Rehearsals and Plays


Last week we had no classes, just rehearsals, which meant lots of downtime to work on lines and see some theatre πŸ™‚ There was a discount code on today tix for Easter weekend, so I had bought tickets to The Play That Goes Wrong (possibly the funniest play I have ever seen), Phantom of the Opera and Hand to God. The first plays went off without a hitch, but then when I went to see Hand to God on Wednesday, there was an announcement that Harry Melling would not be performing that night.

I know it’s bad of me and I should be going to see plays regardless of who is in them, for the story or the art and such, but most of the time, I still choose my plays according to the actors that I know who happen to be in them. This was a play I chose because of Dudley Dursley being in it, so I managed to change my ticket and saw it on Thursday night instead πŸ™‚ I am sure the understudy was amazing and talented as well, but I was in awe of how seamlessly he went from being Jason to being Tyrone (the puppet), which involved changing his accent, the tone of his voice, his emotions…It was incredible. And, the actors that I saw at the stage door didn’t come out like celebrities waiting for their fans, they both seemed surprised that we were waiting there and were really nice about signing stuff and taking pictures with us.

On Wednesday, I didn’t want to go home after walking almost 2 hours to get there, so I queued for returns and got to see the Painkiller, which was at the top of my list. It was really funny, but also had a lot of heart.
To round out my plays, I saw the dress rehearsals for The Ritual Slaughter of George Mastromous and Goodnight Children Everywhere. Both LAMDA shows. I really enjoyed the first one, especially the weird way in which his life story is told. Both plays were disturbing, in their own way, but I would probably still recommend seeing them if you have the chance.
As for rehearsals, we have now done every scene twice with Rodney, except for one of the banquets. I often feel like once I know my lines, I’ll be good, but I am quickly realizing that there is so much more to it, and I maybe just never got past step one. The play is Shakespeare and my lines are in verse, so that there is already a big challenge, and then I have an emotional progression that leads to a breakdown where I will have to cry. In our rehearsals, we have been working a lot on how to occupy the audience so they are too busy listening to you to do anything else, how to use the words and sounds in the text to convey ideas…then a whole lot on being grounded and speaking from the gut instead of from the head. It is no longer just a technical voice thing, but an unlocking emotions thing. Still really intimidated by Rodney, as well as nervous and slightly terrified about my first ‘performance’ of Shakespeare, but I am also really excited to see how it all comes together. We have our first full run-through today. I often don’t put the time and effort into things I think I might fail at, so I can use that as an excuse, but this time I really want to give it my all, and work on it so much that there are no excuses.
 

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”

