Reuben’s blog, IMAGINE @ Nottingham, Day 2

Yes, it’s Raw Roads: IMAGINE Day 2!
Time to learn something new

On our second day, our budding artists learned three valuable lessons: telling a story for song, lyricism and devising.

We gathered in a circle of chairs to discuss the purpose of this workshop and our aim. When suddenly, FLOetic Lara delivered a performance that stirred and moved us. She performed a beautiful piece about her own story: growing up, being misunderstood and how she persevered/pushed herself forward. Following a worthy applause, she imparted the most important words a young, nervous creative needs to hear:

  1. The Nerves are Still There
    Every performer, either upcoming or established, feels extremely nervous. The shakes go through your hands as you deliver your words. It happens to everyone irrespective of experience level.
  1. You Have to Try & Push Yourself
    You have to tell your story. It is so important to tell your story.

On this note, we moved onto my workshop on Story Structure. We began with a game of Numbers: an energetic grouping game, where players must quickly get into groups of the number called. Fun ensued before a new addition to the game was introduced: ‘Snapshot/ Freeze Frame.’ A group would now need to create a still image based on a topic they were given.

From ‘The Fight’ to ‘The Race’, our groups created manikin challenge level freeze frames that could rival any challenge from X-Factor, Michelle Obama or Taylor Swift may attempt.

I broke down the story structure: the elements that must be included in any story. Characters’ motivation, beginning to end, and obstacles/challenges that a character either can or cannot overcome. Following this talk, there came a devising exercise. Groups were instructed to create an image based on three topics: ‘The Rescue, The Rap Battle and The Airport’, and eventually created the beginning and ending images to complete a full story.

This proved to be a very useful exercises, as the participants became infused with thinking of character motivations and how they would react in such intense situations. Certain images were brought to life for ten seconds, which gave everyone a chance to perform for a short while.

This led to Jesse’s workshop, which delved into rhyming structures. First, as a group of participants we engaged in a simple 1, 2, 3, 4 counting beat structure. At this time, we began to learn about rhyming and how to get a sense for delivering bars (lines) on this particular rhythm structure.

With this information, we were then to find a word that easily rhymes and replace our counting on 4 with that selection of words.

Example 1:
Cat
Hat
Sat
Acrobat

We then worked through basic rhyming structure such as A, B, B, A – A, A, B, B, as groups were given the task of creating four bars or more based on the rhyme structure.

For example:
(A) My brother hates cats
(B) He doesn’t think their cool
(B) I think that he’s a fool
(A) They wear the best hats

With this information the challenge was on to create bars (lines) with a beat (clapping, counting) that worked with our lines. I was floored by each group’s variations, delivery and sheer ability to push themselves to do something they’ve never done before.

After the break, we came together offering the floor to anyone who wanted to showcase their talent. It was a great chance for the participants to deliver their talents and to start to map out where we wanted to go.

Our team members began to work with the participants, starting to map out pieces: what they are and what our artists would like them to be. A good place to be in by the end of the second day.

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