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Unread 07-21-2008, 06:24 PM   #31
Faith Dezren
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuroi · Yokan View Post
DO exaggerate your acting!! Not only is the voice acting important, but you are on a stage, and thus, stage acting is called for. Big gestures. Big moves. Big expressions.
This is a great suggestion, I've seen it come up several times as I've been reading through the thread--I just wanted to throw out a tip that my sister, who's done a lot of stage acting, gave me once: Movement onstage should almost feel like you're moving through water. The force and speed with which you move and shape the air should be similar to the way you would move through water, the air should almost feel thick. It's been really helpful to me in the past whenever I've performed, give it a try just in your room one day and you'll see what I mean, your movements will have a lot more power and purpose!
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Unread 07-22-2008, 01:42 AM   #32
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I think I have to disagree with the standing still and posing part. I've gotten bored watching even 30 seconds of that, mainly because it's like 10 seconds of each pose. It sounds short, but it's kind of boring, for me at least. I say keep moving, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to keep running from one side of the stage to the other.
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Unread 07-22-2008, 03:39 PM   #33
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Here's one!

When working with pre-recorded audio, exaggerate the mouthing of your words!

You want to make sure everyone can see that YOU'RE the one talking, and while you shouldn't look like a fool up there with your mouth as wide as your fist, putting more effort into your mouthing will in turn give you a greater animation to your acting.
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Unread 07-27-2008, 01:05 AM   #34
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Don't give any excuse for the Fangirls to squeal...I believe I have gone deaf from that.
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Unread 07-30-2008, 02:11 PM   #35
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I disagree with the fangirl-squealing part. It'll happen even if you don't mean to.

To add to that though:

Don't overdo the fanservice. Sure, you'll get a huge audience response, but it isn't cool if your entire script consists of it. Not everyone is a yaoi fan or a bishonen fan. That goes for yuri and regular romance as well. You can include it, just don't overdo it.

Adding more:

Make sure everyone in your group is comfortable with the skit. This sounds so obvious but it isn't always. My friend was in a skit and hated it. Make sure your group knows what's going on in the skit and is okay with it. If two girls don't want to fake-kiss, or a guy doesn't want to do something provocative, change the script. If someone in your skit is unhappy or uncomfortable, it shows in their acting and interactions with other cast members.
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Unread 08-04-2008, 04:49 PM   #36
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If you record the skit practice lip syncing and movements.
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Unread 08-05-2008, 06:22 PM   #37
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I just judged a masquerade recently and have a few more tips to add:

Face the audience
Even if it's just you and someone else, you don't have to be completely parallel to each other and you can angle yourself a bit toward the audience. If there are three of you, the person in the center should face the audience and not the back wall. If you reach out to the side, use an arm which would turn you toward the audience and not away.

We really don't need to hear the whole song
Really. We don't. I don't care how cool you think it is.

If you're pre-recording audio (and you should), find someone with a good microphone
Sounding like you're underwater can kill your chance for an award.

If you insist on doing your own singing, find a karaoke version of the song
Never, ever sing over a track which already has lyrics. This just makes any mistakes or difference in timing stand out.

If you insist on doing lip sync, know the words!
If you're clearly not in time with the lyrics, judges will notice. As the song goes on, they'll wonder how much effort you put into rehearsal.

...and finally Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse! When you're done, rehearse again!
When every single thing you do is perfectly timed and choreographed, it will definitely show. The crowd will love you and the judges will love you.
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Unread 08-05-2008, 06:49 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickD View Post
I just judged a masquerade recently and have a few more tips to add:

Face the audience
Even if it's just you and someone else, you don't have to be completely parallel to each other and you can angle yourself a bit toward the audience. If there are three of you, the person in the center should face the audience and not the back wall. If you reach out to the side, use an arm which would turn you toward the audience and not away.

We really don't need to hear the whole song
Really. We don't. I don't care how cool you think it is.

If you're pre-recording audio (and you should), find someone with a good microphone
Sounding like you're underwater can kill your chance for an award.

If you insist on doing your own singing, find a karaoke version of the song
Never, ever sing over a track which already has lyrics. This just makes any mistakes or difference in timing stand out.

If you insist on doing lip sync, know the words!
If you're clearly not in time with the lyrics, judges will notice. As the song goes on, they'll wonder how much effort you put into rehearsal.

