present, and we witnessed a masterful ploy by Stephen! He’s a sly one…

We continued on until about 8pm, chatting and catching up with each other. It’s absolutely vital for us to stay in contact with the people who matter to us. Even though some of us are still going into work, like myself, Tom and others, and some of us are working from home, being part of a regular social event is absolutely crucial to keep us happy and sane in these truly bizarre times.

I’m really looking forward to this week!”

Dean on the delights of Discord

This week’s blog comes from Dean:

“This week for the second time Acting Out were able to meet virtually through an app called Discord. This includes a page where people can type words to talk to each other but also an audio function where we can have a group discussion and hear each other’s voices.

For the first time this week I used the audio function in which I could hear my fellow Acting Out members and could use a ‘push to talk’ function when I wanted to say something.

People were not up for a serious rehearsal in the current circumstances so we played a game of taking it turns naming famous(ish) people using the first letter of the surname of the famous person that the last member said. This resulted in several cries of “who’s that” and explanations followed.

We then broke away for the now traditional Clap for Carers and Key Workers in support of the work of so many people including some Acting Out members are doing at this crucial time.

After that in the second hour some of us stayed on for a chat and general discussion about how everyone’s week had been and how we are all coping in this time of isolation.

Now more than ever when we can’t meet physically it’s important that we all catch up on a Thursday evening and hear friendly, familiar voices.

Acting Out is still doing its job (virtually at least) of bringing people together socially despite a virus that has no respect for this.”

A Comma, not a Full Stop

It is with great sadness that ACTING OUT have suspended meeting for the foreseeable future due to government guidelines regarding COVID-19.  The situation will be reviewed on an on-going basis. We are, however, currently trialling methods of meeting virtually using the wizardry of web-based technology.  THIS IS NOT THE END OF ACTING OUT!

“Deliciously Awkward!”

This week, our “blogger in the field” was Al, and his despatch is as so: “Not the cheeriest of starts this week as we discussed the impact of coronavirus on the group and whether we cancel meetings. The upshot being that we each make our own decision and no one should feel obliged to attend but that given we may soon have the choice taken out of our (well sanitised) hands those who wanted to keep coming can do so. Acting Out has always brought people together and reduced isolation so those who wish to can carry on until official advice changes. However, there may well be implications for Seven thirty for Eight and it’ll be kept under review.

So after an alphabetical warm up (thanks Dean) non-contact rehearsals continued. The characters are really coming on and most of us remembered where we were supposed to stand and we got our first review “it’s deliciously awkward” (again, thanks Dean) – we’ll take that!”

Germ free greetings and drunken dancing

Who/Flu thought Coronavirus would be the inspiration for Ifor’s warm up, which was around non-hand-based ways of greeting people as we opened this week’s meeting? Plenty of other body parts may safely meet – elbows, knees, toes…..

We have confirmed that the next production, “7.30 for 8.00” (penned by our very own Al) will be being performed @MAC 3-4/7. As such the cast continued to “block”/plan who will be where and when, when they stand up, go get a drink etc re: Act 2. Oh, and dance, pseudo-drunkenly!

Getting Breakfast (and Blocking) Done!

This week we warmed up with a game “Master, Master, who am I?’ in which we had to guess who was saying that whilst attempting to disguise their voice.  Most were guessed successfully – the group clearly know each others voices well!

The cast for our next production “Seven Thirty for Eight” commenced blocking.  To explain, we worked out where actors would be at particular points in the play.  Downstairs, a bizarre story was devised around the this year’s Pride theme “stronger together”, which culminated in a diverse set of characters coming together to “Get Breakfast Done”!

Fun Facts, Pride Planning and Rehearsing

A snapshot of what the group got up to this week, as witnessed by Simon:

“Despite transport issues for some we gathered again in the upper room at the Craven Arms. The warm up, led by Haina, was to reveal something about ourselves that nobody else in the group would know. We discovered (amongst other fun and interesting facts) who was related to the Tipton Slasher, which of us was learning Esperanto , which Acting Outer is a classically trained clarinettist and who had launched  foul mouthed tirade towards celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott!

Following that we divided with the group in the bar thinking about our presence at Birmingham Pride and finding ways to play to our strengths within the theme. Chris led us in sharing what ‘Stronger Together’ meant for each of us and our experiences of prides in the past. A highlight was hearing Ifor’s tale of coming out and his first gay liberation march in 1978,

Meanwhile the cast of ‘Seven Thirty for Eight’ finished the read through and then spent time working on characterisation. They focused on gear changes in the play and how they might show different sides of the characters. It was good to see the developing dynamic between characters at only the second rehearsal .”

It’s starting (with a bang)

This week it’s Stephen’s turn to report on what occurred at our weekly meeting, and they have the following to share:

“The evening started with a bang, as Greg warmed us up with the game of duck the bullet, shoot your neighbour. The fun came to a head with a final standoff between Al & Alaena for the final shot, but in good team spirits a draw was declared between the two. 

In the second part of the evening, rehearsals for 7:30 to 8 started upstairs with a read through of the first act with the new cast. It’s early stages yet but you can really start to see the characters forming and it looks like it’s going to be a fun show to work on. Downstairs a read through of Stuart’s new script ‘The Abusive Tango’ took place introducing the characters of Derek and Samson. This one sounds like an intriguing one and it will be interesting to see how it develops over the next few weeks. “