Episode 104: Hello from the Ogre Side
Alec Baldwin gives the Greenies their first lesson in acting while Peri is upset that she’s been cast as the ogre in their upcoming show.
Featured Art: Acting
It’s always important to remember that acting is never just for professionals. Whether in school, in sketches or short films shot at home, or performing in a community theater, it’s never too early to try acting, or too late!
Alec Baldwin comes on to teach our Greenies the fundamentals of playing pretend. Acting curriculums, dealing with a broad subject, tend to zero in on things like improvisation, body control, and vocal projection. But there are other important lessons for aspiring actors to learn, one of those being an embrace of every role.
Peri is devastated to receive the role of the Ogre. When teaching Drama to kids, emotions over specific roles may be a common occurrence. Alec has to teach Peri about the importance of every role, including those in supporting or antagonizing roles. Being the star sounds fun, but the play can’t exist without everyone else pitching in as well. In fact, the song he sings with Ms. Julie emphasizes the wide variety of roles that are out there.
More advanced elements of acting include blocking, pantomime, and line memorization, all elements touched upon during Julie’s Greenroom. After all, acting isn’t all fun and games. Acting classes try to impart not only the willingness to get loose and use your imagination, but also the focus required to hit your marks, memorize dozens of lines, and nail delivery / timing.
Children interested in acting can join a theater program, take classes at a conservatory, or simply start performing on their own. An interest in acting doesn’t have to directly translate to stardom or financial success – acting can unlock a creative joy, or uncover a side of oneself we never knew existed.
Warm Up Game: Boom-Chicka-Boom
To help get in character for acting, Gus and the Greenies play Boom-Chicka-Boom, a popular call-and-response song. The basics are pretty easy. To start:
I said a boom-ch cka-boom (x2)
I said a boom-chicka-rocka-chicka-rocka-chicka boom (x2)
Oh yeah (x2)
Now’s when the character comes in: Lion, Cowboy, Racecar, underwater, builder style, pond style, majesty style… you name it! Just add a sound and a relevant motion to the phrase, like so:
Lion: Boom chicka Grr chicka grr chicka boom
Cowboy: Boom chicka ropa chicka ropa chicka boom
Racecar: Vroom chicka rocka chicka rocka chicka vroom
Underwater: Boom chicka bluba chicka bluba chicka boom
Builder: Boom chicka hammer chicka hammer chicka boom
Majesty: Boom chicka curtsy chicka curtsy chicka boom
For example, for “builder,” Riley pretends to hammer in a nail as she embodies the character. Peri curtsies, like a princess would. Pick a character and try it yourself! Boom-chicka-Boom is a fun game to practice voices, sounds, and pantomimes, all while loosening us up for a day of acting. What style will you do?