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Watching level 2 rehearsals

Today I helped the actors move all the props they had from the studio where they were practicing to the white room so that construction could start making the set. So, I moved some blankets and some boxes in multiple journeys back and forth. Then I watched the level 2 rehearsals where I found out that they used 13 cardboard boxes in one of the scenes to represent memory boxes which the director wanted them to be grey, white and black. Then in another scene an actor played a short, looped tune on a keyboard. There were also a lot of leaves because there was a box full, 3 actors with arms full of leaves and an upside down stage block filled up with them, so I think we need to order more leaves if they don’t work in the snow machine. Then in another scene the actors grab the puzzle pieces, and they scatter them across both sides of the stage as they pretend to try and solve it in the background of another actor talking which I wasn’t sure who would be picking them up and when. Then in another scene they wanted a clock ticking sound to be playing, plastic bowls, plates and spoons, cloths to be used as napkins and then the sound of Mary Poppins from the film to be talking muffled in the background of the clock ticking. Then in another scene they use the big bit of blue fabric used in the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang show and they want the fabric to be pre set somewhere that the corners can be easily grabbed which will be sorted out during it’s tech rehearsals. Then I helped the level 2 actors clean up the rehearsal space, so I picked up some of the puzzle pieces from the floor into a bag and then I asked which puzzle box it went into and then I put it into that box. Then I helped an actor move one of the long double stage blocks across the room to with the rest of the props.

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Big blue fabric piece used in rehearsals

Puzzle pieces scattered on floor 

Notes I made while watching rehearsals

Helping clear up

Stage box I moved (brown one)


Some of the props after tidied into a corner

Painting boxes

Today the actors were in the studio practicing on the set made by construction which wasn’t decorated yet. Then I remembered that the boxes were wanted to be painted black, grey and white so I asked the director when do you want the boxes painted, and she said that we could paint them now if we wanted to so me and couple of others moved some of the boxes into the workshop. Then me some other people talked about how there were 13 boxes and if we were going to paint them in 3 different colours it would be split into 4 of one colour, 4 of another colour and 5 of another colour. Then I got some black gaffa tape and I made the boxes more secure, so they don’t fold open then I got black paint and a brush which I used to paint on the cardboard and tape on every side. Then I painted 5 black boxes, and the rest of the boxes were painted by other people. After all the boxes were dry we needed to add a second layer of paint on so the cardboard couldn’t be seen but some of the boxes were coming apart because the tape couldn’t keep the box together and they had holes in too so we didn’t add a second lay of paint to 4 or 5 of the boxes because they would go in the bin and we would get better cardboard boxes to paint. Then I painted a second layer of paint onto the black boxes then I painted one of the white boxes. Then I did some coursework.

Level 2 set in studio not decorated and railings not put up yet


Box before painted and after taped


Box after painted


Black boxes after 2nd layer of black paint

Pile of boxes that were too destroyed

Clearing up brainstorm rehearsal

Today I got a broom and I swept up the auditorium floor where there was confetti all over the floor and on the raised platforms. While I swept up the dirt and confetti I into piles someone else used a dustpan and brush. Then I went into the workshop where someone taped up the boxes that weren't destroyed and then I painted another layer of paint onto the grey and white boxes. Then I washed up my brushes that I used and then I put some clingy film over the grey paint because it was a paint mixture from a bucket and it didn't have a lid. Then I moved some props that didn't use from design into the props store which were bottles, lids, whiskey flash, empty coffee cups and a suitcase. Then there was the Brainstorm dress rehearsal and before it started the stage management tutor showed us what to check before the show starts so I noted it down and then someone else usedy notes to create a spreadsheet on Exel that was printed off. Then I put an A and T card underneath every audience seat for the scene where the audience vote adult or teenager by holding up one of the cards. Then went through the list of things to check before the show. In the interval I grabbed a bowl of the notes and I pre set it near box 7 and then I got told that I was meant to grab the yellow bucket with the notes in so I Put the bowl back and then I put the bucket there instead. Then I got told that the plans have changed and the A and T cards won't be put underneath the chairs before the show but put on the chairs during the interval when the audience members would have left, this change was made so that the cards weren't squashed or pushed off the stage deck by bags and coats. So me and some other people moved the cards from below the chairs to on top. Then after the dress rehearsal had ended me and some others picked up all of the cards while other people were sweeping up the confetti. Then I picked up some of the colourful ping pong balls which weren't picked up and some bits of confetti that was not sweeped up. Then the show was where I did the same thing as I did in the dress rehearsal but when the fizzy water was opened it exploded more than we thought it would which was a slip hazard to the actors so one of the technology went on stage and cleaned up the fizzy water. Also the interactive audience parts of the show went well and I heard the audience laughing and clapping too.

