Prose Pops

As a generality, pops are not considered one of the defining features of Prose Reading. Prose has more orientation with the terms “binder” or “vocalization” or “narration.” A majority of the text is typically devoted to a main character. However, secondary characters do enter the plot, and they sometimes are given lines. If there is another voice to a piece, then that character must have their own vocalization and physicality. And in order to transition into that secondary character there needs to be pops.

Suggestion of Character Limits

A Prose is not a Humorous or Dramatic Interpretation. While there are multiple factors for this distinction to discuss, there is only one that matters for pops. HI/DI (Humorous Interpretation more so than Dramatic Interp.) are known for their use of character pops between many personas within a piece. Pops are electric quick and frequent. Prose is the opposite. This event is a dramatization of a fictitious or non-fiction work. Generally, these texts focus on internal dialogue, thus making sections of severe popping strange to the otherwise one character dominated text. Also, Prose makes use of a small binder for performance. Imagine popping in HI or DI with a binder in hand and soon the realization as to why Prose uses minimal characters becomes apparent.

Using Pages

An interesting method for creating character pops in Prose is to use page turns. Generally, a page turn is meant to signify a new scene or a new development to the plot. They can also be used to introduce a new character or switch between them. Thus, on one page will be dialogue for one person, and then with a flip of a page a new character is there with their own speech. This techniques works best in a dramatic Prose as pops tend to not be immediate. It would look odd flipping a page every couple sentences (as is the trend with humor).

Also, with page turns being used in pops take note to not throw the turn away. A performer’s body and voice changes to signify a new character--why not use the page as well? If a character is timid, have a meek turn. If a persona is wild and strong, use a firmer hand to flip. Emotions can even be tied into the page turn as well. Further, with different characters feel free to hold the book at different levels or in a slightly new position to add more variety.

On-Page Pops

Sometimes using page turns for pops is not going to work. The characters’ dialogue is too close together, the scene is too short to be worth splitting, etc. When that is the case a pop will need to happen without the help of a turn. In these circumstances, Prose pops are similar to those in HI/DI; the pops are just not as huge. While every Prose character needs to have their own presence, they do not need to be as pronounced as an Interpretation’s character. Nor does the actual transition have to be so visually large (such as going from a “small” figure to a “large, bulky” one--causing a dramatic POP!). Prose is more subtle. This does not mean a pop will go unnoticed. But the actual pop in HI/DI is used to create some of the humor or drama, and Prose is more focused on the vocalization and is less showy.

If the previous section was slightly confusing, this paragraph ought to clarify. It must be established that every character in Prose is unique. Yet, Prose is less pronounced in regards to physicality than Humorous or Dramatic Interpretation. Basically, a pop to a new character in Prose is more likely to involve a swift transition to a new focal point and a slight physical transformation if necessary. Even performing pops with feet adjustment, or anything involving the legs, is usually too much. The nature of Prose’s storytelling style (a dramatic/humorous reading) and use of the binder is the reason behind this. Prose is slight. Therefore, Prose pops will be slight as well. The attention is the voice and characterization used while performing, not spectacles of pops and drastic physical character changes.

Pops do occur in Prose. However, not on the scale associated with Humorous or Dramatic Interpretation. Between the limit of character changes, or characters used in a cutting anyway, pops are rare within a Prose. Still, they are one more aspect to performance that will be evaluated by an audience and judge. As such, pops need to be clean, quick, and practiced to be done properly.