By David McMahon

Going into Toonspeak with no knowledge of what to expect was daunting. Was it going to be complete chaos? Was it going to be overly strict? Would I have someone to talk to or was I going to be sitting myself the whole time?

On my first day all of these questions were answered pretty quickly. All of the members warmly welcomed me into the Toonspeak family before the day had even official started!

Performance improving games.
Performance improving games.

When the day actually started I was introduce to many performance improving games – which I wasn’t sure were helping at first. However, as the first week progressed, I not only found myself improving from these games but enjoying them too. These games made me realise Toonspeak was not going to be chaotic or too strict. It was the perfect balance of fun and discipline. From that first day I looked forward to the rest of the project!

Peace Control keeping order over the Under Class
Peace Control keeping order over the Under Class

The project itself was called LOCKDOWN: The Challenge. In short it was a dystopian society made up of only teenagers because the parents had been taken away. The society was split into three classes: The High Court (who ruled the place), Peace Control (who enforced the rules) and the Underclass (who were ruled over).

Before I joined Toonspeak I already knew I wanted to be a character that would challenge my acting ability. I had not realised that not only was that opportunity possible but it was easy to get!

Devising scenes and characters.
Devising scenes and characters.

The method of creating the show involved us getting rough outlines for scenes then we, ourselves, were allowed to go make the actual scene and everything that happened in it. This allowed for each person to design the character they wanted to act out.

 

A very loud character.
A very loud character.

I wanted my character to be loud and shout at least once, so I designed him to be like that – of course I didn’t realise that the Toonspeak staff thought it would be good to have me play a character that basically never stopped shouting!

Shock as a Peace Officer is interrupted by the Underclass
Shock as a Peace Officer is interrupted by the Underclass

Thanks to Toonspeak I now know that if you push yourself hard enough to do something it can be done. Acting to me is a hobby since I really want to be a filmmaker. I bring this up because the Toonspeak staff knew this and were still happy to have me on board. They are looking for anyone with an interest in the projects they offer, you don’t have to be the world’s greatest because Toonspeak is all about a shared learning experience that just feels like fun.

Celebrating three weeks of hard work and five amazing performances!
Celebrating three weeks of hard work and five amazing performances!

Taking part in one project can make you realise so much is possible. That’s one of hundreds of reasons I recommend Toonspeak if you haven’t participate already and if you have – I recommend you do it again!!