Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Evaluation of Monologue Performance

When I decided on my monologue at first I didn’t understand what type of monologue we were meant to choose.

At first I choose a scene from the film ‘Jerry Maguire’ not knowing what a monologue was. Then I search the Internet to find a monologue that lasted three minutes that would be best suited to my style of acting. I found a website that was best fix for actors called ‘Actor’ which had Monologues divided into men and women, ages and more importantly length of how long the performance is meant to be.

While looking at this website I discovered the best monologue that best suited my acting style. The one I ended up choosing is ‘Grant Me Serenity’ by Shannon McDougall. I fell in love with the script as I found the character challenging to perform and wanted something different from what I would normally play.

In my rehearsal process I had to learn how to perform an American accent. While it the past I found putting on a Belfast and Austrian accent was easy to me, an American accent would become tricky for me
From reading to Monologue I understand the accent has to sound like I come from Oklahoma and live in New York recently. Looking at movies and television shows which had characters from these places in America, I was able to pick up the accent from these sources and felt good about the accent I picked up from these films. Now I can’t get the main song from the movie Oklahoma out of my head but it’s worth it for this project.

Other problems I have it rehearsal is learning the lines. As this was the first monologue I have ever learnt, finding tricks in remembering lines was one of my best ways of learning the monologue.
I started off saying each of the lines four times to get myself to remember then I read paragraphs very fast to also remember. I repeated this system for each of the lines and paragraphs and then the whole monologue. This helped my confidence in knowing my lines ready to perform my monologue on the final date.

On the date of the main performance, we had the chance to practise are pieces and I chose the stage to run through my monologue. With the teacher seeing me on the stage, I was chosen to perform first.
So I was ready to perform my monologue “Grant Me Serenity”.
After my performance was done and I pick myself from the floor, I then thought about the minor improvements I would make to my performance because I believe I performed one of my best drama pieces.

While I didn’t forget much of my lines I did pause a couple of more times than I actually planned. Another thing I did was repeated certain lines twice in a row without meaning too simply because of slight nerves I had while performing the monologue.With the tricks I learnt about remembering script gave me no trouble and judging the audience reaction, I believe my performance was really strong and well received by my fellow classmates.


Grant Me Serenity by Shannon McDougall



Age (range):


3 minutes

Background Info: The character, Adam discussing and contemplating suicide. His speech is directed at God.

God grant me wings to fly, so I can fly far above the heavens and reach a state of heavenly bliss. Can’t you at least give me that? I mean, I’ve been bleeding ever since I arrived on this miserable planet...... I know you aren’t listening, but hey that's fine that's fucking fine, your absence is almost comforting. I was once hopeful. I wanted to be a dancer in a world where people surrendered themselves to the music, felt the beat and lived the passion. My dreams came crashing down every time father said "Men don’t dance, I ought to belt you, you little bastard," But that never stopped me. I fell in love 20 years ago, I was so desperately in love but that didn’t last, ha nothing ever does, you should know that.

After I left her, I earned enough cash to buy a guitar. She was brand new and perfectly tuned. She was my first love. My second was a bottle of whiskey. I thought of who I might give my greatest possession to when death took me. I left suzie in Oklahoma with the promise that I would come back. I broke my promise and now the guilt has eaten me inside out. I can hardly breathe. The memory of leaving her is burnt into the back of my head and now regret consumes my soul. I never forgot about her, never, I was consumed by evil. I turned into a lost soul, wandering into the dark places.

All I needed was the courage to triumph over the evil, but it was easier not to. You gave me all the talent I needed, but I was unable to nurture it. Once upon a time, I would hear Buddy Holly’s music on the wireless and it always inspired me, reassuring me that I had reason to live. He is like a comet blazing brightly, I am a sleepy planet, a candle burnt out, desperate to reach the surface.

New York was a mistake waiting to happen. The city of dreams they say, they lie. This stinking city has brought me misfortune and from that I keep bad memories. So many people have left this city as failures, I am no exception I just never left. The very stench of failure crowds my air. New York swallowed me whole and then spat me out, numb. I would sit alone at night playing my guitar softly being careful not to wake anyone. Although my vision was hazed from so many sleepless nights I pressed on trying to reach perfection, but their was no love in my heart, it had already set to stone.

I would do anything to go back. Do you have any empathy? Any regard for your people? Do you like to watch the torment, the suffering, the pain ?! I am bleeding, I am pained, I am the walking dead! Please excuse me, for this world does not have room for people like me.

