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The Theatrics Formula; Drama kids assemble
Topic Started: May 14 2015, 06:15 PM (1,596 Views)
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((Nate Turner Pregame Start))

“It was a dark and stormy night, and the house was empty but for one young lady. She was curled up on the sofa, the fireplace roaring with a blazing heat as a tree scratched against the window outside and rain beat against the glass. She sipped her cocoa, but it did little to calm her nerves as… as… nuts.”

Nate glanced down at the script in defeat, then pressed his head into it as he let out a groan. He’d been running the line in his head ever since the bell for final period had rung so that he could set the scene, swearing to himself he’d have it memorised in time for the drama club meeting, but here he was still having to fall back on the text after two lines.

The school was between productions at the moment, so for now the group were just running exercises to keep everyone’s acting muscles nice and limber. Whilst he was looking forward to finding out what show they were going to be putting on next, the downtime was still plenty fun as he got to have a few laughs with his friends.

That’s what he would be doing, anyway, if he hadn’t been the first to show up. This meeting was taking place in the math class, as the gym had been taken over by Coach Parkinson for whatever reason. The series of mathematical posters decorating the walls of the room provided an interesting contrast to the creatively abstract theatrics it was about to house, but for now it just felt empty.

Nate hated empty rooms. He began to scratch his arm, glancing at the door more than the script as he hoped someone would show up soon. He was pretty sure that the meeting hadn’t been cancelled; he’d have heard about it if it had been, right?

Right?
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Nate’s heart skipped a beat when Coleen walked in, a smile plastering itself across his face as company finally arrived.

“Hey Coleen!” Nate replied, waving back at her. “I don’t think it’s just us, but we’re the first, I guess?”

Nate wasn't that familiar with Coleen, beyond what he knew about her through the theatre club, but he liked her. They didn’t share any classes together, what with her being a senior, and this was the only club they were both members of. Still, she was always friendly and polite and easy to talk to, so that was enough for Nate.

As he smiled up at her from the table he was sat on, her eyes crept down to the script that was still in his hand. He’d forgotten he had it with him for a moment.

“Oh, this? Nah, I couldn’t write something like that.” he chuckled, “I printed it off the internet. It’s supposed to be like some improv scene, where you’ve got the main character in a gloomy house on a stormy night and then everyone comes up with things happening. Looked fun.”

Looked like less lines for memorising too, beyond the introduction. All the better to save him from worrying about screwing up other peoples' prompts when he forgot what to say.

He sprung off the table, walked right up to Coleen and held out the script. “See for yourself.”
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Nate gave an awkward smile to Coleen as he took the script back from her, deciding to keep his struggles to himself for the time being. He was nodding in agreement about moving the chairs when Jane announced her presence in the doorway.

“Hi, Jane.” He replied, giving her a small wave. Jane was pretty different to Coleen: loud, bossy, and not one to mince words, Nate usually felt a bit nervous when he found out he was going to work with her. He was just glad she stuck to the backstage, rather than think how she’d react if he lost his place in the script in a scene with her.

“We were just about to move the chairs around, if you want to give us a hand?” He smiled at her, then started stepping backwards towards the tables before he got a reply. He was about halfway there when he turned back to the girls, waiting for one of them to confirm that this was in fact the plan for now whilst also remembering what he'd been thinking about until Coleen had arrived.

“Oh yeah, and I showed Coleen an improv thing we could maybe do when that’s done and people show up, if you think that’d be cool?” He waved the hand with the script in it, just to be clear.
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Nate was in the middle of dragging a desk into position, showing little trouble with the task compared to Coleen, when she threw the name Summertree at him. He returned her a blank look, as the title sailed clearly over his head.

“I don’t know that one. What’s it about?” he asked, aiming the question a little towards Jane too, since she seemed to know more about it. He looked to Irene as well, though he didn’t want to find out that everyone besides himself knew what Coleen was talking about. Hopefully it was just some obscure movie which there was no reason for him to know about, and he wouldn’t have to feel out of touch or uninformed, or stupid.

It was nice of Irene to show up, though her intention not to stick around wasn’t surprising. He’d known her long enough to know that she followed her whims to a T, and that being flighty and being Irene were one and the same. He had to admit that he admired her confidence in her approach to life, though, and if nothing else she was a nice enough person.

As the circle of chairs came closer to completion, Nate found his focus shifting between the three girls. Their pieces for the meeting sounded great too, really, but he still quietly hoped they could do the one that he’d brought. It wasn’t that they didn’t sound fun, because they did (although Coleen’s soliloquy did seem like it would lead to a lot of lines, but at least he’d have a script), but he really wanted the chance to get the narration right for his own scene, just to show to himself that he could.
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Nate found himself smiling bashfully as Irene sung praises of his improv skills. ‘Legendary’ was probably overstating it, and it’s not like he did it deliberately or anything; it was just a coping tool for him, after all. Still, he didn’t mind the praise.

“I mean, Jane’s thing does sound fun and all.” He didn’t lie as debate over which scene passed between the club members, since he actually had a few ideas on how to spin the four words already. It wasn’t as if he could only use improv to save face when he tripped on a line and nothing else.

“And it’s not that I don’t think it’d be a great soliloquy,” he turned to Coleen “but it’s a soliloquy after all. Maybe we could do it later?” He was trying to be diplomatic, but truthfully it sounded a little heavy, particularly without the scene’s whole context. Maybe if he’d seen the movie it’d come across as more appealing, but listening to a dying soldier just seemed like it might be a bit of a downer to start off on.

He looked down at the script in his hand again. It’s not like they couldn’t do his scene later too, and it wouldn’t be fair to ask Coleen to wait and then insist on doing what he wanted. Besides, he still needed to read the intro over a few more times before he could claim to be ready to do it in front of the rest of the club.

“I’d be alright to do Jane’s first.” Nate half-shrugged, still keeping an eye on Coleen in the hope that she didn't look too disappointed. “We could always start now and then start again if someone shows up.” He found himself glancing at the door as he spoke, as if someone would respond to the cue and enter the scene.
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Jane seemed to have more or less taken charge of the meeting at this point, and Nate was happy to follow her lead. He found himself stepping into the middle of the circle, looking between the girls to see who was going to join him first.

“I can start us off, I have an idea in my head anyway.” He said, just looking again to make sure no-one was going to object to him getting the ball rolling.

Yes, no, please, banana. Easy to remember, easy to work with. Well, maybe easy was overstating it, but he’d got a decent idea for how he wanted the scene to go in his head. He had to be prepared for Jane or Coleen, depending who joined him first (or maybe both?) to take the scene in a different direction, but wasn’t that the point of the whole exercise?

Placing himself in his imagined role, he began to mime stacking boxes and playing with a cash register. He had no clue if what he was trying to do was obvious to the girls, but hopefully when one of them joined to greet him the scene would become more transparent. Or maybe the girls would just completely misinterpret what he was trying to do, and they’d get a whole new scene. Or maybe they'd take it from an angle he hadn't even thought of all together.
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Nate pulled a shocked face at the turn of events, though it was only part acting and more actual surprise. A robbery had never even crossed his mind when he was trying to come up with a scene, and now here he was at the end of a finger gun barrel! Point to Jane for coming up with it!

He threw his hands up in the air, praying not to be shot in his store that he’d looked after all these years. Who would look after all his customers and sell them their bargain priced deals, or take care of cleaning the aisles and stocking the shelves? Who would look after his family?!

“No! No no no!” he pleaded, looking back and forth between the cash register and the crook that wanted his hard earned cash.

“Please!” he said to the robber, eyes darting around in hopes that maybe someone outside the store, such as a blonde woman with a talent for singing, was seeing everything and calling the police right now. Or that maybe some brave soul inside the shop itself was sneaking up behind the crook with a bottle of whisky ($25) to whack them over the head with and save the day. Anything to get him out of this mess!

He felt his eyes welling up with dry tears. Not today, not on his son’s birthday of all days!
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That afternoon on the whole was good fun for everyone involved. Sure the acting got a bit out of control at times, and there was a bit of a lull between scenes as they tried to come up with things to do, but everyone there seemed to enjoy themselves, so that was neat. It was a shame more people hadn’t shown up, though.

As the others left, Nate checked his watch. His mom would be home at that hour, and he still had a pretty packed evening ahead of him, so he headed in that direction without delay.

((Nate Turner continued in Mad Dewey Dash))
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