For our first week in the program, the teachers really took it easy on us. After a first day of mostly games, and a second spent visiting Hampton Court Palace, the rest of the week was very relaxed as well.
On Wednesday, we started late with Debbie, who had us moving a lot. The best way I could think to describe it was that we were seeing how certain imaginary circumstances affect us physically (but also emotionally). For instance, we divided into pairs, and it was super easy for my partner to bend my arm when I was forcing it to stay straight. It was less easy when I relaxed and told myself it couldn’t bend. We also used our senses in ways that seemed kind of ridiculous at the time, but could be really useful once put into context (after she demonstrated).
We finished off with Rodney giving us lots of information on Shakespeare’s Globe, as well as reading through the first scene of King Lear. I think I am more familiar with Shakespeare’s tragedies, because I was surprised at how funny some of it was. There is also so much foreshadowing, which is something that I love in a story 🙂
On Thursday we had Rodney again, but this time, we learnt about the history behind Shakespeare’s kings. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I came to London to study at LAMDA, knowing a huge chunk of the course would be on Shakespeare, and also knowing that I know nothing about Shakespeare. I read Othello and The Taming of the Shrew in school, and I know the plot of Romeo and Juliet, but that’s about it. I am completely at a loss for most of the discussions, but as a history student and just generally a huge fan of English history, I do know what’s going on historically. So this was one of my favorite lectures so far 🙂
After that, we had a meeting with the Student Union, to get advice on adjusting to life in London, what student activities are going on, and the best sites to get the cheapest flights across Europe. We are here to study and learn, but you can’t be this close to all those other countries for this long and not go explore them!
Friday morning we met the department heads, and got divided up into our groups. It was nice that we got to get to know everyone for a week because I am sure we wouldn’t have made that much of an effort if we had been put into groups on the first day. Hopefully we still all hang out together 😉
For voice, our teacher used an analogy to explain vocal tension and collapse, then had us determine what kind of an accent we have, based on how we pronounce court, caught and cot. He also had us stand in groups based on how much vocal training we have had. I didn’t count my five hours or so, which put me in the group of 3 with absolutely no training. Still, I am more than willing to learn, especially when it comes to RP 🙂
For singing, we did a clapping exercise, which we know is not my strong suit, but I actually did really well until the last round. I even did okay with the singing in rounds. My issue came when he played a chord and had us kind of sing it back to him. No one commented, so I might have accidentally got it right, or slipped under the radar, but I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing. Hopefully I will figure it out with the classes…
Our final department head was dance. Although I am nervous and by no means a dancer, I am also super excited for the historical dancing. I would absolutely love to be in a Jane Austen film, or actually any historic movie, which almost always involve dancing. We did a bit of a linear chorale (I believe) with me leading for a bit of it. She called it meandering, which I really liked because it is basically what I have been doing since I got to London. Meandering and getting lost with a lot of enthusiasm. We also learnt the first half of another dance. I think I am going to love this class 🙂
After lunch, we went to visit the Tower of London. We could stay as little or as long as we liked, so we stayed until they closed, visiting almost everything, and even following another school group that had a guide for a little while. Once it closed, we walked across the Tower Bridge, tried to have tea on the 52nd floor of the Shard (need reservations, so another time) walked back across London Bridge (which wasn’t falling down) and spent a lot of time looking for the perfect restaurant before just going to Sleazy, which is what they call the informal LAMDA talent show. We got there late, but it was really interesting and entertaining, with one girl doing a poem on technology, one guy reading the lyrics to Anaconda in the most hilarious way, and a bunch of songs, both original and covers. Some were just really nice to listen to, while others truly gave me ‘the feels’. And a lot of them I would buy if CDs of them were available.
My goals for the first week were to meet people and see London, so I think I did extremely well, and can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester has in store 🙂
“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.”
-Arthur C. Clarke