In our industry, it is rare to find a company that supports holistic growth, let alone a company which provides over-the-top trainings to its employees. Fortunately, KSearch is an advocate of integrated development for its people. Aside from merely providing work-related seminars, the company invests on workshops for a broad spectrum of personality development, including social etiquette, self-defense techniques, wine appreciation, the arts, and travel, among others.
On July 24, 2014, Roni Balbieran (economist, researcher, and former instructor at University of Asia & the Pacific) and Christian “X” Valles (playwright, Palanca award winner, director, and co-founder of Marilou Diaz Abaya Film Institute) conducted a very engaging acting workshop for the benefit of KSearch consultants.
They started the workshop with physical and breathing exercises which helped in calming the nerves and recharging the participants’ energy. They emphasized proper posture and the importance of connecting and acknowledging the floor which should be considered as the actors’ energy source.
After warming up, X and Sir Roni started with two acting exercises: the tap-and-freeze and the tableau. In the first activity, the facilitators encouraged two volunteers to proceed to the floor, act a certain scene, and then freeze. A third person was instructed to come in and tap either of the first two participants and strike a pose that will change the depicted scenario. This progressed until all consultants have had their turn.
To make the activity more interesting, X and Sir Roni increased the number of participants and asked them to contribute something to the current scene instead of replacing another person. When everyone has joined the scene, it was explained that what they’re doing is called Tableau. In a Tableau, participants make still images with their bodies to represent a scene. It can be used to quickly depict a scene that involves large number of different characters.
After a quick break, two video clips were shown to demonstrate the uses and effects of voice modulation, pitch, and speed when delivering lines. If a person just wants to get the message across, the script is enough to tell the story. However, if he wants to convey the message with emotions, the actor has to deliver the lines properly with the use of facial expressions and body movements.
To practice what they’ve learned, the participants were grouped into four and acted out scenes while using only one-liners throughout their presentations. As the mentors gave their feedback after each group’s presentation, the increasing quality of the participants’ performance evolved. They were able to apply the pointers from the mentors, thus improving their acting presentations.
Most of the participants, including myself, dreaded this workshop because they didn’t want to look awkward or silly. As a proof, the participants were very hesitant to volunteer due to fear of rejection, doubting if they can do the task properly. It took a lot of coaxing from the mentors to take the shyness away from them. As some started to volunteer, the others saw that they, too, could join in the fun and actually enjoy the exercise. After shaking off the jitters, the participants concentrated on their acting and their competitive nature became more evident.
Although the 3-hour workshop is a compressed version of a summer workshop, X and Sir Roni pointed out that the KSearch employees were able to learn fast in a short period of time. It was evident that the employees enjoyed this workshop and would be somewhat more confident in applying their newly acquired learning when the occasion calls for it.
Prepared by Patricia Ann Cruz
Finance/BPO/Accounting Practice Area
28 July 2014