Saturday, October 30, 2010

Show Night!

  Weeks of work finally culminated yesterday in two performances! The first was in the afternoon, with an audience of one: the principal of LAMDA. Then, at 6:00, we kicked off the big show for the LAMDA faculty, including the head of the drama department. We performed scenes from "Much Ado About Nothing," "Twelfth Night," and "The Taming of the Shrew."

  I was in all three plays, in four scenes total, as three different characters (Benedick, Orsino, Hortensio). Go ahead, do the math. It adds up.

  It went without a hitch (except for my sweaty hand having trouble pulling a ring out of my pants pocket) and we all had a blast performing. I think our work was well recieved, and it was a fantastic first performance for our group. Next, we're on to the Histories (the Edward's, the Henry's, etc).

  Afterward, we all made our way over to the "Curtains Up" (a favorite pub of local actors) and had a huge, loud celebration. Our Romances/Comedies teacher joined us, and it was tremendous fun. By the end of the night, my voice was hoarse, and I can't remember the last time I laughed so much.

  Here are a couple of photos from the night, courtesy of Laurine.

Zoe's Hair Mustaches

Showing Liza some love

Regulatin' my women (Meaghan and Zoe)

The group, minus Nick

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Much Ado About Everything

  It's amazing how many things can happen in two weeks, but because the internet was out both here at my flat, and also at school, I haven't had a way to post blogs or pictures. That means there's a backlog of WAY too many things to talk about, and it would be the longest blog ever. So I'll have to just revert to my standard list form. Here are a few of the things that have happened lately:

1. Got to meet the wonderful David Suchet at LAMDA and listen to him speak and take questions. Amazingly generous and insightful.

2. Saw Henry IV at the Globe Theatre.

3. Saw Hamlet at the National Theatre.

4. Had a nice day long visit with Rubes and Benita on their way back to the States from Morocco.

5. Performed "Danny Boy" acapella. Again.

6. Performed a three minute solo dance piece.

  I'm sure there are other things I'm forgetting. In the midst of all this, I've been rehearsing other songs, rehearsing roles for three different plays (up this week for the faculty), memorizing sonnets to be performed, doing character research for an improv class (quickly growing to be my fave), learning an array of historical dances, learning to speak proper RP, getting tremendous workouts, and learning to write speech in phonetic symbols.
  The physical and mental demands have been pretty heavy lately, but despite a lack of free time or breaks, I couldn't be happier. This is truly one of the best times of my life.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Blind trust

  Since the rehearsal schedule doesn't include me this morning, I thought I'd fire off a quick blog. One of the exercises I participated in yesterday was too good to not write about.
  It was an exercise in trust. The first, actually, in a long arc of exercises we'll be doing throughout the term. I'm not sure what the end-goal is, but it probably involves throwing and catching people, and may also have to do with stage combat.
  For this first exercise, we were put into teams of two. One person acted as a guide, and the other person had to keep their eyes shut for the entire duration, which was about forty minutes. It sounded simple enough,and I was never tempted to cheat, because I didn't want to rob myself of the experience. These exercises are all done with a distinct purpose.
  At first, there was a lot of just walking around. I had one hand on my guide's arm, and when she wanted me to stop, she'd place her other hand on mine. All the teams were walking around at once, so it was imperative that the guides pay attention to avoid any collisions.
  Soon enough, the stakes were raised, and we started moving in different, unpredictable ways. High/low, random curves. Then, we stepped it up a notch and started jogging. I never once lost trust in my guide, and we did amazingly well. It's a lot easier to move blind than I would have thought. But the trust absolutely has to be there. You can't hesitate.
  We were then led around the room to different objects that we were allowed to touch. I recognized some of them, but others were fascinatingly foreign. At one point, we were told to sit in the chairs that were supposedly behind us. It was a bit unnerving plopping down and hoping that you wouldn't fall on your ass. Again, trust.
  For the grand finale, our partners placed us on one side of the room and let go of us. One by one, we were told to "run into the void." Our eyes still closed, of course, we had to just run blind into the room. At the other end were all the guides, ready to catch us. It was a thrilling experience.
  For someone as untrusting as myself, I really got a lot out of this work. It'll be interesting to see where it leads next!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

To Do:

  Eventful day! I cooked breakfast, paid rent for the first time with my first cheque, topped up my phone credits, paid my US credit cards, bought a flower for a pretty stranger who was looking at flowers, helped a kid who had a major and painful wipeout on his skateboard, broke in my new UK debit card, and carried a metric tonne of groceries home in the rain.
  Yeah, couple of English spellings in there. Get used to it. I'm also being schooled in phonetics right now, including the proper RP (recieved pronunciation) English dialect. I might very well come home with a bit of an accent.
  Now I've got to spend the rest of the weekend learning the words to a song I have to sing next week, planning out and choreographing a three-minute solo dance routine I have to perform, studying my lines/character for "Much Ado," writing a sonnet for a recited poetry competition, and memorizing the phonetic alphabet.
  Busy? Yeah, little bit.