-William Shakespeare

The Last Classes

This week was the end of our regular classes at LAMDA. We still have rehearsals, our Tragedies Β and a final movement project on the last day, but our class groups and regularly scheduled classes are all over. This semester is truly coming to an end….
Monday was pretty intense, with some people having to present in every single class. Luckily, all I had to worry about in voice was circles of attention, and watching other people do their monologues.
In Debbie’s class, we presented our duologues, with Lucy and I going first (because I asked, I always ask now). It went pretty well, except for a moment near the end, when I completely forgot the wording of one of my lines. Instead of panicking as I might have done, I took a breath, in character, recovered my line, and said it like it was Emilia who was trying to find the best word to convey her meaning, as opposed to me as the actress trying to remember my line. I am not sure how it looked to the audience, but Debbie seemed proud of me. She told me that I was staying truthful, but expanding. And that she can see how I have been inching out of my comfort zone, slowly, but the next step is to throw myself into it and see if I can occupy that comfortably. I will work on that, Debbie!
Our last class of the day was Stage Combat, where we were told to find a scene to do our fight to. Sydney and I were incredibly excited about this, because we chose to write a scene from Harry Potter quotes. So, we tailored what we were saying to the fight that we already knew, using insults and taunting from the books, as well as spells for a lot of the sword thrusts. It was awesome, and we got some laughs. A really nice last class, where we were even given chocolate πŸ™‚
After our normal day of classes, we had a run through of our RP scenes. It was a lot of fun to watch everyone else perform, and I now have a list of plays I need to read. It was also really nerve-wracking when Kailea and I realized that another group was doing the exact same scene as us.
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On Tuesday, we had rehearsals, with Stevie in the morning, and then Rodney in the afternoon. I know pretty much all of my lines for the play, I just have trouble getting them out in front of other people. Luckily, I used my cue cards as a prop, so I didn’t feel entirely vulnerable and without a safety line, but I also did not look down at them. So, it was a success πŸ™‚ However, what I had believed to be a kind of lament, is actually Flavius venting out his frustrations. To help me get there, Rodney had me try to deliver my lines to the other people in rehearsal, while they walked around, purposely ignoring me and refusing to make eye contact. I think it will be really helpful for playing this scene, as well as to bring me into the right place for the next scene, which gets pretty emotional.
Tuesday is also when there were bombings in Belgium, which was our Easter vacation destination. I spent a lot of my break between rehearsals trying to cancel the trip and figure out what we would do. Then I saw the pictures, while trying to find out if it would be feasible for us to just go anyway, and it put everything into perspective. It is horrifying and heartbreaking and I am so grateful that we weren’t there when it happened. My thoughts are with everyone affected.
Tuesday night, our program had tickets to go see Winter’s Tale at the Globe Theater, which was really nice, especially since I was not familiar with the play, and only knew Carolyn’s monologues from it. Also, in case you are equally as unfamiliar, it in no way follows the plot of the Colin Farrell movie of the same title.
Wednesday morning we had our last singing class, where Gary told me I have a pleasant voice that is lovely to listen to when I am getting the notes. It is more than I could have hoped for as far as praise in this class goes, so I am really proud of myself. And Kailea is too. She has also agreed to come and sing to my children once I have some, so I think this was a very successful course.
We also had our last Alexander class, and historical dance, which I find really sad. I absolutely loved learning those dances, and worry my family won’t want to dance them with me at our next family function.
Wednesday Afternoon was the showing of our RP scenes, the moment of truth as to whether we had learnt something in Stevie’s class. Debbie also came and watched, which was lovely. I got all dressed up, which made me more nervous before we started, but made me feel more playful once we had. Stevie had given us 3 words that we were saying wrong that we needed to fix (I believe it is what we were being graded on) and I am pretty sure I got moment, and dog, and at least half of my ‘was’s. In the end, it was a lot of fun, and I am really glad we get to keep working with Stevie in rehearsals πŸ™‚
We ended about an hour early, so Kailea, Vany, Wala, Molly and I went to the Yardbird for supper, where I got to try the proper mac and cheese, which was just what I needed to congratulate myself on a day well done. I came home and worked on the scenes for Thursday’s rehearsal, since it was the big one.
On Thursday, we were with Rodney all day. I was called for 2 scenes, the one with Adelaide where I finally make her understand that she is broke (as Timon), and the one after, where she sends us off. I had adjusted my thinking for the scene after notes Rodney had given for the other scene on Tuesday, but my original thought was more what we needed. I have to work a lot on being grounded and speaking from the heart, not the head this weekend, because not only do I kind of have a meltdown, I also need to cry. Which terrifies me more than anything, but I do feel like I am getting there. It kind of builds with each scene, and hopefully, once I am grounded and no longer going to Β my head, it will all come together. Otherwise I will bring a needle on stage with me me and poke myself or something πŸ˜‰
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Molly and I weren’t called after lunch, so we went to afternoon tea at the Delaunay, then wandered around before going to see People, Places and Things. I was mostly going just to be sociable and so she wouldn’t go alone, but it was actually really riveting. The character was a mess but I cared so much about her, and there is a point in the second half, after which I could not stop crying. And, judging by the sniffles and how readily Molly took the tissue I offered her, I was far from being the only one. I wouldn’t recommend it for a happy, fun night at the theatre (although there were quite a lot of laughs) but I really suggest seeing it.

Β “There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”

-Jiddu Krishnamurti

Songs and Sweet Airs

This was the name of our singing concert that we had on Wednesday, but I will start with the beginning of the week πŸ™‚
On Monday, the beginning of our voice class was spent embodying the images in our speeches, which really tests how well you understand what you’re saying, before I got to watch others perform their monologues. We also watched the last monologues in Debbie’s class, and rehearsed a bit for our duologues. Lucy and I are doing a scene with Emilia and Desdemona from Othello. It seems that almost all of my roles here at LAMDA are servants of some kind, but luckily, most of them have a lot more, and some strength, to them.


