G10 Scripted Reflection- Rachel Jung

One aspect that we did well in was blocking. We managed to get down what we wanted to do and convey pretty quickly, and we had a general idea of how we wanted the scene(s) to play out early on in the process.

The places we needed work on as a group was, I think, in teamwork. Even while we planned out the details, we left each other pretty much to our own devices. We also split the group in two, Will and Jasper in one group and Matthew and I in the other, because of our character roles, even though we are all on stage at any given moment. Likewise, we didn’t communicate outside of class or rehearsal moments. However, we did sometimes help each other out on what could happen or what the character should do at a specific moment and whatnot.

Personally, I should’ve thought and worked more on characterisation. I did think out a stance/posture for my character, but I did not implement it into my acting, and I think that’s a shame. I also think that I should’ve exaggerated the character’s emotions more or showed the emotions of the character more clearly. However, it’s hard to be dramatic when the person you’re acting with doesn’t seem to show as much energy as needed for the scene. But then again, we are graded individually so I should’ve went and done my own “brand” of acting instead of matching energy levels and enthusiasm as my partner.

Physical Well-Being

How Much of a Priority Do You Make Sleep?

Sleep is always my first priority.

“Sleep seems like a perfectly fine waste of time” Haha no

“Sleep is such a dangerous thing to do, when you’re out in the wild” Then my ancestors must’ve been bears because I need 48 hours of sleep a day.

Rachel Jung- Personal Statement

I was not a very active child when I was young, and it showed through my weight. My mom and my brother wanted me to work out, so they kept scheduling these jogs around the entire neighborhood. And, like the lazy killjoy I was, I refused to run. So, two blocks away from our house, my mom and my brother pretended to go run ahead and abandon me.

There’s this small park in the neighborhood a block away from our house. It’s basically just a large square of green grass bordered on three sides by dirt paths and metal benches covered in dried bird poop. Our neighborhood was a giant slope, and our house was at the top. My brother and I, with friends, had a game where we’d take a scooter, go as fast as we could down the sidewalk, and then jump onto the patch of grass that some real estate idiot called a park.

When my mom and brother “left” me, I walked all the way to the top of the hill on the side where the park was located. Then I faced down the slope and started running. Once I reached the park, I launched my chubby eight-year-old body onto the park and tumbled across the grass like a runaway barrel.

Then I just laid there, unmoving. I was pretending that I hit my head and died. My mom and my brother came up to me a couple minutes later, when they realised that I wasn’t getting up. As soon as they came close enough, I jumped on them like it was Halloween and I was a person who didn’t know the definition of mercy.

The point of this story is: don’t make me work when I don’t want to.

Zen Zen Zo Workshop

It might just be because that week I was feeling kind of down, but it was hard for me to get into the proper mood for the “white line” exercise thing. I spent most of the week feeling dull and in a neutral state of mind, so it was hard to get into an excited mood. I didn’t really “solve” the problem; I just gave it the best I could. I think that as long as I was willing to work hard for the workshop, it was fine not being so happy and excited.

It was also hard keeping multiple tasks in mind. When we were stomping around the stage, it was difficult for me to make sure I was stomping down hard enough, if I was keeping my stance correct, if I was keeping a good enough tempo or whether I was on beat with the music or not (there is a reason why I failed at band in my old school), at the same time as keeping in mind where my classmates were, the gaps created on the stage, and being aware of the audience. At one point, I found myself kind of just zoning out instead of focusing. I think. I don’t really remember much of how I got through this exercise. If I ever had a moment when I just disconnected from my body, this is the moment. I think given enough time, I would have eventually got it; but since we had limited time, I didn’t really solve that problem too.

I think I did well on the energy level exercise, at level one, when we had no energy. It’s me every day and every weekend.

Most of the things we did during the workshop was hard. Making the stance was also hard because since I have flat feet, it’s hard to keep my feet together and my toes touching. My feet kind of want to stay in a pidgeon-foot formation.

I find it difficult to keep track of multiple things at once, and the workshop helped me be aware of how much more I need to keep in mind while acting. Before I thought it was just my lines, other people’s lines, what other people were doing, what I was doing and going to do, and what my posture was. Now I know there is so much more. And that is terrifying.

Probably write down the things to keep in mind on my notes, think more of how to implement the Suzuki stance into my acting, remember to keep my energy at a level six.

1984 Notes- Rachel Jung

One of the themes portrayed in the play was the constant surveillance from “Big Brother” on the general populace, and Winston’s paranoia of his lack of privacy. When Winston found the “hidden” room, the audience sees Winston and Julia’s interactions within the room through a screen. I found it interesting to how the play leads the audience into thinking that the screen is only there for the audience’s benefit, only to turn out that it was just “Big Brother” spying on them.

