Wednesday, 29 April 2009

who says you're to old for anything??

i went into rainbow fields at the weekend to talk through songs and memories and what they wanted to be involved during the musical afternoon. i met one lady who really shocked me,!" she informed me that she was really cool and loved facebook and had skype which she used with her webcam,. she seemed like a definite party animal!! whilst many of the elders stated they wanted Elvis, Cliff richard, over the rainbow, she wanted the titanic theme tune. Who says you have no fun when you get old. I think it will be best to structure my workshop in two halves to give the elders a little break in which i am preparing drinks and refreshments for. Many of the elders stated they would love to hear some elvis songs, i don't believe a female can truly recreate an elvis song to its full potential, therefore i have come up with a solution. My uncle, an Elvis enthusiast, has agreed to be a part of my afternoon. Singing a few elvis songs, dressed as elvis, he will open up the second half. i just hope i don't give the elders a fright in that they think Elvis has come back from the dead! At the end of the afternoon, i have organised a raffle for the elders to enjoy, hopefully this will be a nice finish to the afternoon. My main priority now, is learning to sing songs that i have never even heard off...who's vera lyn???

Friday, 24 April 2009

the launch and the meetings

Having met up with the elders over coffee time, I found them to be very lovely people. they seemed very excited about my proposed project as they enjoy listening to music, particularly music from their era. Speaking to the supervisors about my project, they made me worry slightly. They said that the elders will probably forget that they have meetings, and even the performance afternoon. I feel that the only way to tackle this obstacle is to make these meetings as much of a regular occurance as i possibly can. I have also proposed the idea that instead of one musical afternoon, I do a couple, to further enhance the idea of reccurance, therefore they have more than one performance to enjoy and hopefully, they will get used to me and my face. I will be in again at the weekend with a few interview questions for the elders, i am planning on asking them general questions such as, do you have a favourite song? Does this song evoke any particular memories? Can you sing or play an instrument? Would you like to be a part of the performance afternoon or be a part of the audience? After i know the answers to these questions, I will then be able to structure my afternoon(s) and get learning some songs. (hopefully i am going to know a few a these old songs???)

Friday, 3 April 2009

young at heart

Looking through youtube I came across this company called young at heart. It is a group of approximately 20 peopled aged from 76 upwards who create performances by singing a variety of songs, form James brown, to coldplay! They are utterly inspiring! Watch the video, you cant help but smile.

confusions, cancellations and now confirmation

what appears to be me neglecting my blog has actually been me running around like a headless chicken trying to get confirmation by a school to take part in my project. my initial idea of working with the children of nelson and St. Edmonds after school club could not work as each day there was a different group of children, different timings to get there and inevitably different times of going home, proving the task of creating several workshops, rehearsals and an eventual project almost impossible. moving on form this i reminisced on past projects i had done and came up with the idea of the recycled fashion show, i was so excited for this as it meant that myself and the children could get really hands on with this project and create a show completely structured by that community, something that was unique and that had never really been done before. set on this idea i once again was faced with the challenge of finding a community to work with. logging on to google i typed in "primary schools in the Twickenham area" many schools came up and i contacted each school stating what i wished to do, out of all the schools i contacted, only 2 replied, of which the answer was a "sorry but we can't participate at this time." i was a bit set back by this as i thought that local schools would want to support a drama based community project, particularly schools in the university area, supporting the university and the students, however i was being met by a barrier of no thank you', making me feel like my project was of no interest to them.

going back to the drawing board, i thought about what else i could do. maybe the problem wasn't with my ideas, maybe the schools really couldn't participate as i know a community project would take up a lot of time. then a thought came to me, go home! approach the schools that i know back drama and head-teachers that know me. i contacted my old high school and sixth form stating my ideas, and once again waited for a reply. whilst waiting for a reply, i began thinking of venues, yes the workshops could be done in the school grounds, but the final project didn't have to be. my home town of stratford upon Avon is a beautiful tourist filed town that offers beautiful settings, maybe i could find a venue that would be interested in supporting my project. contacting the royal Shakespeare company, i
 stated my ideas, however they said they were busy with present projects and currently refurbishing parts of the theatre resulting in lack of space. maybe i should try somewhere really different, maybe create a promenade performance, the first place that came to my head was the stratford butterfly farm. for those of you who don't know the area, the butterfly farm is a place that houses all different types of creatures and insects such as butterfly, spiders, scorpions, caterpillars; i thought that this would be a very interesting setting for a performance. i approached them with my ideas, however they seemed a bit despondent due to upcoming organised events over easter.

At this point I was definitely getting worried, and 
beginning to feel quite sorry for myself. I knew that time was running short and I was still to find a community.


recently i lost my grandma to cancer, she lived  at an old peoples home in Shipston on Stour called rainbow fields. i love this place and i remember going to visit after school while mum and dad were working. she had a house on the grounds but not in the main building, therefore i would walk through the building saying hello to all the old men and women and knock n the door to grandmas. sitting in her living room, i could see all the residents of the main building looking out, wondering who i was and which one of their friends had actually got a visitor. looking back now, this makes me really sad, these people appeared to be desperate for friendship and for someone just to talk too, they seemed genuinely pleased to see a new face in the building. 

Returning to the building after I lost my grandma, the same thing happened again, and it got me thinking, why should these people spend their lives bored? Is there anything I can do to cheer them up and give them something to look forward too? Then it hit me, "Drama in the community!"

approaching the leader of the building i was met by an immediate yes, in which she stated " i am just as excited about this as the residents will be" my faith in support for drama was restored and i had found my passion for this project once again.  have been told that sundays is a good day to spend time with he elders, as they have nothing planned throughout the day, therefore i am planning to visit over the holidays to chat to them and get to know them, giving them information about my project.

Being a person who loves singing i am very interested in theming my project around the music of their era. finding out the songs they love and whether there is a story behind these songs. i am hoping to create an afternoon of music, drama and reminiscence for them to bring back happy memories and to release the fun that i am desperate to see them have. if i can provide something enjoyable that brings the elders together over coffee biscuits and performance i will feel like i have done what i have set out to do. fingers crossed!