On Tuesday, our first day of rehearsals since being cast, I was not called once, so I had the day off. I took advantage of my day by going to the Natural History, Science and Victoria & Albert Museums, Kensington Palace, and the Peter Pan statue. I also got to see what the Portobello Road Market looks like on a weekday, and spent a lot of time learning lines, and reading the 3 Tragedies that the people in my program will be performing (Julius Caesar, Timon of Athens, Troilus and Cressida).
On Wednesday, we chose our songs and worked on them in class, before Alexander and Historical Dance. We were only 12 in class, so we learnt Grimstock, which is done in groups of 6. Sydney was my partner, and for possibly the first time this semester, I really felt like I had it, not just the steps, but even the doubles. It was a really good class πŸ™‚
At lunch, Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Rogue One, etc.) came and gave a talk about working in the industry and so on. He had some really insightful things to say, not only about the business, but about how he goes about preparing for auditions and roles. I now have 3 pages of his wisdom in my notebook.
Then, Wednesday Afternoon was Songs and Sweet Airs, where we each had to present a song to the other students in the program, as well as a few members of faculty. I know that I am getting better at the singing, but I am still not good, and most of the people there wouldn’t know how much I have improved, they will only see how much I am lacking. I compared the nerves I had to going on stage to perform when you haven’t learnt any of your lines. Still, when Gary, our singing teacher, told me my song would be at the beginning of the afternoon, because they were going chronologically, I said I was actually hoping to go first.
And I did. I chose the first song I learnt here, Oft Have I Sighed, and Gary had Noam sit on a chair on stage with me, completely ignoring me. It was a brilliant idea, because it fueled the emotions and made it about more than just me singing in front of an audience, it was about telling a story. I have really supportive friends who told me it was the best they have heard me sing yet, but either way, I got up there and I faced my fears and sang πŸ™‚
I rewarded myself that evening by making a whole lot of mac and cheese to savor while working on lines. I continued running them the next day on my way to rehearsals, where I was called for the first session, as well as the last, leaving a huge gap in between. The first session was with Stevie, for voice, on a scene I do with Adelaide, where I have to make her understand that she is broke and in debt. It is interesting to be her steward in this after being her maid in The Rivals, but I enjoy working with her, and this part should be challenging, but fun. Especially since I have to reconfigure the way that I talk.

Once we finished, I went straight to St Paul’s Cathedral so I could go see the views from the Galleries of the dome. You’re not allowed to take pictures inside the Cathedral, but it is absolutely stunning. The murals and the architecture and…if it were appropriate, I would lay on the floor in the middle of the dome, prop my head up and just spend the day looking up at the ceiling.

Next, I headed to Somerset House and the British Museum (Mummies! Rosetta stone!) before going back to prepare for the last session of the day, which was with Rodney. I definitely felt the pressure of my first rehearsal with him. Not because he is scary in any way, but because he is the head of drama school and so knowledgeable and interesting and awesome, which makes him sort of intimidating. Almost everyone else in the scene ended up on the grass with me beforehand and we rehearsed and talked about the play and rehearsals and I felt a pang of not really wanting this to end.
I didn’t really get any notes after doing the scene, even though I accidentally repeated the same line twice before apologizing and saying the appropriate one. Still, it was really interesting to watch the scene come to life with the other actors. Rodney suggested we not spend every day watching the rehearsals, as there is a whole world out there, as well as lines to learn and character work to do, but I definitely enjoy watching the others work πŸ™‚ And, we were four of us walking home together, instead of just me by my lonesome!
On Friday, Kailea and I finally got to get Stevie’s feedback on our RP scene from Closer. The more we run lines or rehearse, the more I feel like I don’t actually have the accent down at all, so it was nice to hear Stevie say that we were really good, and to know that most of the notes he gave were on words that I wasn’t convinced were right either.
In Debbie’s class, we just rehearsed our duologues, so Lucy and I did warmups and then worked on blocking and figuring out our scene. We agreed to meet over the weekend, as soon as Chelsea would be gone. It helps to have something to keep your mind off stuff like that πŸ˜‰
For our last movement class (because the final project/performance thing on the last day doesn’t count) we had to talk passionately about food, which made our mouths water and stomachs grumble, before some people did some mask work. Sydney chose me as the Beauty to her monkey beast, so now I can die happy.
Friday night, I left school and had supper at Dishoom with Chelsea, before a weekend of very little work, but lots of exploring a different side of London πŸ˜‰
 

“I am devilishly afraid, that’s certain; but… I’ll sing, that I may seem valiant.”

