2019/09/18

Hello Internet;

Here are some tips I learned tonight from auditioning youth.

  1. Use their audition sheets as a way to start a conversation.

    Ask them about their interests, if they play the trumpet or they’ve done stage combat before. They are more than happy to tell you why they love these extracurricular activities. Even if you’ve never met them before, you can ease them in with a conversation about themselves.

  2. If they are shy, congratulate them on being brave. Also, high fives help.

    Some students are terrified at the idea of being assessed. Being brave is often a massive step forward, and you should be celebrating it.

  3. Create a welcoming environment, they shouldn't be scared of their directors.

    It's a regular part of a career in performance arts, might as well make their first experience a positive one. They won't be so scared walking into the next one.

  4. Associate emotions with things in their daily lives.

    Children have just as much stress and sadness and frustration as adults. Ask them what makes them feel the emotion you are looking for. Don't try to explain grandiose ideas of hypocrisy, ask them what makes them frustrated. Sometimes it is as simple as a parent doing what they told the student they're not allowed too.

  5. Always leave laughing.

    Ask them if they have any fun things they can do, like lick their elbow or spin plates on sticks. Some of them will have fun answers and others will laugh at the silly question. Either way, they left smiling.

Laura-Beth Bird

2019/09/16

Hello Internet;

This weekend we were able to travel down to Moncton with the Vardi Puppet House for its first full-scale show, outdoors, with the puppet theater. The School of Atlantic Ballet hosted it’s first to annual Kreativ Children's Festival at the Aviner Center. The festival featured the students of the school, local singers and children’s authors.

I would also like to thank Naomi and Dustyn of Solo Chicken Productions for their time and their creation of “Meatball the Cat” which was performed at the Festival as well.

Dustyn and Naomi. Vardi Puppet House. Kreativ Childrens Festival. Moncton. 2019

Dustyn and Naomi. Vardi Puppet House. Kreativ Childrens Festival. Moncton. 2019

-Laura-Beth Bird

2019/09/11

2019/09/10

Hello Internet;

So I’ve started a binder of "grab and go" games for my classroom. I found it hard to get good resources for theater in regular stores, so I just started collecting my own. This isn't the first time I've created a "grab and go" book. I created a similar book in high school for my Improv team. It made prepping easier and less time-consuming. Unfortunately, I left it at my high school with the next team captain. I believe it's now lost for the ages.

I started with Improv games again. Canadian Improv Games has a great website with lots of games and lesson plans. It’s a great place to start if you want to do the same.

Follow this link to their site for more info. http://improv.ca/

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-Laura-Beth Bird

2019/09/09

Hello Internet;

After a crazy hurricane weekend that destroyed the Halifax waterfront, Halifax is gearing up for FIN Atlantic International Film Festival. I have two works in the festival that I appear in for a brief moment; Entropic by Frictive Pictures and Popsey by Popular Demand Pictures.

Entropic was one of the first feature-length films I ever appeared in. It has a stellar cast and is an interesting take on modern beauty and possession. Be warned, the content is graphic and the subject matter is dark.

Popsey is a short film based on Steven King's collection of short stories, specifically, Popsey. Popular Demand Pictures keeps all of the tropes and beauty of this horrific tale. I can not wait to see it.

Mike Robert Stafford and Laura-Beth Bird. Behind the Scenes. Entropic

Mike Robert Stafford and Laura-Beth Bird. Behind the Scenes. Entropic

I, unfortunately, won't be able to attend the world premiers for either film next Friday the 13th. I have plans back in Fredericton taking my dad to harvest jazz and blues. If you are in the Halifax area, be sure to catch this film festival. It's a great time.

-Laura-Beth Bird

2019/09/03

Hello Internet;

I went shopping today and picked up a book that was very special to me; James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. I have a section of time each week to read a book to my junior students, and this is the first one I grabbed. There will be many, many more books. I can promise you that.

So, why is this book so special to me? It’s the very first play I remember seeing. Someone took me to see James and the Giant Peach in Hereford England. I can’t tell you what theater, or what year, or the company. I can tell you that the stage was a giant peach and it was the first time I saw a show done so well. The scene when they are stuck in the storm is seared into my brain. It’s crazy what you remember from childhood.

I thought I would bring it back full circle for nostalgia. I bought the book, read it to the children and maybe half were listening. I should have started it next week instead of the first day of school. Lessons learned.

James and The Giant Peach. Roald Dahl. Cover Art

James and The Giant Peach. Roald Dahl. Cover Art

2019/08/28

Hello internet;

My dad came to visit and and helped me finish a few projects. Tonight, we finished the practice hand puppet heads. i have 6 size large heads in pastel colors. I should probably build a few more over the next few weeks too.

Hand Puppet Heads. Laura-Beth Bird. Grey Rabbit Theater Co. 2019

Hand Puppet Heads. Laura-Beth Bird. Grey Rabbit Theater Co. 2019

-Laura-Beth Bird

2019/08/02

Hello Internet;

NotaBle Acts is coming to an end. It’s been a busy week. A huge thank you to Brandon Hicks for writing a ten minute short that I was able to direct - with puppets! I felt the forever puppeteer words come out of my mouth. Focus, open your armpits and personal space is a myth. I am very proud of Kayla, Garret, and Diana for sticking through the 30+ degree week holding a 3/4 garbage puppet.

Garrett and Diana. The Hoard. NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival. 2019

Garrett and Diana. The Hoard. NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival. 2019

I was also able to take part in the one-acts. Gullywhump by Greg Everett was staged in Memorial Hall for the end of the festival. I was asked to take part in the production because of my puppetry interests. I wore the hottest monster suit of my life and had a blast Gullywhumping (now a verb) around.

Scott and Laura-Beth Bird. Gullywhump. NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival. 2019.  Photo Credit: Matt Carter.

Scott and Laura-Beth Bird. Gullywhump. NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival. 2019. Photo Credit: Matt Carter.

Finally, I was able to take part in the reading of brand new work, Queen James (and all of his men) written by the dramaturge in residence Rob Kempson.

I cant wait to see what New Brunswick has to offer next year.

-Laura-Beth Bird