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Shem Michaels from Stage Wars Tips from Shem Michaels . . . 

Be the character! Mrs. Dragoon likes her actors to enter the theater in character. It's kind of cool to suddenly change from being myself—seventh grade thespian attending Green Bluff Academy—to King Kristof, ruler of Shalamar, in an instant. My foot stepping over the threshold of Dragoon's Palace changes everything. It's something internal, kind of hard to explain. I can be thinking of Creative History and how my cardboard castle turned out, when all of a sudden, I'm a king, a ruler of an island kingdom with heavy responsibilities. If you're in a production, you should try this technique. As soon as you arrive at the door of your theater class or drama group, instantly become your character. In that moment, everything changes and you truly become the character. One world fades away and the other one invites you to enter. It's helped me a lot with becoming my character. And when everyone does it, it's a load of fun.

Debz Elijah from Stage Wars
Tips from Debz Elijah . . .

Smile! Smiling makes you look and feel more confident, even when you might be quaking in your boots. A smile goes a long way in helping you relate to other people too—especially a panel of judges. Not that you should look like a ninny with a huge smile plastered on your face and nothing to say. But when you address the judges or the director or other actors, smile freely. A big grin says I'm happy to be here. I'm going to try my best. And I'm glad the other actors showed up to have fun too. Smiling is a way of communicating joy. And joy is what theater is all about, right? :)

TJ Fortine from Stage Wars Tips from TJ Fortine . . .

Be confident! Why wouldn't I be confident onstage? I know I'm good at what I do. Everyone else knows it too. My face is on the wall of Mrs. Dragoon's “wall of fame” six times. Pretty good for an eighth grader. I started out as an extra in The Music Man in fourth grade. I got to pound on an imaginary drum and march around River City with the band. It was a real kick. By the next year, I wanted a talking part. So I practiced my monologue morning and night. I chose a piece from Narnia. I recited it to Dad, my grandparents, the neighbors, anyone who would listen. I did it so good my granny cried. I knew I could win a part if I tried hard enough. What about you? When it's time for auditions do you recite your monologue to others? Do you say it over and over until you're reciting it in your sleep? That's what I do. If I want a part, I practice until I'm completely confident in the words and emotions I want to portray. And, hey, if Granny cries, it's got to be good!



Claire Moss from Stage Wars
Tips from Claire Moss . . .

Live in the story. I don't have theater experience, so I can't tell you what to do in that arena. But as a writer, this is my trick . . . I love to live in the story. When I'm all into writing one of my medieval tales, I get sucked right into the storyline as if I really live in that time zone. Shem told me that's what happens when he's portraying a character onstage too. He gets so deep into King Kristof, it's as if he IS the king. So when you're onstage, go beyond pretending and "be" the character so you can experience all his or her emotions, problems, and victories. Then you'll be "living in the story" the way I do.

Philly Davidson from Stage Wars
Tips from Philly Davidson . . .

Have fun! You probably already know this about me, but I like to have fun! When Mrs. Dragoon lets us play drama games, it's the best theater class ever. One of my favorites is gibberish. Check out the instructions under "Fun" above. “Spe can de wa pu-to biki miki to-to?” Yep, that's my favorite gibberish line. You see, I like to have a load of laughs in theater. I love diving into character, especially if he's dorky and funny. When the audience laughs, it's like candy. I can't get enough of it. Whatever you're doing in theater, have fun. Laugh. Enjoy your friends. Live in the story in a way that's a blast. And you'll never forget it.

Cammie Michaels from Stage Wars Tips from Cammie Michaels . . .

Don't take yourself too seriously. It's easy to worry and fret over the whole auditioning process. And you have to be prepared. I'm not saying you shouldn't be. But, here's the thing. You've got to enjoy what you're doing, because if you're not having a good time, even in auditions, it will show! Do you love acting? Then act like you love acting! Do you love performing? Be joyful during your audition performance and practices. Lots of kids love sports. They try out for teams, they practice like crazy, and they love it. That's me with theater and I have a ton of fun at it. I hope my enjoyment shows onstage. Because if I'm wild about walking in my character's shoes, the audience will probably have a grand old time watching. And that's fab-u-lous in my book.




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