Helping my Daughter play Cinderella

QUESTION:

My daughter is playing Cinderella (Rodgers and Hammerstein) in a (good) community theater production. She has excellent dramatic, musical and dance ability, but acting is not her profession, and she tends to 'act' herself. She is feeling extremely awkward playing the romantic scenes with the prince. Would you have any acting advice or technique that helps in this sort of situation?

Thank you.

ANSWER:

I can be very awkward for kids to play romantic scenes, but here are a few things that could help your daughter:

1) Substitution

If the difficulty comes in part from the actor playing the prince, your daughter can use a simple acting technique called substitution. Basically, she imagines someone she really likes is playing the prince. It doesn't have to be someone she loves if she's too young. It can just be someone she really cares about or admires.

2) Change her point of view

If she feels embarrassed showing feelings of love on stage, take a different approach to the romantic scenes. After all, the Cinderella story is not so much about finding true love as it is about hope and reaching your dreams. If your daughter approaches these scenes as "dream come true" scenes rather than romantic scenes, it could make things easier. For example, when she walks in and sees the prince for the first time, have her imagine she sees her biggest dream becoming true right in front of her eyes.

3) Making a Connection

If the main issue is that she doesn't feel any connection to Cinderella's character and prefers to "act herself", she can feel more connected to the role by finding one thing in common between herself and the character. Maybe it's having a dream, or loving dance and beautiful dresses. You can read more about character development here. She can also bring some of herself to the character, making it even more interesting.

Hope this helps. You can use comments to share how the performance went in the end.

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