Friday, May 27, 2016

Accents - Funeral Tea

As I mentioned in my first post, part of my development of this world would come from accents. Although the playwright suggests a British or Cockney, I wanted to make a deliberate choice by using them. I wanted these women to sound like they were from the lower class and longing for attention.One can see that they are of such status because they comment on their outfits saying that they bought them especially for the occasion. To me, this illustrates that this is not only a special occasion but that it is something that they are not used to. Due to this, the funeral causes them to be spoiled because, as the niece of the deceased, Miss Starkie, puts it, "All provided for... all provided for in Uncle Jacob's will" I believe that part of the subtle humor of the piece is that they look prim and proper but their speech suggests otherwise.

Not being British myself, I had to not only learn how to speak in a Cockney accent but also teach it to my five girls and have them perform it in about a six week time span. As if this wasn't enough of a challenge, I decided to set a personal goal: to speak every line in the play in their accent. I figured that in order to teach it, I mus challenge myself but I also must know it well enough to correct them. It took me about a week of youtube searches, how-to guides, articles, to boil down a digestible and obtainable version for my cast. I chose to devote one of our rehearsals to go through the accent, having them take notes and repeat after me. Since I am considering going into education, I have found this experience enlightening in itself.
Over the past couple weeks, I have continued to study. The best tool that I have been given was by a cast mate of mine over the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead performances has been a disc course of how to speak use a Cockney accent. With performances so close ahead, we have reached the point where I have picked on each cast member with words, phrases, or even the musicality of their speech. The next task that we have ahead of us is to make all of our accents sound like an ensemble rather than individualized by really listening to each other. After all, so much of acting is made up of the moments when one is listening.

Until next time,

Sedona Garcia

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