A guest blog from one of our wonderful actors, Ady Thompson, who has recently been on tour with our performance of The Emperor’s New Clothes.
A day in the life of an actor on The Emperors New Clothes tour.
It was a frozen, frost bitten Friday morning on tour in Sheffield. I have a quick breakfast and a good old cup of coffee before checking out of the hotel. Scraping the frost off of the tour van windows is not something you have to do everyday, but with the cold weather it’s something that needs to be factored in, it does also make you feel Christmasy too. We jump in the van and put the sat nav on and follow the directions to the first school; whilst listening to a local radio station with some classic Christmas tunes jingling out of the speakers.
We arrive at the school over an hour before the show starts, so we can set up and prepare. The team all sign in and show our perspective identification. We get a quick look at the hall space to see which is the best way for the show, and then we start the get in. We have an array of costumes, props and a colourful elaborate set; made primarily from a metal frame with wicker flats that tie to the sides. We get offered a cuppa from Miss which is gratefully received. It’s always good to have a cup of something warm to slurp whilst we set up. We erect the set whilst warming our voices by sirening, which is using the ‘ng’ sound that resonates the throat and nose, to ensure we are warm vocally, as the show has several songs to sing.
I meticulously lay out all my costume in the same order behind the set everyday. A big part of having a great show for me is preparation, especially if you have lots of costume changes – and in this show I have over 12. Once all the set, sound, lights costume and props are all set up, I have a few more slurps of my tea, a quick change into costume and I’m ready. The children begin to arrive, over 400 in the first show, reception all the way through to year 6. All super excited, chatting about what they think they are about to see.
The show was fantastic with songs and scenes being well received. I find the best way to engage the children when performing in schools is to be conscious of their reactions, and play to their responses which keeps the show fresh as no two schools are the same. The children and the teachers loved the show especially the catchy tunes composed by Edward Poole. All saying it was ‘Fabulous, Glamorous!’
Lunch time at the big golden ‘M’ (Other eateries are available but it’s Friday and I deserved it. Hehe.)
The afternoon show went off without a hitch, with the school giving us a score of 100 out of 10.
Then all there is to do is pack up the set and place it back in the van and drive back home to Liverpool. A good Friday had by all.
This is the third time I’ve performed the tour of the Emperors New Clothes with Altru and I’m still loving it. The way the shows are written and directed are engaging for all ages and audiences alike. Life of an actor is great when you get paid to play.
We hope you’ve enjoyed a little snapshot into life on tour for our actors. If you’d like to find out more about our performances, give us a call.