This might be the most difficult lesson. Work with this one a while.
-This is where we begin to grow a speech. Thoughts come in order, and you have to fully open one thought before you can move onto the next thought.
-To ignore the thought is to simply be reciting words.
-You have to take the energy all the way through the thought. To drop the energy will lose the thought, and in losing the thought you will lose the audience.
-Thoughts are signposted by punctuation.
- A full stop: a colon, a period, a question mark or an exclamation mark is often the end of a thought.
- Commas mark turns and diversions within the thought- typically not the end of the full thought.
- You cannot run over punctuation. Acknowledge each comma, period, etc.
Thoughts can go on for many, many lines! Some are as short as less than one line, some are over 12 lines long! Typically a speech will have between 3-5 major thoughts within it. If a character has more they are clearly in turmoil… less shows a clear path and idea.
-Get a partner and then a speech. Read it.
-Read the speech out loud to each other like a conversation-switch readers whenever the thought changes.
- If they drop the energy start over and have them push against your hand harder and harder until the thought is done to grow the energy throughout. No partner? Push against the wall, increasing in intensity until the thought is complete. Start over at the next thought.
Activity #2: (Outside if possible! Or a place with a lot of room to move around.)
-Select a speech.
-Read it out loud and walk it. Turn each time you feel the thought change direction. Let the changes happen as you feel them.
Example: To be (turn) or not to be (turn) that is the question.
- Challenge: Try to walk the rhythym of the speech. Allow the iambic to dictate your steps.
- In turn, allow the text to dictate your speed. Does the iambic flow quickly or slowly? Does it change with each thought?
-Read it again out loud and on each turn vary something in your vocal quality. Get louder or whisper, do a different voice.Â It doesn’t have to fit the text, just get accustomed to changing on each thought.
-Stand still. Breathe. Eyes closed, think through the speech you just did silently to yourself.
Think about your speech for a moment and take a walk around. Loosen up.
-Mark where each thought begins. (Not the developments within the thought)
- In another color mark where the thought begins to shift.
-Talk yourself through the speech, thought by thought in your own words.
-Standing still read the speech one last time to yourself, keeping the discoveries about the thought progression in your vocal quality.
Final thoughts: Learn a text thought by thought rather than line by line.
When you don’t understand a line or a section of a speech go back to the beginning of the speech and unlock it stage by stage, line by line.