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Female Minstrel 
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Fresh Face
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Post Female Minstrel
I've recently been cast as the Minstrel in my high school's production of Once Upon a Mattress. I'm very excited, but not sure where to go with the character. My director said that we'll rework some lines so that I'm not in love with Lady Larkin. I'm a lyric soprano, and singing all the songs an octave above their normal place. Here are my specific questions:

1) What is my dynamic with the King and the Jester supposed to be like? I say that I've only just arrived in the castle and am not staying long, but in "The Minstrel, the Jester, and I", we sing, 'But if one of our trio should ever depart, then the others would languish and die... We're like three different people with only one [heart]", which implies a long-standing friendship.

2) As the narrator, am I supposed to be more of a non-character, or am I a developed character with individual quirks and personality traits?

Any other advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks so much!

-Rilla


Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:14 pm
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Broadway Legend
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You are a fully developed character with your own unique personality. Yes the Minstrel narrates the show at parts, but this is basically his memories.


Ugh. I'm sorry your show doesn't have a guy to play this role or that your director will have you play it as a man, because the whole Larken/Minstrel Normandy part is vital and an awesome part to the show. It's just not the same when that is cut out.

as for the friendship thing, haven't you ever met someone and just clicked, and were off talking about everything and anything moments later? That's what it is like for them. Besides, the King and Jester trust him, because he proves to be useful and loyal to them.


Fri Dec 21, 2007 6:36 pm
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I think your director has the right idea having you play it as a woman. It's never really convincing when chicks dress as guys (with the exception of casting them in pants roles to avoid having to deal with a bunch of kids running around! lol).

I also think there is a long standing friendship between the minstrel, the jester, and the king. I've always interpreted it to mean that the minstrel is of the wandering sort, and stays at the castle whenever he's in the area. So it's true that (s)he has only just arrived, but they already know him/her from previous visits.

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Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:55 am
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Fresh Face
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Post Just a note
The minstrel has just arrived in scene one but he/she has been there for a month (the amount of time Harry goes away to find Winnifred). He/she would have found friends in the Jester and King.


Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:10 pm
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I think, and this is just my opinion, that you shouldn't treat the Minstrel as mainly a narrator. He is a character just as much as anyone else. Yes, it is his (or her in your case) memories, but there are scenes when he is in the middle of the action, and not just watching it or narrating it. So you kind of have to do double duty, but you shouldn't focus on just narrating.


Hope I could help! =D


Mon Dec 31, 2007 5:23 pm
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Fresh Face
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Post 
We just got back from a school break, and so far I've been taking all of your great advice--however, a couple of things have changed:

For "Many Moons Ago" and its little reprise, I am 'telling the story' to a bunch of little faculty kids. I'm still a storyteller, but I feel like I should be doing things more exaggeratedly as one would if they were reading to small children. What do you think?

The end of "Normandy" doesn't sound very balanced because Lady Larkin and I are both singing the same very high soprano notes: "This time of year the air I hear is rare and clear". Is there any way to rearrange this (maybe in harmony?) so it isn't two very loud sopranos on top of the poor Jester, who is singing practically falsetto?

When I am getting the Wizard to tell me what the test is, at the end of the scene, I ask him to go down to the wine cellar and "talk". Now, I know as a man this probably wouldn't have had any other implications, but it seems so obvious (and so "Mattress")... how should I spin that line?

Thanks again for all the help!


Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:11 am
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Post Re:
rillablythe wrote:
When I am getting the Wizard to tell me what the test is, at the end of the scene, I ask him to go down to the wine cellar and "talk". Now, I know as a man this probably wouldn't have had any other implications, but it seems so obvious (and so "Mattress")... how should I spin that line?


Pshaw. I see a WHOLE lot of implications there, especially when the Minstrel is played by a man. Not that the Minstrel is gay, by any means, but he's definitely playing it up for the Wizard.

Just my reading. :)


Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:16 pm
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Fresh Face
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Post Re: Female Minstrel
These are usual school tips, but useful. Try reading the story many times, which will help you to transform easily to that character. Reading and knowing better about your role can help you to perform better. Build the confidence and try acting in front of the mirror.




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CHRIS
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Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:48 am
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