I was merely a visitor. Now I will sit amongst the stars and watch the world as it continues to spin without me. My death will end the pressure, and I will float. I will float away into the distance until I reach a state of heavenly bliss with or without your help.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

don't you hate getting a bad cough

it makes you feel down all the time and every couple of minutes you just want to cough your guts up. It case you haven't guess I have a bad cough and i hate feeling down all the time in the past week. I hope i feel better by next week.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I've picked up a strong Northern Irish Accent in Northern Ireland

The title does explain my shock about hearing my voice when we were watching our practise performance of our upcoming play "Teechers" on Video.
First of all am so please that the Speech Problem that has effected my voice for as long as i remembered is now history but by losing this life long problem, i've picked up a strong Northern Ireland accent.
I love to know where i got this from and who gave it to me. I hope that whenever i may need it i can pick up an american or british almost perfectly.

Friday, February 03, 2006

My Monday of being shaken

About what happen on Monday, classes ended early when My teacher told us we didn't had much work to do and i was almost about to stay until 3.30pm but didn't.
I went on the bus to Coleraine at 2pm, went shopping for my magazine and get films out with Xtravision (btw Stealth isn't a good movie, wish i didn't rent it) and notice i didn't have money for my bus so i went straight to my mum at ASDA.

So i waited until 3pm for my mum to get out of work and then she tells me the news. As the hospital was only next door to ASDA, it was a quick ride and beat the ambulance there as she just got the news there at that moment.

From what I heard, Dad fell down a short flight of stairs as he was carrying empty boxes and didn't see his next step. He felt okay at that moment but everyone around him wanted him to stay on the floor, they call for the ambulance that came in minutes and everything that followed was just to be safe.

He took about 4 hours in hospital to make sure everything was okay, he’s taken a couple of days off to recover. Plus John arrives to visit at the hospital within moments of us arriving coming from the news that someone broke into your old house (the stuff that was stolen got returned soon after). A lot happen this day that you think its a script from a badly written soap opera.
But i do think my mum would have never been able to collect me at the bus station at 4pm and i just went to mum at ASDA out of the blue. So i think God was helping us out by getting us in one place. i admit i was a bit shaken as in was sudden.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Let me introduce myself

My Name is Brian Swann, am 20 years old and I'm from Coleraine, Northern Ireland.
Am an Actor who is currently studying National Diploma of Performing Arts in Ballymoney.I am highly motivated and an independent, hard working person. My academic interests over the last few years have been in the Performing Arts Sector.
My success in the first Diploma course encouraged me to undertake my present course of study the BTEC National Diploma and I now wish to concentrate on the Performance element and further my studies.
I have been active in Drama for the last five years and have taken part in various productions at different levels including the part of Eugene in 'Grease'.The demands of playing a variety of characters in a number of different productions have developed my acting skills and I feel I have matured as a performer. I have worked as part of a team in producing and staging various college productions and have been involved in making a short film called 'The Limit'.
I have also been apart of Festive Parades for the Coleraine Christmas Lights Switch On where I’ve played a Troop Leader. These activities have developed my communication skills as well as my team-working skills.
My goal is to become a professional actor. I am very keen to develop my abilities in other areas like directing and script writing and to learn more about the profession.

My Interests are
Songwriter with over 200 songs, Website Designer, Community Worker, Love Taken Photographs and Been Training in acting for last Five Years

My Favourite Movies are
Lost in Translation, The Bourne Supremacy, Wallace and Gromit, Back to the Future, Finding Nemo, Catch Me If You Can, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean, School of Rock, Toy Story, The Incredibles, Rat Race, Shrek 2, Dodgeball, Spiderman 2, The Lion King, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Fanastic Four, Hero, X Men 2

My Favourite TV Shows Currently are
Whose Line is it Anyway, Two And A Half Men, The Mole Australia, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, House, Mahou Sentai Magiranger, Doctor Who, Deal or No Deal, Lost and Everwood (or 'Our New Life in Everwood')

Favourite Music
Shannon Noll, Jeremy Camp, Third Day, Bon Jovi, James Blunt, Vertical Horzion, Lifehouse,Black Eye Peas, Kelly Clarkson, Outkast,Goo Goo Dolls, Natasha Bedingfield, Creed, Sarah Connor, Kids in the Way