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Tips for Playing the Beast 
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Fresh Face
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Post Tips for Playing the Beast
Hello! This is my first post on this forum, and I joined primarily because I wanted to get tips on playing the Beast in my school’s production of Beauty and the Beast, Jr.

Some background info on me- I’m 14 years old and have always wanted to play this role (and Henry Higgins), so I want to make my performance as stellar as possible, because I’ll never know if I’ll get an opportunity like this again, even though I’ll only be in a kiddie-fied version for two nights in May.

When I was cast in the role, I think the producers felt a little pigeon-held to give me this role, and in the beginning they had no confidence I could do it. In the end, I had little to none (that I know of) competition, but on the other hand they found my “Beastly” voice impressive and I had already given them some promotion tips for the play. Plus, I’m a well known Disney freak and they knew I knew the story from heart.

With that said, acting-wise, I am sure I can handle the character, singing-wise, not so much. In the Junior Production, all of the Beast’s singing parts are cut out, except for the Finale and Something There, but I’m worried if I’ll be able to handle the Finale after using my gruff speaking voice for the entire play. I’m not a trained singer, either, so are there any rituals I should perform before doing my role to strengthen my voice?

Ooooo… And I’m no dancer, at all. The Beauty and the Beast dance is supposed to be easy enough, we’ll just be making a box on the floor. I don’t know if I could really get any tips about this from you guys, but I just thought I’d mention that I was a terrible dancer with no rhythm at all. At all.

Also, I wear glasses, and I’ve decided it doesn’t make sense for an illiterate Beast to have reading glasses, so I’m planning on getting contacts soon, maybe next month. Less of a stage question, but do you think I’ll be adapted to my contacts lenses by the time the play rolls around in May? I don't want the lights to aggravate my eyes, too much, you know.

And finally, I wear braces. I want to make them as unnoticeable as possible during the play, so I’m wondering what colors I should get next time I have an appointment at the orthodontist? I originally thought white, but poking around through these forums, I saw silver was a better suggestion. Would anybody be willing to help me clarify with that?

Like I said, I really want to do the best job I can possibly do. For me, it’s really a once in a lifetime experience. I’ve already immersed myself in the Beauty and the Beast mythology, and all that, so if anyone has some general tips about playing the role on stage, it would be much appreciated! :mrgreen:


Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:54 pm
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UmbrellaFish wrote:
In the Junior Production, all of the Beast’s singing parts are cut out, except for the Finale and Something There, but I’m worried if I’ll be able to handle the Finale after using my gruff speaking voice for the entire play. I’m not a trained singer, either, so are there any rituals I should perform before doing my role to strengthen my voice?


Once the Beast turns human, his voice returns to his natural, non-beastly state. That having been said, sing the song like you would normally sing it, and stop using the beast voice. Is that what you were asking? If you meant that you won't be able to sing after using the voice so much, then my best advice is - FIND A DIFFERENT SPEAKING VOICE FOR THE BEAST. If you are hurting your voice so much that you can't sing, you need to stop that before you really hurt yourself! Worry less about the gravelly voice, and work more on depth and power. It's not worth ruining your voice for "a kiddie-fied version for two nights in May" - or for any show, for that matter.

UmbrellaFish wrote:
Ooooo… And I’m no dancer, at all. The Beauty and the Beast dance is supposed to be easy enough, we’ll just be making a box on the floor. I don’t know if I could really get any tips about this from you guys, but I just thought I’d mention that I was a terrible dancer with no rhythm at all. At all.


This won't be a problem at all. In fact, it may help you with your character. The Beast is hesitant to dance with Belle because he doesn't know how to... Use that! I'm sure you'll be able to pick up the dance no problem, but if not, you can definitely use that for your character. Start the dance with hesistance, then grow in confidence as the Beast picks up the steps - even if you don't get them perfect, remember that you're playing a large hairy animal. :P

UmbrellaFish wrote:
And finally, I wear braces. I want to make them as unnoticeable as possible during the play, so I’m wondering what colors I should get next time I have an appointment at the orthodontist? I originally thought white, but poking around through these forums, I saw silver was a better suggestion. Would anybody be willing to help me clarify with that?


Yes, you are correct - silver would probably be your best bet.


Break legs! And keep us posted.


Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:40 pm
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Fresh Face
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Thank you very much for the advice.

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Once the Beast turns human, his voice returns to his natural, non-beastly state. That having been said, sing the song like you would normally sing it, and stop using the beast voice. Is that what you were asking? If you meant that you won't be able to sing after using the voice so much, then my best advice is - FIND A DIFFERENT SPEAKING VOICE FOR THE BEAST. If you are hurting your voice so much that you can't sing, you need to stop that before you really hurt yourself! Worry less about the gravelly voice, and work more on depth and power. It's not worth ruining your voice for "a kiddie-fied version for two nights in May" - or for any show, for that matter.