Brainstorm set I swept confetti from


Boxes that I painted 

Painting boxes

Moving props


Props that I moved to the props store

The dress rehearsal


Notes I made of things to do before show


Cards that were placed under seats

Cards placed under the seats


Dress rehearsal interval

Bucket of notes pre-set under stage deck

Cards on audience chair

After dress rehearsal

The show

My presentation

Today I did my presentation on what department I want to specialize in which I presented with a PowerPoint as a talked through it. First, I talked about some things that you do in stage management then I talked about some of the props I’ve made across my time in college with a slide that had a bunch of prop pictures which I said what show I made it for or what installation project it was made for or if it was made to improve my prop making skills. Then I showed pictures of what my 1st and 2nd installation project was which was Rumpelstiltskin and a plague doctor in modern times. Then I talked about how I researched, designed and made a dagger from EVA foam. Then I talked about some props that I made at home for my stop motion animation YouTube channel. After that I talked about what I want to improve on next year and my plans for after college. Then I answered some questions from the students and tutors about my presentation and I got the questions of what my favourite prop I’ve made is, Do I see animation as a job path or a hobby and how easy or hard is it to resource materials for making props which I think I answered them all quite well. Then I watched the level 3 and level 3 extended student's presentations which were interesting, and I gave some questions at the end of some presentations too. The level 3 extended presentations were interesting to watch because I would be presenting the same thing as them, which was about researching people in work in the technical theatre industry and then trying to get in contact with them to ask questions. The questions that were asked the most to them were what is your experience in technical theatre, where did you study technical theatre, what was the hardest challenge that you had to overcome, what was your favourite show or film that you’ve worked on and what’s your advice for people going into the technical theatre industry. Also, some presentations had where that had traveled to do show around the world. Then I helped out as an ASM for another Brainstorm show which went well apart from when an actor’s deodorant set off the fire alarm, but it was in show mode, so it didn’t make any sound then the actors were told to not use deodorant in the dressing rooms but outside instead. I did the same as what I did in the dress rehearsal, but I also moved the spinning chair with no wheel to an actor who needed to quickly grab it and then I held open the door as they moved the chair through the stage doors.

My PowerPoint presentation

Watching the other presentations

The show

The teenage brain

Then I researched why the teenage brain is different from the adult brain because that’s what Brainstorm is all about. I then found a website that told me teenager’s brains are getting changed and removing the unnecessary parts that we don’t need which is mainly done to the prefrontal cortex part of our brain which helps with forward planning, anticipating consequences, and decision-making. Also, when the brain is removing unnecessary parts from the prefrontal cortex it makes the teen need more sleep and our brains don’t stop changing until our mid 20s. As the prefrontal cortex is changing the limerick system is more active which is the part of our brain that deals with emotions, so teenagers become more emotional, sensitive and get angrier easier.

Research on teenage brain

Researching different versions of Brainstorm

Then I looked online to see if anyone else had done the Brainstorm show which I couldn't find much on until I found a website that showed different actors at Company Three Theatre who helped write the play with Ned Glasier and Emily Lim. They did this play with a Thrust audience so there were seats to the right, left and in front and the raised stage deck was a square that took up most of the performing space and there was a bed at the back in front on a phone shaped screen which showed what the teenagers were doing on their phones during the show but I’m not sure if the screen had live footage on what the actors were doing on their phone or if it was pre recorded. Also, when you are given the rights to perform Brainstorm you are allowed to add dialogue and blocking but you can’t remove any so any other theatre that has put on this play won’t be the same as the one, I helped with.

Company Three Theatre research

Who wrote the play

Company Three Theatre version of Brainstorm

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Original Brainstorm script book cover

