TIE

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    Someone told me that TIE is looked down upon in the industry-is this true?

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    Sadly, it very possibly is, but it really shouldn't be! It is one of the hardest jobs to do in acting, both physically and mentally - it certainly builds stamina! And it is performed to an audience without any preconceptions of what theatre is/should be - which makes it extremely exciting if done properly.

    My only experience is taking Shakespeare into primary schools, and it was extremely rewarding. Using Shakespeare's own words, rather than a modern interpretation, means that as an actor, you really do need to understand what you are saying and communicate that meaning in every way possible. You can't get away with just speaking the language beautifully - the kids soon get bored if you do that! But the rewards when the children are cheering and whooping at the end, and come crowding around you asking for your autograph and wanting to know "were they real knives?" (yes!) "what was in the poison bottle?" (real poison ;-)) is amazing. The most exciting moment (and the one when we knew we'd got it right) was when the kids shouted "no, don't take it, she's still alive!" as Romeo is about to swallow the poison. Ahhhhh, bless them - some of them really buy into live performance, and haven't quite become so sophisticated enough to know that it's all make believe.

    And there is also the challenge of every performance being in a different space, with different entrances and exits and run arounds, different size of space, accoustics, numbers of children etc. And the hardest thing to get to grips with is timing! At each school, you turn up with a 90 minute performance, but they then tell you (with less than 30 minutes to 'curtain up') that you can only have 75 minutes because the dinner ladies need to set up, then it takes the kids 10 minutes to arrive and settle down, so the cast have to really communicate quickly and concisely about how they are going to achieve the finale without the dinner ladies setting out chairs and tables in the middle of Romeo & Juliet killing themselves (kinda takes the edge off the death when you can hear "is the pie done yet?").

    So, even if 'the industry' have a tendancy to be a little scathing of TIE, as an actor, I have the utmost respect for anyone who can manage a tour (but pick your TIE company carefully - there are quite a few cowboys out there) and still be sane at the end of it!

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    I think some people can look down on T.I.E., but I think that it demonstrates an aptitude for the small scale touring that a lot of companies undertake and which is to a lot of actors their bread and butter.

    I do think it advisable to only do this sort of work with a good company, one that is reputable and pays well.

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    I think whatever you do in this industry someone somewhere will look down their noses at you. If you spend a long time in a TV soap and then try to get theatre, the theatre people will say "oh he is very telly". If you do long contracts for the RSC and then try to get telly the telly people will say " oh he is very theatre". So at the end of the day I think you have to - as the saying goes "to your own self be true". Do what you want to do because you enjoy it find it satisfying and challenging.

    There are some really good TIE and YPT companies out there. If the work they offer appeals to you then go for it and take no notice of what anyone else thinks. As Geof says it is good bread-and-butter work. And I would also take the advice given above and only work in this field for reputable companies. Personally I look for companies who work on ITC Equity contracts and only produce one show at a time.

    • 18th Oct 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    actors would always be in work if they did only TIE- but the industry does assume its not "real" theatre. But too much of anything- musicals, film, straight theatre etc will typwcast you anyway... but its good to do if ou intend to developo stamina- its the only training ground vaguely similar to rep nowadays... but many companies take the piss and exploit actors financially so be aware.

    • 18th Oct 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    BUt I have another side to the story as well-- I ahve a genreal criticism of many people who refuse to do TIE- its in my opinion the basic training aka army or TA of the theatre- its a tall order to get up early, warm up, dp get ins and get outs and do a fabulous show for children...

    if we want to go a step further-

    this is what touring companies up until Edwardian times used to do - Commedia, Restoration to a degree, Elizabethan etc... its the whole natire of theatre...

    actors today are spoilt and assume it is beneath them.

    I am totally in faavour of STOPPING this work if you feel you have done too much, but it not only gives you stamina for long runs, it crushes your ego and creastes a hardened grizzled actor.

    I have become a BETTER actor through TIE and while I agree that doing too much can be detrimental if you dont enjoy it, I think everyone should do it, and I can always do it if Im out of work as I have the experience.

    But like I said, musicals etc are just as typecasting- I know an actress who had to pare down her CV with the eleven West End shows she had done to gte seen for film!!!! No matter what, there si always a negative...

