It’s show blog time!^^/
One of my all-time favourite performances comes in the form of “Hat-Trick”. It’s about an arrogant footballer who looks down his nose at other players and is a big womanizer. He doesn’t realise that other people make fun of him and he fails to realise his own faults, due to his high ego.
The character Mr Hat-Trick actually came from a past college project. With many other characters he was in purgatory and wanted to ascend to heaven. He was a Football player in his past life but died in a Blimp Explosion. I bet you can all guess where I got that idea from. 😉
He actually started off as a romantic family man who cherishes his wife and adores his three children. Then, the tutor gave me an emotion of “sarcasm” and from that point on I developed him into someone who is very lofty and very arrogant. A little bit like Alan Partridge if you will who doesn’t realise that he is the butt of many jokes.
If I remember correctly he ends up being on the “bad” side rather than the “good” side. Haha.
UNI PROJECT IDEA
On this certain performance criteria we had to perform a community project of some sort. Around this time there were controversy involving John Terry and Wayne Bridge and the England squad was announced for the World Cup 2010. An idea immediately came to me. What if I play some football player who attends a press conference and gets asked a bunch of questions? Random spectators from the audience can ask random questions and I could react in my character. Another idea came to me, what if I recycle a character from a past performance, I.e., Mr Hat-Trick? I love this idea so I decided to go with it.
Technically, this would probably count as a prequel to the college show as he died and resides in purgatory. Haha.
I had quite a lot of fun on this project but at the same time I probably took it a little seriously.
As this was going to be a comedy I felt that the spectators could only appreciate it if they saw it once. I decided that it would be best if we had closed rehearsals, thinking that the comedy factor might wear thin if they had to watch it over and over in rehearsals.
I wouldn’t let anyone watch the rehearsals. In insight I believe this was unnecessary on my part. I never thought myself as unapproachable but I do think I might have taken some of the fun out of it. If I were to describe how I felt about it, I would say that I probably made it too precious.
I worked on this project with a good friend a mine, let’s call him Mr Rodders. Mr Rodders worked on the technical side. He took several photo shoots of me posing wearing a Chelsea polo shirt and in a smart suit. He also filmed me running around in the park and playing football. I had to imagine that I was playing against the opposition. That was fun. I even got on the bus with him in an impromptu visit to the park. That was good experience for me as I don’t handle impromptu decisions well.
I had a few photoshoots with my fiancée, Mrs Hat-Trick, Jaclyn Delacroix. That was good experience for me too as it’s rare that I have to act lovey-dovey and embrace a lot. Hugs are not my thing so I was asking a lot of myself here.
One of the funniest moments during the build-up would was what I refer to as “the pink shirt moment”. The Character, Pippa, wore a pink shirt with a picture of my face on it and a huge “I” and a heart above my face. I.e., I love Hat-Trick. With assistance from Mum I managed to iron the image on. It turned out that the top was absolutely massive on the actor, and it actually went below her knees! You guessed it, I bought a size far too big. You see, in my head it was “A PINK SHIRT! I MUST GET THAT BEFORE IT SELLS OUT!” Nothing else really went through my mind except the colour “pink”. Haha.
I felt that overall, despite being out of my comfort zone a little, I was a good leader and director. Usually I’m not very good at giving orders and when I’m in that position I’m hesitant and unsure. However, if I’m comfortable with the project, I know what I’m doing and I’m good at communicating.
I like to think I managed to accommodate the actors to their needs and I was able to process 5 questions at once… this often happened back when I was at school so it was a useful habit to have. =) The most important thing is that I never panicked and I never once took out my slight nerves on the actors and Mr Rodders. I’ve never been one to take out my frustration on others or humiliate them and I certainly wasn’t going to start then.
Leadership skills are not my strongest asset but I did myself proud. =)
The show started with me walking towards the main tech building with a young lady on my arm. The audience were in the foyer and my agent, Chip, played by Mr Rodders, phoned me and asked me where I was. On cue, when I was close enough, he walked outside and made a fuss out of my appearance. Then, he went back in and gathered the audience back in the facility where the “press conference” would take place.
My actual family was in attendance as was a good friend of mine. When I’m playing serious parts I don’t want my family to see me, but when I’m playing light-hearted parts, I like my family in attendance.
Usually, I take my roles seriously and it takes me little time to learn my lines. However, I feel that I’m only natural when I play the parts that I’m comfortable with, I.e., Hat-Trick. When I play parts seriously, I make little mistakes. When I play parts with good fun and they bring the best out of me, I’m prone to many mistakes. And that’s what happened in the actual play… I made plenty of mistakes but for the first time, I didn’t panic. I didn’t get annoyed either. I think it’s because I was calling all the shots and felt that I could get away with a “mistake or two”. ^^/
I loved the performance. I really let go and acted out Mr Hat-Trick. I was a bit of a womanizer and had plenty of banter with some of the actors in the audience. I even cursed a couple of times which I won’t repeat on here. 😉
One of my favourite pieces of dialogue is:
Hat-Trick: Besides, he’s s***
Mr H: Your s***
Hat-Trick: He’s the s****** of the s***
Mr: No, you are S***! You look like s***! You smell like s***! You are S***!
Hat-Trick: No, no, no, mate… I am THE S***. He’s just… S***!
The performance was concluded when Chip embraced me, groped my bum and pushed me out of the “conference” room…. The audience literally laughed their rockers off when that happened. I must admit, I thought it was funny too. I didn’t really know how I didn’t laugh myself.
I was very natural. I was familiar with the football world and the sort of thing footballers may get up to. It was a comedy as well, so I could really let go and allow Hat-Trick to take over me for a little while.
My marks didn’t go as high as I could have got since I completely forgot what the original criteria assignment was about. That was to get the “audience” involved and since the actors I “hired” were “planted” it became a regular play rather than an interactive theatre. I didn’t mind this though because I was really proud of what I’ve accomplished and it’s all thanks to the help of Mr Rodders and everyone else who got involved to make it a good play. =)
THANKS FOR READING
I should mention as well that I did create a Facebook Fanpage for Hat-Trick in order to advertise the show. Looking at this page made me remember how much I enjoyed performing this piece. I’m even laughing right now as I recall some of the funny moments. =)
However, it seems that since then, a few people genuinely believed that I was an actual Chelsea player. In the near future, I’m going to cancel this account to prevent any more confusion. For now though I’m going to share this link so you all can check it out, if you like. =)
Here it is:
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much I enjoyed writing it. =)
Thanks for reading. =)