-John Dryden

 
 

What scares you? Now do that.

This was kind of unintentionally my motto for the week, starting off in voice class. You see, people have been presenting their monologues to the class, and our teacher has been giving feedback and working on it with them. Monday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was stand in front of everyone and present my monologue, which I really wasn’t confident with. Still, when he asked for volunteers, I stood up.
Although I normally did the monologue standing in one place talking to one person (since we were always paired off for those exercises), this time I walked all over the place so I could look to each of my classmates in turn, which was something that made it scarier, so yay me, but it also did not in any way help the performance, and actually took power away from me. And, even if my head was in on why I was doing this, my body was fighting against the uncomfortable feeling of vulnerability that comes from putting yourself out there. So, lots to work on, but just getting up there was a huge accomplishment.
In acting I mostly just explored my crazy duologue character a little more, but I did realize something during the expanding and contracting exercise, that I think translates into my every day life. You see, I was more comfortable in the contracting position, when you are squeezed tight into a ball, with all kinds of pressure on my feet, and my nails digging into my palm, rather than in the expanding one, where you are just standing and open. Taking up all Β that space and being completely open, with nowhere to hide is scary, so I seek refuge in the tiny ball state, even if I know it will hurt me. In life, I like to keep quiet and make myself invisible most of the time, even if I miss out and it often makes me unhappy, because it feels so much safer than going out into the world and risk getting hurt. Luckily, realizing that you have a problem and admitting to it is the first step towards recovery, right?
On Tuesday, after a day of rehearsals, we all went to see As You Like It at The National Theatre. Having nothing to compare it to and not knowing the story, I found it interesting, and the scene change was pretty spectacular.
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Wednesday, singing was slightly disastrous, only because I was learning the song from a bunch of different places and wasn’t exactly sure how it went, but Kailea says my actual singing is getting better, and now I have a recording to work with πŸ™‚
I have also accepted the fact that although it is taking me longer to get the steps and the doubles right in historic dance, I still love it and I don’t care. It’s probably the only class where I am not afraid of failing, not because there are no consequences, but because I have absolutely no issues with repeating it over and over again until I get it right, whereas in other classes, every time I do it wrong, I can’t help but lose a little of the confidence I had Β managed to muster. Now I need to work on bringing that feeling of fun and excitement and ‘it doesn’t matter’ into all of my other classes πŸ™‚
Our masterclass was about the audition process, and we were given a 10 step structure, which was really interesting, especially for everyone who has been focusing on the more classical side, and been in a school setting. As someone who has spent so much time researching and taking classes and workshops on this, it was obviously really cool and helpful to have another set of steps to help me prepare, but I think I need to take what this actor taught us, as well as everything else I have on auditioning, and create my own system, with everything that works best for me. I will probably end up with a lot of steps, because I really like his, and I really like a lot of the others I have been taught, but I think it’s a lot of trial and error as well as practice makes perfect. And it’s really helpful to have a detailed starting point πŸ™‚
Wednesday night, I went to a Women @ RADA playreading of KIN. RADA, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (and probably our rival school) is doing 100 playreadings, with plays written by women, and having either as many, or more women than men in the cast. I had read about it when researching what schools to go to, and thought it was an awesome idea that I wanted to check out no matter which school I went to. It was a really interesting play, with an extremely talented cast, and more than anything, I think I loved the atmosphere in that room. The next one is while my parents are in town, but I am hoping to go to the one after that, and every other one until I go home!
Thursday we had more rehearsals, followed by a run of all of our scenes, which was stressful and exciting, and gave us a good idea of things that we need to work on. I also got an hour long session with just me and Stevie, our vocal support. He must have thought I was a bit ridiculous at the beginning of our session, because I thought it was to work on my cockney accent, so I did not understand why he told me to put all of my research and preparations aside. In the end, the session was to help me because I am not on voice, and suffer from vocal fry/creaking. If those terms mean nothing to you, it’s the same as when I was told that I am sitting on my voice. I don’t breathe in properly when I talk, and I produce the sound somewhere in the back of my throat, which is why talking or singing or yelling often gives me a sore throat (it compresses my vocal cords really tightly). There was a lot of humming and making sounds and chanting, before we went into my short monologue, starting it over and over again until I was no longer creaking, or going down at the end of my thoughts. Although the session did catch me off guard at first, I really appreciate Stevie taking the time to work with me like that, and he was very encouraging. I know it won’t happen overnight and it will take a lot of work, but I hope I’ll be able to get over this bad habit.
On Friday, we worked on our modern RP scene, which for Kailea and I means a scene from Closer, between Alice and Anna, which makes me nervous for so many reasons that I will have to get over before we perform it. Then, we did our duologues in Acting class. My scene is with Phil, where we discover a corpse and I suggest ridiculous things. We got a lot of laughs and I had sooo much fun doing it. Kind of excited to see what our next scenes are πŸ™‚
We finished with movement class, before going to a pub for supper, a big gang of us, which was really fun. We then went to Sleazy, where I danced and sang with Molly (while waiting for it to start, we didn’t actually perform!) before sitting and being amazed by the talent and the words of my fellow LAMDA students. There were songs and poems that made me laugh and smile, but also some that broke my heart and brought the tears. There were some that we all sang along to, and the whole thing was just a truly wonderful evening. I had wanted to just go home once class was done, but I knew I would be happy I stayed. Sleazy has not disappointed me yet, and I will truly miss these nights when I go home.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”