Actually, yes, I was asking about my voice, it certainly get sore and hurts. I knew it could damage my voice, and I was fearing this, so I suppose it's best I just find another technique.

Quote:
This won't be a problem at all. In fact, it may help you with your character. The Beast is hesitant to dance with Belle because he doesn't know how to... Use that! I'm sure you'll be able to pick up the dance no problem, but if not, you can definitely use that for your character. Start the dance with hesistance, then grow in confidence as the Beast picks up the steps - even if you don't get them perfect, remember that you're playing a large hairy animal.


I really like the suggestion about the Beast's dance. I'll use that. Thanks a lot! :D

Quote:
Yes, you are correct - silver would probably be your best bet.


Then silver it is.

Once again, thanks for all the suggestions.


Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:33 am
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Luc had some very great advice, and I whole-heartedly second it. I'd also like to welcome you to MdN! The Beast is such an amazing role. I'm 14 myself and would love to play him, "even in the Junior version."

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Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:30 pm
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Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:35 pm
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Fresh Face
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ActingDude17 wrote:
Luc had some very great advice, and I whole-heartedly second it. I'd also like to welcome you to MdN! The Beast is such an amazing role. I'm 14 myself and would love to play him, "even in the Junior version."


It's definitely a pleasurable thing to do, and I'm very glad I've gotten this opportunity. I hope you get the chance to do the role someday. I've grown quite attached to the little Junior script, myself. It's a little watered down, of course, and I think it's a shame "If I Can't Love Her" is cut, but it still manages to capture the heartwarming qualities that made the film at least (I've never seen the full play) famous.

Actually the only thing that bugs me is that it goes straight from "Something There" to "Human Again" with maybe four lines of dialouge inbetween. It quickens Belle and the Beast's relationship too much, in my opinion. Otherwise, I am quite pleased with the script. Of course, it would be really cool to do the entire play on the professional stage.... =P~

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Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:08 pm
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Post Re: Tips for Playing the Beast
UmbrellaFish wrote:
With that said, acting-wise, I am sure I can handle the character, singing-wise, not so much. In the Junior Production, all of the Beast’s singing parts are cut out, except for the Finale and Something There, but I’m worried if I’ll be able to handle the Finale after using my gruff speaking voice for the entire play. I’m not a trained singer, either, so are there any rituals I should perform before doing my role to strengthen my voice?

Firstly, congratulations on getting the part! There are heaps of exercises you can do to strengthen your voice. Ask your vocal director or someone in charge of the singing and they could tell you some to practise.
UmbrellaFish wrote:
Ooooo… And I’m no dancer, at all. The Beauty and the Beast dance is supposed to be easy enough, we’ll just be making a box on the floor. I don’t know if I could really get any tips about this from you guys, but I just thought I’d mention that I was a terrible dancer with no rhythm at all. At all.

Don't worry about it. I'm pretty sure the Beast in my production can't dance either! Take Luc's advice and I'm sure the director will tell you how he/she wants it done anyway.
UmbrellaFish wrote:
Also, I wear glasses, and I’ve decided it doesn’t make sense for an illiterate Beast to have reading glasses, so I’m planning on getting contacts soon, maybe next month. Less of a stage question, but do you think I’ll be adapted to my contacts lenses by the time the play rolls around in May? I don't want the lights to aggravate my eyes, too much, you know.

I have a friend I do ballet with who wore glasses. She found that they got in the way and she couldn't wear them on stage so she started wearing contacts. For her, they were no problem. Of course it would be different for everyone so maybe try them out for a while before you decide to wear them on stage.
UmbrellaFish wrote:
And finally, I wear braces. I want to make them as unnoticeable as possible during the play, so I’m wondering what colors I should get next time I have an appointment at the orthodontist? I originally thought white, but poking around through these forums, I saw silver was a better suggestion. Would anybody be willing to help me clarify with that?

I have braces too! They sure are annoying when it comes to the stage. I have many dance competition DVDs and from watching myself I find that they're not as noticeable as you would think, mine being silver. I'm really hoping to have them off by the performance though!
UmbrellaFish wrote:
Like I said, I really want to do the best job I can possibly do. For me, it’s really a once in a lifetime experience. I’ve already immersed myself in the Beauty and the Beast mythology, and all that, so if anyone has some general tips about playing the role on stage, it would be much appreciated! :mrgreen:

These are some things I did when I found out I was playing Belle:

-Watch the movie (you've probably already done that).
-Read through the script and take note of the direction as well.
-Watch videos on you tube, the Broadway production can be found as well as many other versions.
-Explore different versions of the story, OK so some might be really dodgy but a cheap movie I found did give me different aspects of character to think about.

Good luck, I hope this helped in some way. :D

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Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:29 pm
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Fresh Face
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This is incredibly late (busy week), ~Masquerade Dancer~, but thank you for the tips. I've already taken some of them into consideration. :D


Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:19 pm
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