Also, from the early parts of the play, when Winston is admonished for not participating in the the morning workout by the telescreen, the audience finds out that the telescreen is large, based on how much space the light from the screen covers. From that moment, the audience thinks that telescreens are large and obvious, so it leads us further into the false idea that the “hidden” room is safe because neither Winston nor Julia noticed a big screen.

 

It was also interesting how the play kept on switching from time period to time period. It starts off in the beginning of Winston’s story, moves to the future, then back to Winston, and etc. And there is a repetition in each different time period. For example, the rhyme “Oranges and Lemons” is repeated, as well as the child’s demand for chocolate and the mother’s declination. Both are phrases and echoes from Winston’s past that haunt him.

I kind of interpreted the constant shift in time as flashbacks or musings that Winston has, either as he becomes more aware of how oppressed his environment is or during his “reeducation”. The voice, that we discover to be O’Brien’s, keep on asking him where he is or how Winston will meet him in a place with no darkness. Winston would have discovered that O’Brien is not an ally, and there is no interaction between Winston and O’Brien until just before Winston’s capture, so Winston couldn’t have heard these words from O’Brien before his torture. Winston relies heavily on the past, and I feel like going through Winston’s past and then changing it would be a method O’Brien, or rather the government, would feel inclined to use. If you control the past, you can control the present and future.

Likewise, it might also be the government’s way of mocking Winston’s dependence on the past. Especially when the shopkeeper/government agent finished the rhyme that Winston had been chasing, just for old time’s sake. Because, whether or not Winston had been broken at this point, Winston knows that there is simply nothing he can do to stop “Big Brother”, whether he holds onto his memories or not.

 

A motif that repeats a lot, especially during transitions between scenes, is that the lights flash really bright and then off, accompanied by a loud sound. It could be meant to keep the audience on their toes, as Winston is constantly looking over his shoulder during the play, always worrying about being caught or being seen. It could also be a way to get the audience to feel Winston’s fear whenever he feels fear. For example, the torture scene.

 

When O’Brien allowed Winston to share his ideas with the “future” and the camera turn on, and Winston and O’Brien face the audience, it is obvious that we– the audience– are the future. The play is implying that the events in 1984 have already come to pass, and we are the ones who should learn from Winston. The fourth wall is broken. And when Winston is tortured again after his fruitless speech to the audience, he pleads for us (again, the audience) for help, saying that we can stop him from being hurt. I feel that this is a moment that really plays on the guilt of the audience.

Frantic Assembly Notes- Rachel Jung

One lesson is how the speed and music can completely change the interpretation of the scene and the relationships between the characters presented in the scene. Slow movement and music can create a more intimate atmosphere, while a more fast-paced setting could create a tension-filled scenario.

The amount of eye contact made and the target of said eye contact also impacts the scene’s interpretation. Eye contact indicates who the character is focusing on, and where the audience should also focus on. If Person A is looking at Person B, and B is also looking at A; this hints at some kind of intimate relationship, positive or negative. However, if A is looking at B, but B is not looking at A; the audience could come to multiple conclusions, but ultimately it will be of one in which A is trying to establish a connection by B is indifferent. Likewise, if eye contact is made, it tells the audience who or what is at the focus for the scene because when making eye contact, it is usually of importance to the scene.

The last one I can remember is the lift techniques. I learned that, if done correctly, size and weight are inconsequential for lifts. It’s mainly meant for transportation from one place to another, because if the person being lifted isn’t moved from Point A to Point B, then there would be no point to doing the lift. However, lifts can’t just be used just for the sake of using a lift; the transition also needs to have some kind of purpose. Maybe to show a metaphorical symbol of a relationship between two characters (i.e. Character A relies on Character B as emotional support, Character A is always being forced to do Character C’s will, Character A is glorified by Character D, etc), or maybe to make a transition from one scene to the next as clear as possible.

Human Rights Violation- Rachel Jung

For every grade, I’ve been taught the same lesson in a variety of ways: if you hurt someone, you do irreparable damage onto them. A lesson that is hammered into children repeatedly is bound to leave a mark, and it did for me. Hurting people is wrong, and I should empathise with people who are less fortunate than me. A lack of food and shelter is violence towards people with no such access; it’s just a type of violence that’s less direct than the kind we’re used to seeing. And considering that billionaires have enough money “to end extreme poverty seven times over” (Hagan), it’s hard to see people who have the power to help but not take action as sympathetic; the philosophy that these people have that keeps them from eradicating poverty goes against every bit of my philosophy that I have built with lessons I’ve absorbed from school and gained from personal experiences.

 

Hagan, Shelly. “Study: Billionaires Could End Extreme Poverty 7 Times Over | Money.” Time, Time, 22 Jan. 2018, time.com/money/5112462/billionaires-made-so-much-money-last-year-they-could-end-extreme-poverty-seven-times/.

