This week we only had 2 days of classes, and a workshop, because we were spending a few days on an educational mini-vacation. Still, this doesn’t mean we didn’t get any work done.
On Monday, we had our usual Voice, Acting and Stage Combat curriculum, learning all kinds of things, but my brave moment happened in Acting. You see, we had to become familiar with an Iago speech from Othello, which basically means knowing it off by heart, and then we did a few exercises with it. One of these exercises consisted of going into pairs and reciting the speech while your partner heckled you. I was with Molly, and it was absolutely fine. Then, Debbie asked for a volunteer to do it with the entire class heckling. A few people went, and I had absolutely no interest in going up. It was basically my worst fear(for this course) coming to life; standing in front of a group of people, reciting Shakespeare, while they boo me off stage. It is because of how badly I did not want to do it that at the end, when she said we were moving on if no one else wanted to go, I asked if I could.
This isn’t the kind of story where I tell you that it was magical and I learned to revel in the negative attention. Debbie even mentioned how my body was contorting in a way that told her I in no way wanted to be up there doing what I was doing. But this is the story of how I faced a fear. How I was afraid and did it anyway. How I somehow managed to talk over the negative words, to look my hecklers in the eye and keep going. Not only did I manage to use sass and found a bit of voice to talk louder, Debbie said I also used the language to go against the heckling, making some of the lines more clear, and emphasizing them as a way to win my argument. May seem like a tiny victory, but I am incredibly proud of myself, especially knowing what was going on in my head right before and right after I asked if I could try it out.
On Tuesday, we had rehearsals for the Rivals, as well as a company meeting, and a short discussion with my singing teacher about a company song we will be performing. As the performances are less than 2 weeks away, I have to work on my accents, props and costumes, but I also need to get on voice. I asked if there was an exercise or something I could do to work on it, but apparently, I just need to talk louder. And to want to be heard. I have been working on this for years to no avail, but I don’t think I have really been trying. This semester is all about growing and improving and learning though, so what better time than now to finally figure it out. I also need to work on status. I find it extremely funny that for someone who is constantly needing to struggle to take up more space and assert myself and talk louder, my biggest issue right now is remembering that I am of a lower status in the scene. Another item on the long list of things I need to work on 😉
On Wednesday, we had a workshop to introduce us to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the play we were going to be seeing that night. I was thrilled that it was one of the plays I had actually read, and could therefore answer questions on. We worked on some Shakespearean insults, read a few lines and some people did some scenes. It was nothing compared to the training we are getting at LAMDA, but it was a fun little activity.
I have done a bunch of interesting things over the past few days, and the weekend looks promising, but that will be for another post 🙂
Have a great weekend!
“Usually, whenever you’re scared of something, do it. If you’re not afraid of it, don’t do it.”