Blocking is the staging of movement within a performance. It can include natural and unnatural movement that heightens the script. Blocking a script is our favorite part of the process because there is no limitation on what you can and can’t do—other than looking at each other, of course! Blocking is not tied to any words within a script, so this is a chance to be completely original and make interesting choices.
Our biggest piece of advice for blocking is that you should try to be as creative as possible! Think about how your characters can move around the world you have created, and how that world creates different opportunities or challenges for them. For example, we had to introduce a lot of different characters very quickly. Rather than popping or changing scenes, we had to think about how we could transition characters effectively while keeping the story going. Most of these scenarios looked like having one performer staying center while the other walked in front of them. While the front performer crossed, the back performer would pop. We would also make this happen with certain setups like opening a door. Watch our early practices of transitions in the videos below.
In the Christmas dinner prayer scene, we had many ideas and consistently added to this scene. We wanted to make our characters pray by holding hands, which is obviously a little more difficult when we can’t touch during a Duo. We had multiple versions of this and continued to try each one until we found what worked for us. See how it came together in the video to your right.
Even if one of us disagreed with the other, we still would try new things just to have an idea of whether or not something would work. It is important to remember that Duo is interpretation, not acting, so you can have really creative movement. Because your blocking is not expected to be realistic, the audience will follow you wherever you take them! Blocking can also be used to express emotions, feelings, and things that are not usually physical in nature. You can even use this to give life to inanimate objects. An example of this in our script was when Louis finds the fiberoptic unicorn in the mall. There were no stage directions that mentioned the unicorn should be portrayed, but we wanted to use it as an opportunity to have some physical comedy. Watch us practice an early version of this blocking in the video.
You can also utilize blocking to make longer lines from one character more interesting. For example, while Tyler told a story as the grandma, Ethan brought the snake to life. This added a comedic element while making the scene more visually interesting. Watch us practice any early version of this blocking in the video.