Acting It’s that time of year again where after the overindulgence
on mince pies, Quality Street and turkey
sandwiches have resulted in us craving to kick-start the New Year
with something new and exciting to do as a resolution! Or maybe,
you just always wanted to try a bit of acting! Amateur drama is
rife in Ireland. There are groups all over the countries from the
urban sprawls to rural “post office and pub” villages. We have a
passion for the dramatics in Ireland with some of the world’s
finest playwrights coming from our humble land. The word “amateur”
however is often a bit of a misnomer. Amateur suggests lacking in
talent or professional in approach when quite often with many
groups, it is quite often the opposite. Running a drama group and
staging a production, no matter how small, is a very demanding task
for everyone involved and successful drama groups learn very
quickly the importance of teamwork, trust and commitment to the
goal at hand. While having strong, well cast actors is the key
ingredient to putting on a great show, the crew and team play a
crucial role in bringing the director’s vision to the stage from
being a stage hand or ticket checker on the night to sourcing props
or costumes in the run up to a production. Each role no matter how
small is a cog in the wheel. With amateur theatre where many people juggle day jobs, budget and time are your 2 main obstacles. But hard work aside, it’s great fun and very rewarding.

So why do people join drama groups and what do they get out of it? With No Drama Theatre, we have found members have
joined for many reasons such as;

• A desire to act
• To improve performing skills
• To work behind the scenes
• A social outlet
• A combination of the above

However whether immediately realised or
not, members have given us feedback that being part of the group
has also given:

• Boosted confidence and self esteem in other aspects of life
• Great understanding of staging a production and
being involved in one
• Improved their communication skills including active listening
• Developed both teamwork skills and the
ability to work on initiative
• Introduced them to new and cool friends!

What many people have said is that all of this is achieved through a fun and welcoming environment and because we run workshops twice weekly, personal development is in constant focus.
So this brings us back to the why you might be thinking of joining
a drama group, be it No Drama Theatre or
another group. I often hear from people or read on messages boards,
people asking how they can get involved in drama groups and get to
act on stage. The most common reply is, “Do as many auditions with
as many groups as you can”. I personally believe that this is not
always the best of advice. Why is this? Well remember what I said
earlier about the key factors that contribute to a drama group’s
success? The importance of teamwork, trust and
commitment
. Your first step should be to join a drama
group! Many groups are weary of people who only seem to appear
around audition periods as it raises a question mark over
commitment to the group. The director of a play will always want
the best performer for a role, but he/she also needs to consider
how the individual will mix with other performers and crew. Will an
actor be on time, flexible and committed to the role? No different
to a job interview, you can’t convey this in a short audition.
However by getting involved in a group, attending workshops,
helping out backstage when you are not cast in show, it all adds to
the teamwork and spirit of the group. One of No
Drama’s
longest members, Tom, once said to me over a
pint, that when he was cast in his first play with the group, he
was blown away by the commitment and effort put in by the
production crew in bring the play to the stage. When it came to the
auditions for our next play, Tom wasn’t available to audition and
was due to be on holiday before the play would be staged. However
Tom felt that it was important to fly home in time for the
production to help out backstage when the play was running, to give
back to other people what he had received when he was on stage.
This kind of action captures the spirit of what No Drama
Theatre
and many other drama groups around the country
are all about. It also helped boost Tom’s director’s and producer’s
knowledge of Tom’s abilities and capabilities.

What Can I Expect When I Walk In The Door?
Joining a drama group can be scary. Many people have experienced joining a
group only to find its very clicky or difficult to get accepted
into the core group. With No Drama Theatre we
strive to eliminate the “eliteness” often associated with drama
groups and offer a level playing field for everyone. However all
the positively affirming written words in the world doesn’t smash
those nerves of walking in the door for the first time! But that’s
all it takes, a first step. Remember everyone in the group had a
first class/workshop at some stage. Have a chat to members, new and
old. You’ll find that many people will have had similar reasons to
you for joining. And finally and most importantly enjoy it!
Workshops are very important to developing your performing skills.
If you aren’t doing formal training with a professional school,
acting in plays alone won’t develop your skills to the extent you
may think. I have had feedback from members who have said that the
confidence and skills learned in our workshops have helped them get
cast in plays/TV shows/films outside of No
Drama
. One of our member commented on an audition
outside of No Drama, for a web series,
The Covies, where the majority of the audition
was to be improvised. He told me that had it not being for the
improvisation exercises and workshops he had attended with
No Drama, he would not have been prepared for
the audition. He got the part too. That’s just one simple example
of how beneficial workshops are if you want to develop your skills
further. So to close out, if you want to join a drama group?
Go for it!

Thinking of Joining A Drama Group?
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One thought on “Thinking of Joining A Drama Group?

  • July 19, 2015 at 9:51 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there,

    I would be interested in joining this theatre group & I was wondering what the cost would be to join? Also what is the location?

    Thanks so much!
    Nuala
    087-3981819

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