-Napoleon Hill

 

Meetups, lines and movies

I have some lines to memorize, some scene work to do and should probably be getting to bed to prepare for my early start tomorrow, but instead, I am writing this post to let you know what has been going on with me. Selfless determination or semi-productive procrastination, you be the judge.
In acting/ text, we are working on points of concentration. For instance, we had to do simple tasks, but Debbie would come and whisper some kind of information to us. Sometimes it was environmental, like the time of day, the weather and general atmosphere of where you are. Other times, it was more emotional, like she would tell you a secret or an event that had recently happened, that you would inevitably think about. As an audience member, you have no idea what the person was just told, but you see the change happen immediately, in the person’s whole body, not just their faces. On Friday, we took it one step further, where we were having decision-making discussions instead of silently folding laundry or something. My scene partner and I chose a really serious topic, which I hadn’t really been taking all that seriously at the beginning. I was seeing it more as an improv exercise, which isn’t real. Once Debbie gave me my point of concentration though, for some reason, everything became so much more real, and the stakes were so high. I can’t go through everything that happened, and I don’t want to incriminate myself, but let’s just say that if you threaten my family and then you disappear, I maybe did it.
In stage combat, we added to the choreography we already started learning, but I really have to work on not cheating (in addition to the steps and the moves and everything else). You see, when I am supposed to be aiming for my opponent’s arm pit, I like to aim for somewhere off to the side and above their shoulder, where there is no chance of them even accidentally being hit by me. I need to try to actually aim for the arm pit though, so the person can know where I am trying to attack them, and will be able to defend themselves properly either against mistakes, or if they have a partner who actually does it right and aims for the targeted spot.
I have also been enjoying our rehearsals. We were emailed a schedule, so although we all come in for a company warm up in the morning, we aren’t all there for the entire day, depending on which plays we are in. When I first got the schedule, I started thinking of afternoon teas I could have, going home early…I was excited. In the end, I didn’t reserve for any teas, which is good, because I realized that the exciting part isn’t having breaks and free time. The exciting part is getting to run lines with the other members of my ensemble, working on characters and accents. I was happiest being there and working, even when I was sent out of the circle so I would be forced to project my voice better, or when I was just whispering the lines to someone for another scene.
Our movement teacher asked us how our time here at LAMDA is going, and I didn’t quite know how to explain it, but…all of this is new to me. School has always been sitting at a desk and reading textbooks or getting lectures. As long as you remembered what you were told and gave the answers they wanted, you got good grades. Here, we sit on floors before walking and running around rooms. We spend hours warming up. We play games. Teachers don’t want to give you answers, or tell you things, they want you to discover them on your own. Homework is never something concrete like read these pages or do this exercise; it is trying to learn the lines of at least 5 different characters and also doing all kinds of scene work.Β I have never been so immersed in acting, or constantly doing things that scare me. Some things scare me less now, but when I am told I will have to recite a monologue in front of the class or do scenes in a bunch of accents that aren’t my own, I no longer stress out. I am still terrified, but I take a deep breath, and then I get to work. Sometimes, I even volunteer πŸ˜‰ I hope so badly that I am growing as a person and as an actor through all of this, and that I don’t lose it all once I go home.
In singing, I knew all the words and could tell when the song was being played in the wrong key for me, but I am still not so great at the singing part. Still, instead of shying away as I would love to do, or giving up when he told me to enunciate my words more clearly, I pushed harder, singing louder and not caring when I obviously wasn’t in tune or doing it in the way I was supposed to. I had given myself the personal goal of not letting my feelings towards my performance dictate how I sang (as in JUST EFFING DO IT!) and I did. Unfortunately (or I should say fortunately, since I do want to improve), my teacher has decided that I have a lot more voice hidden inside and he is determined to find it. I would love for him to find it as well, I am just slightly apprehensive about the journey it might take for me to find this voice that everyone is convinced I have. (not as in an amazing singing voice, I don’t think, but as in a louder, confident voice. The kind you use when you actually want to be heard)