Carry On: A Story of the Perseverance of the Ordinary

Carry On

A Story of the Perseverance of the Ordinary

To the average member of society, every success story sounds so simple and straightforward. Yes, these people face obstacles, but it seems inevitable that they will reach the top. And it is that unstoppable obstinacy that makes their lifestyle appear so impossible. They seem to possess an insane amount of determination and are willing to exert effort to reach their goals. When students and adult employees rarely want to get out of their beds in the morning, how can they ever reach that level of productivity and resolve? The sheer magnitude of the obstacles modern heroes face look too difficult to overcome for the people living at the lower echelons of life.

Maybe the world of fame and the “normal” is just divided by pure destiny; either one is born with a mission and the opportunities to climb to the top or one is just fated for a mundane life.

But life is more unpredictable than that.

Danny Raven Tan and Christina Lau Lay Lian are two examples that giving up, despite how hard a situation seems, is not an option. Both of artists began their life as ordinary humans, indistinguishable individuals within the crowd, just trying to fight their way up the rungs of the social status ladder.

Like most young adults nowadays, Tan first started his path to the future studying a subject that would grant him a stable income but not a subject to his enthusiasm; in his case, he studied property development despite his interest in art. But he decided to take the initiative and push forward to make a future where his passion in art could thrive, overcoming the seemingly necessary need for a steady yet mundane occupation that society demands from its civilians.

During his journey to become a full-time artist, he faced numerous obstacles. He wrangled with cancer, mourned his father’s death, and discovered his mother’s dementia. Despite all the curveballs Life threw at him, Tan persevered. He could’ve just gave up on his dream and stayed down with the rest of the crowd, drifting from ordinary day to ordinary day, with no spark to light up his future. But he didn’t.

Through his determination, he has reached the life he wanted to create. He paints and sells his work in his flat in Ang Mo Kio; his subjects range from superheroes to a despairing comment on society’s lack of empathy to others. He even uses his own painful experiences as an opportunity to grow as both a human being and an artist, such as when he shot a photoshoot positioned around showing off the scar he received from his cancer treatment, announcing a statement that all scars tell a story; in this respect, of victory.

“In life, we will face many challenges,” Tan says, “Just take the lessons and become stronger.”

Christina Lau originally started out as a prison officer. Her only ambitions then were about climbing to the top, like most others do. However, her entire life flipped around when she and her husband experienced a car accident in April 2005 that left Lau paralyzed; she suffers from a C-6 spinal injury, basically meaning movement below her chest is difficult. Once she heard that she may be unable to move properly or walk again, she fell into deep depression.

Similarly to Tan, she could’ve gave up at this distressing point in her life. And like Tan, she didn’t. She realised, with the help of the support and love given to her by family and friends, that she can’t let this accident force her down forever.

“Even if I fall down over and over again, I have to get up for the sake of my family,” Lau says.

In 2009, she joined a tetra activity in which she met others with similar disabilities as her. It was there that she learned mouth-painting. From there, she honed her skills and became a recognised student member of the MFPA (Mouth, Foot Painting Artists) in 2012. She eventually started to become as active like her previous self, albeit in a different method. She plays table tennis to exercise and keep herself healthy, and also for enjoyment.

“If you never try, you’ll never know how far you may go,” Lau says. “Life can be easy; Life can be difficult, but it all depends on how you look at it.”

Tan and Lau started ordinary enough, ambitious but not famous or immensely successful. Yet they managed to get to a place in their life where they are content and positive for what the future may bring, a small sweet taste of success. If they could rise despite the obstacles presented, then why can’t the rest of us? What most people seem to forget is that all celebrities, all the stars originally began somewhere with the rest of the public.

And no one knows what will happen, a fact Tan and Lau figure out from their experiences with cancer and physical disability, respectively. Today you may be safe, but tomorrow may bring something completely unexpected. Everyone has the power to reach their goals and dreams, and now is the time.

“If you don’t pursue your dream now,” Tan says, “then when? What do we leave when we die?”

 

Bibliography:

“CHRISTINA LAU LAY LIAN.” ActiveSG, Team Singapore, www.myactivesg.com/team-singapore/athletes/l/christina-lau-lay-lian.

“Christina Lau Lay Lian.” MFPA, MFPA, mfpa.com.sg/artists/christina-lau-lay-lian/.

“Danny Raven Tan.” The Artling, The Artling, theartling.com/en/artists/danny-raven-tan/.

Fang, Joy. “S’pore Artist Danny Raven Tan Showcases His Works in Flat.” TODAYonline, TODAYonline, 10 Feb. 2016, www.todayonline.com/entertainment/arts/spore-artist-danny-raven-tan-showcases-his-works-flat.

Miyano, Sakura. “Why Christina Lau Paints.” Site Title, 8 Feb. 2017, priorities.school.blog/2017/02/08/why-christina-lau-paints/.