One of the things I love about getting a degree in theatre (for all intents and purposes) is that I got an education in so much more than just acting. I love the acting aspect, but I also know how to direct, costume, make-up, stage manage, light design, set design, teach vocal technique, and oversee all those areas.

Being able to do so many different things in so many different areas means that when I need something for a performance I’m doing, I can make it myself.

Take this past Second Sunday Series, for example.

I did a scene with a friend from St. Joan by George Bernard Shaw. I was playing Joan and we were doing the scene where Joan signs her recantation (don’t worry, she takes it back……..of course she gets burned at the stake for her trouble, but she did take back her recantation). My prop list necessarily included a parchment.

Yep, let me go grab that from my back pocket……..oh, wait.

So, yes, I need to make a parchment. It was actually quite simple.

First, you much choose an off-white paper. I chose card-stock because 1. it was what was on hand, and 2. it was sturdy enough to hold up to the vigorousness of rehearsals. It turned out to be a bit of a problem later on, but we’ll get to that.

 

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Second, you must carefully and painstakingly copy the words from the script (because if you are “reading” from a piece of paper for a performance, why not actually put your lines on it. 🙂 )

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Third (optional) repeat above steps for as many copies of the scripts that you need. In the scene I was performing, I tore up the recantation, so I needed to have one for each rehearsal and performance I did.

 

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Yay! Now you have handwriting on off-white paper!

I wanted my “recantation” to be a little “older” though. So I took a match to it. This is where the card-stock became a little it of a problem as it was hard to get the page lit, but it was also very easy for the flame to overcome the page. I had a paper towel to put under the page as well as a wet paper towel to stamp out the flame when it had burned enough.

 

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Now, in a perfect blog post I would show the end result…….which I will. But it’s the end end result. I made these right before the dress rehearsal and then had an insane weekend before the performance. So here is my final result:

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Yes, that’s after I tore it up. (Also, you may notice that it’s one of my practice pages that I printed out.) That’s the only thing I have left of all that hard work.

But I loved it! I loved making them! I loved rehearsing with them! I loved performing with them!

I will be forever grateful for the knowledge to be able to do so many “techie” things in addition to acting.

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