This week was really busy as far as non-school things go. On Tuesday I went out for Pancake Day, then on Wednesday we had a masterclass with Alex Waldmann, so I went to see In The Night Time (Before The Sun Rises) at the GATE Theatre , before a showing of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. Both were amazing. The play was funny and sad and happy and had beautiful performances by both of the actors. It felt real and human, even as it veered off into clearly imagined circumstances. I’m really sad I missed the talk back, but P&P&Z kept me and Molly laughing for almost 2 hours. I think it’s because I love Pride & Prejudice and Jane Austen, as well as the zombie genre, but I was so excited all throughout the movie. It was like I was torn between asking myself who in the world greenlit this project, and anxiously awaiting what I knew was coming next, since I am very familiar with the original plot. It kind of combined a lot of the things that I love in movies, and I thought it would have been amazing to be in it.
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On Thursday, there was a blogger’s meetup. You see, before coming to London for a semester, I searched for as many blogs about living in London that I could find, especially from LAMDA students, and North Americans. I also really wanted an idea of lifestyle blogs, for the pictures, recommendations and inspiration for my own blog. It was then that I stumbled upon Aspiring Kennedy. At first, I just read the blogs about places I wanted to go to, but then I read everything. And I was so excited to see that she organizes meetups, but it didn’t seem like they had been happening in a really long time. I was trying to build up the courage to email her and ask about it when she announced a meetup within really easy walking distance from where I’m staying. My nerves throughout the day had me coming up with excuses that I could use to leave early, because I had no idea what I would talk to a bunch of strangers about for 2 hours. Would they all have awesome blogs and judge me when they read mine? A lot of my fears seem so ridiculous in retrospect, but at the time I thought that the worst that could happen was pretty big. As it turns out, some of them had blogs and some of them were just new to London and read her blog like I do. Not only was everyone super nice, but they actually seemed to care about the answer when they asked a question. I have a tendency to put popular people (like actors, bloggers and prom queens) on pedestals, and assume they are above me (which I know is ridiculous) but even Lauren was so welcoming and sweet. I did check my watch a few times in the beginning, but then all of a sudden there was only 10 minutes left and we were still in the middle of our conversation. It was a really lovely evening and I am really happy that I went, and that I spoke up sometimes and wasn’t just a wallflower observing, as I Β often tend to be.
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On Friday, I went to the LAMDA Improv Semi-finals, which were absolutely hilarious, and I am in awe of all of their singing abilities (as in being able to not only sing opera and other genres, but also making up the entire song on the spot, based on a topic we give them). Then I went to see LAMDA’s Fiddler on the Roof, which also featured some excellent singing. Having actually talked to some of the cast, either at Sleazy or when the Student Union put us in touch with other foreign students, kind of made it even more incredible, to see what they can do, and the difference from who they are offstage.
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Finally, today I went for lunch with Molly at Nando’s, which is clearly a staple here in London, and then we saw Deadpool. Definitely not a kids’ movie, but I did spend a whole lot of time laughing. It was really interesting how they would break the fourth wall, and also make fun of themselves (either the character, or the actor playing them). I especially enjoyed the opening credits πŸ˜‰
 

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”

-Neil Gaiman

 

One Step Closer :)

One step closer to being a kickass character that is, although I wasn’t sure one of those words would fare well in the title. I’m also one step closer to getting work in Toronto, at least theoretically.