Overall evaluation

My first initial thought when I was given the brief was wondering what the show was because I was still making my dagger that I had researched and designed which I found fun to do. My initial thoughts when I found out that we were doing a show called Brainstorm was that I wasn’t sure what it was and all I knew was that it was about the teenage brain so I thought the show would give out lots of information about the teenage brain and being about mental health and the science behind it. When I watched the actors rehearse brainstorm for the first time, I got the impression of the show being chaotic with lots of props and that it was more about what goes on inside the brain of a teenager. The show was interesting, and it stood out from other shows because of the audience participation but it started to get bored after seeing the same show over and over again but if I was in the audience and seeing the show for the first time, I think I would have enjoyed it. The research I did for this show was mainly finding props to buy for the show, but I also looked for pictures to print off that was used in the teenager’s bedroom, but I also did research when thinking of designs for my prop dagger before we started working on the show. Some of the things I researched to buy that was used in the show were red and green cards, confetti cannons and colourful ping pong balls. When researching props to buy I had to look at multiple products because I needed to look at price, delivery and if applies the amount you get like the red and green card and colourful ping pong balls. One of the things that I researched which was printed and cut out was pictures of Harry styles. I’ve also done research to find out information when I was writing about the three stage types and three acting types. I also researched how the teenage brain was misunderstood compared to adult brains because that was what the show was about, but it didn’t give much information into why it was misunderstood. The research I did helped because I researched things that were needed for the props to be made or I was looking to buy the prop. The pack of red and green cards I found which was ordered was cut out and a T or A was put on them with a pen which stood for Teenager and Adult which was used by the audience to vote on if what an actor said was said by a teenage or an adult by holding up their card. The pack of 12 confetti cannons that I researched was bought was used by an actor above the head of an audience member who had the Never have I ever and spin the actor game which added to the chaos of the scene which was on purpose. The colourful ping pong balls that I found which was bought was put in a bucket and poured all over the floor during a scene where the actors were messing up their bedroom and throwing other props like clothes and paper also the ping pong balls were picked back up and put into the bucket by the actor on stage too. The props that I mentioned are just some examples and not even all of the props that I researched. The Harry Styles pictures that I found printed and cut was used in one of the teenager's bedrooms which were the raised stage decks near the audience members and every actor came up with a personality for the teenager they were actors as so their bedrooms had different props in. What went well was the show because the only problem that we came across was on one night where the fizzy water spillage hadn’t been cleaned up properly by the actor, so it became a slip hazard for the actors so one of the techies went on to the performing area and cleared up the spillage with a towel. The show had some good reactions from the audience and the bit where the audience wrote to themselves as a teenager was funny and better than I thought with answers I never would have thought of. There were also a couple of scenes that I weren’t blocked yet when I watched the rehearsals, so I watched some scenes through the live camera footage on a screen, microphone and speaker that I hadn’t seen before. I came across the problem of not having certain props which me and the rest of the students did by going to the shops with a list of items to buy and money to spend but we needed to get every receipt for props we bought. We bought squash, 3 puzzle boxes, lots of sweets and 6 boxes of tissues which brought us to the total of £56.89 including the cost of the bags which we needed as a prop too. The only thing that we didn’t find was medium sized flat pack cardboard boxes which I managed to find online and email to the stage management tutor to buy from the stage management budget. I developed as a technician by improving my researching, prop making and presenting skills. Even though most of the props were bought for this show I improved my prop making skills from when I was making my dagger and severed finger. I have also improved my presentation skills by giving a PowerPoint presentation to all of the 1st year students and the tutors about what I want to specialize in next year also after my presentation I answered questions too. I have improved my research skills lots from this show because most of the props were bought online and there were so many props bought that stage management went over budget, so we got given some money from the construction department that didn’t need it. I worked well with other team members especially when I was helping construction make the set for Brainstorm because I needed to communicate with other people a lot for this. I had to talk to others, so I understood what they wanted the set to look like at the end and to know what I was supposed to do. I helped in a team by going underneath a stage deck with two podgers, some nuts and bolts to put the stage decks together and two other people were holding the stage deck I was underneath, and I communicated with someone else who was underneath the stage deck with me too. I also carried stage decks with another person carrying it on the other side too. I enjoyed designing and making the prop dagger which was done to improve my prop making skills and this was after the dance show but before we had information about the show Brainstorm. What I find the easiest way of designing is to as creative possible and then dialing it down to make it possible to make also researching images online gave me lots of inspiration. Making the dagger was also fun but it was a bit annoying when I had to wait for the glue to dry so the paint would stick and when I had to wait for the paint to dry twice because I needed two layers of paint. I also got to take it home which I put on my shelf. What I found challenging was coming up with ideas to make my PowerPoint longer because I was looking at the brief of what needed to be included in the presentation, but I wasn’t thinking on why I wanted to specialize in stage management and what I enjoy about it which got me stumped for a while on only having four PowerPoint slides and I eventually ended up with thirteen slides on my five to ten minutes presentation. I also found it challenging to cut out my outline on the EVA foam with a scalpel for my dagger, so I didn’t have enough time to make a double sided dagger which was my original design, so I had to change my design and I was still happy the end result of my dagger. What stood out to me the most was the presentation because I presented it better than I thought I would, and I also watched the level 3 extended student’s presentation which I would be presenting next year. Their presentation was about People in the technical theatre working industry where they researched about people working in their chosen department they wanted to specialize in and then asking them question and then showing their response. Also, one of the students who did the same presentation theme as me wanted to improve on their paint mixing skills and then the stage management tutor recommended having a small colour wheel that shows what paint colours you need to get a certain shade and I also need to improve on my paint colour mixing skills t I am good at doing research especially when I need to find a prop to buy, which I do by looking at different places and by looking at the delivery time and price. I’m also good at making sure that we have all the props in the correct place and that the props we need too pre set are pre set and I’m good at coming up with design ideas. I would like to improve my knowledge of how to be an DSM which stands for Deputy stage manager, and I would like to improve my skills on Excel which would be useful as a technician to create prop check lists, pre set check lists, a table of how much money we’ve spent and how much money is left in the budget and some other thing too. I would also like to improve on my paint mixing skills, which I could do by having a colour wheel that shows which colours create what shade of a paint colour and with practice.

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