Which means that's what my kids got to work on tonight.
There are a couple of challenges to working on this stuff with teenagers:
- The teenage brain isn't completely wired for emotional response. From an interesting article: "The area of the brain associated with higher-level thinking, empathy, and guilt is underused by teenagers, reports a new study."
- Life experience is helpful in playing scenes that let you showcase a range of emotional reactions.
- Kids are giggly.
- Warmup: Big Booty, Killer Bunny (to build energy and get focused)
- Pass an emotion
- Ping Pong (from the Physical Comedy Handbook)
- Character walk with animal spine and status—add Ping Pong
- Timed scenes with setup (no eye contact, start with shape) and physical/emotional check-in before dialogue
- Ditto, but with numbers instead of dialogue* (scene ends when they hit 50)
- Full Plus Ronde with numbers instead of dialogue
- Busby Berkeley
Now I'm looking very forward to trying the same thing with Erik when we rehearse tomorrow.
*Yes, we could use gibberish instead. If you're good at gibberish, awesome—if you're not, or have never done it before, it's easy to let working hard to create varied gibberish become a distraction. Numbers make it easy to say something without that something mattering.