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To fill you in, on Thursday, we had our last rehearsal before going into tech week, which they keep referring to as Arena Hell Week. That starts today, so we will see how it goes πŸ™‚

Then on Friday, all I had planned was to drive to Toronto for my stunt thing (which actually wasn’t so much about stunts. I misled you). I was packing up my things, about to head out when I got an email asking me to do a self-tape for a commercial. I slightly delayed my departure to do this with my dad. Whether or not anything comes from this (although we all have our fingers crossed, right?) it was my Toronto background agent who had submitted me for a commercial, and the director liked my pictures enough to ask for a self-tape. So, one step closer to getting work, and a huge victory for me πŸ™‚

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On Saturday, I spent the day at the batcave, taking the Tactical Performing Artist Course. It was awesome. Gary, the instructor, was super nice and knowledgeable and funny. I learnt about uniforms, gun handling, stances, rope tying and all kinds of really cool things. I also discovered that the medical training courses they offer aren’t only for medical professionals. They are medical certifications, but you just need a first aid/CPR course to take them. It would bring me one step closer to that childhood dream I had of being a doctor, and it would let me be an asset in the zombie apocalypse. Not that I’m expecting it or anything, but with all the shows and movies, one wonders how they would fare, and it’s a silly side goal of mine to be of use in a situation like that (natural disasters count too).

All in all, it was a really fun and inspiring weekend. Hope next week is just as fun, and with opening night of the play on Friday, and two more shows on Saturday, it will definitely be interesting πŸ˜‰

“Life is it’s own reward.”

-Morgan Freeman

Rehearsals and a Scene :)

I can probably name all of my posts “Rehearsals” until May, but there are also other things going on πŸ™‚

Thursday’s rehearsal was one actress short, but we still managed to run through all of our acting bits twice. Even with the guy who was replacing said actress going for comedy more than accuracy with the lines and maneurisms. Although it wasn’t a romantic scene, swapping a girl for a guy can still make it quite interesting.

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Friday I went to Mcgill for a bit and figured out when we would be filming for the “Yes! Let’s Make a Movie” event. Basically, someone decided that instead of sitting around and waiting for someone else to cast us, we would get together in teams and just film something. I missed the day the teams were formed, and most likely won’t be able to skip the rehearsal next Sunday in order to see the finished projects, but I was there yesterday to film πŸ™‚

I play a reporter, and the scene was mostly improvised, but I had a few answers that I knew my interviewee would have to give. It was really fun to step into the shoes of a reporter, and when comments or questions popped into my mind, I would ask them and got a few laughs from the guys behind the camera. I already knew the other actors in the scene, but had never met the crew. At the end of my scene, they told me they enjoyed working with me and would like to do it again someday. I completely agree. It was a lovely experience and I can’t wait to see how the whole thing comes together πŸ™‚

As for today, we had a rehearsal where we ran through the entire show twice. It was our last Sunday rehearsal before going to the arena where the show will be held. It’s getting close guys, so I hope you have your tickets πŸ˜‰

“There’s only one very good life and that’s the life you know you want and you make it yourself.”

-Diana Vreeland

Classes, rehearsals and celebrations :)

I have been out and about working on the acting thing every day since my last post, which is always a good thing. Even if I am not currently reaching concrete milestones, I am still keeping busy, which is motivation in and of itself. At least for me.