...and finally Rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse! When you're done, rehearse again!
When every single thing you do is perfectly timed and choreographed, it will definitely show. The crowd will love you and the judges will love you.
Find some new suggestions based on recent events?

here's another from this past weekend: Know the difference between a skit and a walk-on. If you walk on stage, pose, and walk off, no matter how smooth or rehearsed it is, whether or not you have music this is a walk on--likely an incredibly good walk on at that! But that does not make it a skit.
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Unread 08-06-2008, 09:57 PM   #39
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Do take the time to show your costume
The masquerade is a costume contest, not a talent show. Always keep it in mind so on stage, you'll be able to show how great your costume is. So even when you're doing a skit, you should show the audience your costume and not just standing there and trying to be funny.
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Unread 08-16-2008, 06:09 PM   #40
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Reading over these suggestions... AWA dropped skits a few years ago due to a lot of reasons, and quite a few are mentioned here. Construction quality had suffered since the skit became all-important. But the skits were becoming too long, unfunny, unintelligible, poorly planned and/or executed, the lot. The "return on investment" became too high for us to ignore. The audiences were sitting through three to four hours of contest, just to see a few great two minute skits. Something had to give and it was the presentations. One year of a "talent show" type event where the audience left after fifteen minutes and we have not looked back.

We may add them back one day, but only if we could insure that the audience was getting the best show we could give them... and a good part of that would be all the entries following the advice given here. And of course the unholy trio of time/space/staff has to align as well.
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Unread 08-20-2008, 01:59 PM   #41
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Just tossing something in from my theatre experience (yay theatre major!)

Face the Audience
I've seen this come up a few times, without a rule of thumb. If you're on the right side, your right foot has its toe pointing toward the audience. At all times. This will open up your body to those watching, and keep you from going parallel with your partner. In fact, at this point, I can't resist the urge to have my toe pointed out when in a private conversation OFF stage! Same rule applies for the left foot.

Pauses
Long pauses suck. Go for a beat, maybe two, but if there's a semi truck, a funeral procession, and a lot of awkward... you've gone on too long.

Forget your lines?
This one only counts in non-prerecorded, but if you're on mic and you forget your line DO NOT SIGH. A lot of people let out this little burst of air when they forget their lines and that's instantly obvious. If I hear this little huff, and then a stammer, and then a line, I know whatever they're saying either they forgot or they're making it up and that just looks tacky.
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Unread 08-20-2008, 05:22 PM   #42
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Great suggestions, all. Seriously, very helpful (for regular stage acting, too!).

Another note to add to the "Exaggerate your acting," or perhaps just another way to think of it, is this: You've heard the saying that the camera adds ten pounds?

The opposite is true for the stage. Harsh stage lighting and distance take away ten pounds. Your movements have to be that much stronger, that much wider, your facial expression has to be that much bigger, you generally have to take up that much more space. You can't just be there, you have to BE there.
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Unread 08-24-2008, 02:53 PM   #43
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Super helpful thread, thank you very much!
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Unread 08-25-2008, 04:00 AM   #44
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This is such a helpful thread! I think advice like this would do wonders for the little convention I attend.

I like the fact that people had outlined the importance of 'lip-synching', I know my convention is little. But I found it a little odd when cosplayers didn't move their mouths to the skit let alone let their expression change. ^^ Although I did see another skit that was equally humorous with lip-synching. It makes a whole lot of difference.

Oh yes, something important. Make sure all of your other skit people are out for role call. It may seem like something everyone should know.. But seriously it happens more than it should. Like this one girl had a group but when she went on stage with her skit, none of the other people showed up which made most of the audience confused. I believe they overslept from what she had said..
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Unread 08-29-2008, 10:52 PM   #45
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Okay, I haven't participated in a masqurade yet, and I already know several things from experiance.

Don't prepare the whole thing 11 months before the con. My friends and I got VERY excited on Saturday night after watching the masquerade at Anime North, and imediately started planning for next year's masquerade skit. It was an extreamly random little skit about Near and Matt from Death Note, suprisingly, without any mention of Mello. So we got to the point sometime in June that we were nearly finished to whole thing (with just a little bit of Matt's costume left to do) and we find out that our Near couldn't play Near because she's Chinese and isn't allowed to wear all white unless it's a funeral. Our entire skit was down the drain and we couldn't come up with anything else for the costumes we already had, which then became hall costumes for another con, totally wasting our efforts.

Do be origonal. I know I spelled that wrong but my spelling is horrible, so we'll ignore that. I also know it's been said, but ignore that too. What I mean is, if your costume isn't good enough for a walk on, don't be afraid to try something really weird. (Eg, spoof of a musical/movie, cosplay ballet (), summary of a myth, etc.)

Don't do Naruto Yaoi. We've seen enough, thanks.
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