TASK ONE REPORT WRITTEN BY GILLIAN BAILEY Communication is the basis of all human interaction. During this task the year eleven drama class developed communication skills and we learnt to apply them in dramatic performance. Verbal communication should have qualities such as, audibility, clarity, fluency, flexibility and control, appropriate to a certain character. Non -Verbal communication involves a controlled use of space and physical discipline, relevant to the character which should help to convey an appropriate mood and atmosphere. As communication is such a crucial aspect of living, the community needs to have a complete sense of both verbal and non-verbal communication to encode and decode messages. In particular, drama students should have a complete understanding and knowledge of communication in order to develop a characters' usage of these qualities.
The communication of two people evolves a sender and a reciever. The sender has objectives he or she wishes to obtain. It is important for the reciever to be open and willing to accept the message. The sender encodes a message for the reciever to decode.
The mixture of verbal and non-verbal communication can change the meaning of words. This creates sub-text, which ultimately constructs a motive or message one would wish to obtain from that sentence. Communication breakdowns or barriers are also common. These include, physical barriers, misinterpretation of the message and lack of interest in the content of message. Our task was to improvise a scene in a character we had been given the day before.
Jody, the character I was given was a teenager having experienced emotional turbulence after a family breakdown. She had developed a bizarre habit of singing to herself and had moved schools because of this. To create this character, I used both Stanislavski and Laban's theories, as well as other excercises. I decided to use one of Laban's eight basic efforts named "flicking" because this portrayed the external part of my character the most precisely. Laban's flicking effort enabled me to carry my weight appropriately and also be able to apply usage of space flow and time to my character. This really helped me, as I determined a relatoinship between the internal and external aspect of my character.
To do this I took time to walk in my character as we learnt in the workshops. I also used Stanislavski's theory of emotion memory to help me get into character. As I do not have direct memory of a situation such as this, I mixed emotions of sadness, depression and anxiousness to feel my character. During my performance, I wrung my hands to show the feeling of anxiousness and did not have a clear path of movement which demonstrated the disjointedness of my external Flicking personality. I also wrote in my process journal a diary entry of my feelings and filled in gaps which were not included in my character description. This included family relationships and feelings about school life.
In light of my performance this preperation helped establish the Jody I wanted to convey. However, the surroundings of the performance made me loose focus and some of my characterisation escaped. Once I broke my character by thinking as myself and not reacting as Jody would. However I refocused and found Jody again. I was arranged in a group with lina, Mika and Tiana.
Out situation was that we were alla t school, Tiana was a teacher and Lina and Mika, bullies. In a class discussion my habit manifested its sel. In the ten minutes we had to prepare, we established a basic plot and decided how the play would conclude. I felt that the communication between the four of us was poor during the performance. Our verbal communication was great as we vocalized our inner impulses of the situation however none of us reacted to non-verbal communication. Once tiana was vocalizing her frustration but none of us reacted to her non-verbal anger and she left the room without any reaction from Lina, Mika or myself.
I think that I could have improved my verbal communication as I tended to focus on my non-verbal communication. I slumped and did not raise my eyes often demonstrating the use of my non-verbals however I did not use appropriate verbal communication to support this. I tended to mumble my words which could not have been clearly heard, it was appropriate to my character though was not appropriate to my surroundings. Sebastian demonstrated fantastic verbal and non-verbal communication. He had great use of subtext as the meaning of his words and the literal meaning were vastly different. In one point of the play he was trying to ask his son to the tennis but the sub-text was that he wanted to ignore the matter and not speak about it.
Se bastions nervous body language and gestures suggested that he was on the verge of a mental breakdown. However his articulation and pitch of his verbal communication was poorly demonstrated as he often rushed his words and it was difficult to understand. Sebastian's strengths were in his use of subtext and hia characterisation. His remarkable characterisation enabled him to react quickly, sharply and be dramatically effective. His situation and group aslo reinforced his great performance.
The situation was tence which drew the audience to it. Through task one I have learnt all the elements of non-verbal and verbal communication and am able to put all these elements to use. The value of verbal and non-verbal communication is astounding and this task has helped me improve my communication skills. This task has been really fun and I would say that the whole of the year eleven drama class has gained much from it.
Communication is the basis of all human existance and therefore is a fundamental aspect of drama.