On Sunday we had a rehearsal for Becket Players, complete with cast photos. Opening night is coming soon and the run throughs keep getting better. I now have my costumes figured out, which is always exciting, and am looking forward to figuring out my hair situation. The show spans decades, so you can look forward to some interesting looks πŸ˜‰

Monday, I finally got back into class with Suzanna. With the play, I wasn’t able to go to my usual Tuesday class, since we were supposed to have rehearsals, but when Suzanna offered me a spot on Mondays, it was truly an offer I couldn’t refuse. My scene is about pre-wedding cold feet. Kind of. It is definitely interesting to try and show years of history in a couple minutes of conversation, but stepping into someone else’s shoes is one of my favorite parts πŸ˜‰ And obviously, I loved meeting everyone in the Monday group!

Tuesday, after spending the afternoon at McGill, I went out for my birthday supper with my family. While discussing our jobs, I mentioned I don’t get a bonus, I just get hired, to which my brother’s girlfriend responded that my bonus is getting to work next to amazing actors. She might have used different words, and I am really looking forward to working with these actors instead of just standing beside them, but every day on set is a good day, and I really do love being a part of it all, in any capacity.

Yesterday, I got to catch up with Carolyne and go out for my birthday, including a movie, menchies and some thoughtful book suggestions. I have truly been spoilt this year for my birthday, and I appreciate every bit of it πŸ™‚

For anyone following or participating in the Camp Nanowrimo challenge, we are now more than halfway through, and I am well on my way to finishing a second, shorter book. There is something about escaping into an imaginary world of my own creation that is just…amazing πŸ™‚

“Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.”

-Zig Ziglar (from my aunt’s facebook post today πŸ˜‰ )

The Second Draft

I am a really big fan of 5 year plans and lists, which you can tell because I am always posting them. A few days ago I made a 5 year plan that ends with me living and working as an actress in Los Angeles. I am fully aware that it might take longer for certain things to happen, to jump certain tiers, but it is incredibly exciting to think that it could be possible, and that as long as I keep hustling, some day I will end up there.

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Over the past few weeks, I have been working on writing a second draft of the book I wrote last November, and I finished it yesterday. It is nowhere near ready to be published, but it is one step closer, just in time for Camp NANOWRIMO in April. It is kind of like the NANOWRIMO in November, except instead of imposing a 50 000 word minimum on you, the camp NANOWRIMO lets you decide how big or small whatever you choose to write will be. Since I have discovered that I work better with deadlines and some kind of accountability, I think I might try to do the 2 camps and NANOWRIMO every year (April, July and November). We will see how that goes.

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Thursday night’s rehearsal was kind of different from all of our previous ones. It was more about discovering things about ourselves and our characters than getting ready for showtime, since we tried saying our lines with a different character (mine was a 5 year old who missed her nap :p ) and also swapping roles. Very interesting stuff, and while we can’t do the show with these newly imposed characters, we can learn something from different interpretations of the same role. You can see how it all plays out this May at one of our 6 showings πŸ˜‰

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

-Buddha

Research, Rehearse, Film <3

I have been checking a lot of things off of my list in the past few days, but first, I wanted to thank everyone for all of the headshot love <3

On Thursday night at rehearsals we went through all of our scenes, ironing out the kinks and finalizing what we have already worked on. I am off book and can’t wait to see what it will look like with costumes and the set and everything πŸ™‚

Yesterday I was supposed to have an audition for an amazing project by someone whose work I respect. The breakdown for the role was almost word for word the one I had written for myself when trying to figure out what my brand was. I don’t think I have wanted a role this much since the last time I auditioned for this guy. In the end, my audition was at the same time that I was supposed to be filming something else, so I sent in a self-tape yesterday afternoon. I am definitely more confident doing those after the Self Tape Challenge last month, but I still put way too much pressure on myself and stress out about things I can’t control. Now that it is out there, I have to just let it go and hope for the best.

As for the filming, it was definitely an experience, and ultimately a lot of fun. It was a student project, so there was a learning curve, but they cared about the project and making sure we were comfortable, and I really like the story they are trying to tell. Technical difficulties gave me ample time to get to know my costar, talking about our careers, favorite films, upcoming projects. Often, one of my favorite parts of being on set (other than simply being on set and acting, which are a given) is meeting new people who are hustling along with me πŸ˜‰

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This morning I have been listening to Bonnie Gillespie’s SMFA Essentials and getting ready for my next tier jump. I am so glad you get to be on this journey with me πŸ™‚

“Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Β Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”

-Don Miguel Ruiz ( The Four Agreements)