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    TIE is a mixed bag, get it right, as mentiomned before, it can be brilliant. Get it wrong and (I learnt this) it can be a nightmare to finish and all the gut busting work you put in even though the kids and everyone thinks it was great, you can go back to digs and want to find something sharp and dig it into your eyes. (Bit dramatic but you get the feeling)

    I spent 5 months touring and generally was miserable after abotu 2 weeks. I worked with some great actors, and then others that werent even hired as actors but got lumped in because he "filled a gap" throw in 10 days to learn 6 different hour long shows and people that werent trained 9and one of I ended up having to move into another troupe I couldnt cope with him and his"its only TIE, not a big deal"-Which to me is disgusting as whether or not people look dow on it, I was there to do a job and do it to my best I would as the kids were there for a show and to learn.- and the company were complete cowboys and it made me re think TIE adnd touring for a while... but meh to it I enjoyed it and even though it is "bread and butter" I would rather be doing TIE and having fun( and I am more suspicious) while doing something thats not a Debenhams or office work..

    And seeing places I havent been before ( i got to see the tower of Pisa, Verona and the tomb and house of Juliet, Florance) so thats was the up side for me.

    I learnt how to keep plugging on work with problems(and the dinner lady issue had popped up many a time!!) and yeah never going to make millions doing TIE but I do admit all the poo that goes with it can make you hate things about it, BUT children that have enjoyed the show and gone away with something, be it improved english (we workshopped too) or just to see theatre isnt boring or for "big jessies" makes it so much better.....

    MY apologies for the ramble... but TIE shouldnt be looked down on, you can either do it, or fail at it.. no inbetween. Give all to it or dont bother.

    xx

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    I'd just like to point out that when I used the term "bread and butter" it wasn't in a derogatory way...

    I simply meant that T.I.E. and other small scale touring work is where most of the work is and where a lot of people make their living as actors.

    I love small scale touring but am leaving off T.I.E. at the moment simply because I have seen plenty of people in my agency missing out on being put up for really big opportunities because they're out on the road for a T.I.E. gig and not available.

    At the moment I'd rather be available to be put up for bigger opportunities then out on the road, but as call centre madness is setting in we'll see how much longer that lasts...

    • 18th Oct 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Geoff,

    No one assumed you were derogatory at all... I didnt at least... and I personally agree with you that it DOES take you out the loop.

    It is bread and butter money and i also agree that at one point, you need to stop doing it if you want to move to other stuff.

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    Just read that and it also sounds bad! I have the flu and my brain is rotting... Sorry.

    I love touring and I'm not looking down on it at all, I'd love to do a decent bit of touring at the moment, just not T.I.E.

    And when I say that, I'm not looking down on T.I.E.!

    Just can't fit my brain around typing things that make sense today.

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    Cheers Blake.

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    noooo not taking it as a bad derogi whatsit (big words... arrghh) I just meant in genral people DO look down on it and it makes me angr. not having a go at all.....

    I just got over the flu, its a nasty icky version floating around, so I feel your snottyness...

    I fee badn ow, I wasnt havin a go at anyone, promise..

    A xx

    • 18th Oct 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Shame, you all feel bad over what you said.... so the flu has freid your brains..

    in that case, go over to WICKED in the West End and ask the Wizard for a new brain!!!!

    ha ha!!!!

    YOu both said nothing wrong- go in peace and sin no mre. hee hee!!!

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    Im going to see it tomorrow WHOHOO WIcked that is :D :D :D :D :D: Im so excited :D :D

    So ifI see new brains lying around I ll snaffle em :P

    a x

    • 18th Oct 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Its time to defy gravity... ah ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    mwah ha ha ha blake :P

    I cant WAIT :D Im like a 10 year old kid agian :D :D:D (only 15 years later!)

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    If there are fresh brains going around I'd like to join the queue... :-)

    • 18th Oct 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Amy needs them more- belting and singing high destroys brain cells.

    • 18th Oct 2007
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    ha ha ha Blake I didnt know I could still do that!! :P my brain cells are a little shook up, but they be ready for some more soon :D :D :D :D are you about?

    I have visions of my cells screwing up like a shrivelled lemon trying to sing all the way up there again agter years and years of not doing it...

    • 18th Oct 2007
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  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    I am- call me and we can make a plan for next week for another appointment .

    • 18th Oct 2007
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