Waltzing Mechanics

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Line One - Vocabulary

Continuing our efforts to document our rehearsal process for Line One, cast member Claire Reinhart shares some of the key vocabulary words that have developed over the past couple of weeks:

The third week of rehearsals revolved around a couple of LINE ONE vocabulary buzzwords: "channeling," "focus," and "shoop." I'll break them down for all you lovely Waltzing Mechanic blog readers, so when you see the show, you'll be able to recognize some of the work we've been doing!

CHANNELING: This is one of the most important things we do in the show. During every show, we get calls from new strangers who tell us different stories from their lives. Our job as actors is to "channel" that person to the audience. We speak the stories coming through our headsets and let their words do the work. It's not like anything you do when you have a script in hand or are doing an improv scene. The ensemble has been practicing with storytelling podcasts, and it's been an exciting challenge to try to honestly express what we're hearing, while still keeping the energy out for an audience.

FOCUS: Our rehearsal director, Zack, talks a lot about "focus" to our ensemble. This show takes a lot of trust. All the actors onstage need to really commit to the action and to each other. If you let your mind wander or get upset about tripping over a word while channeling, you aren't engaging with the group. Focus is important in any show, but this show has so many variables that we really need to stay alert and listen to each other.

SHOOP: When one of us is channeling, the rest of us stay onstage and listen. We've been using the term "shoop" to describe what the ensemble does when we aren't speaking. Ask me if I've ever heard the word "shoop" and didn't immediately start singing Salt-N-Pepa's "Shoop." The answer is: it's what I do EVERY. TIME. Shoop-ing is really useful, because it keeps the non-speakers actively engaged both physically and mentally. We try to move as a group decisively and shift our focus to whatever story needs our attention.

For some expert insight on Shoop, please watch the instructional video below: