Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday, 23 July 2012


Well, today was jam packed to say the VERY least. First, let's get logistics out of the way.

There are officially 54 young people, ages 16-18, attending this current session. Of that 54, I'm in a group of 14 for Exploring Shakespeare week. Along with a core Shakespeare Scene Study class, I'm also taking Voice, Stage Fighting, Basic Principles, and Sonnets.

Had a very full day of classes, with no real sort of introduction session. My play I'm concentrating on is Romeo and Juliet. Our director, Andrew, is a fairly well known teacher and director here in London. He's a teacher at RADA and knows a lot about his craft. For our first scene study class with him, we mainly talked about what makes a story. We then split into pairs and created a small scene with three tableau's placed throughout. We had to create a storyline containing three things: how we first met this person (first tableau), your bond with that person (second tableau), and how you left/have to leave that person (third tableau). Now, being teen actors, we all assumed that we were going to choose easy relationships, like boyfriend/girlfriend or mother/daughter. We were all pleasantly surprised that that wasn't necessarily the case. All of the tableaus were very realistic and nothing was really blown out of proportion. My partner, Garima, and I were "a woman injured in a car crash" and "her caretaker"; our third tableau (how you leave the person) was her holding my forearm while I turned away from here, symbolizing my injury healing and her not having to work for me anymore. Surprisingly, our director made all of us actually make a scene from that third tableau and pushed us to make decisions in the scene we weren't planning on making.

After that, I had Voice with Zabajad, but we all just call her Budgie. She was obviously well versed in the body and its functions. We did some voice resonance work and learned a song from Ghana that I had actually learned when I was in New York for the ESU Shakespeare Competition...I do wonder if they stole it from Budgie or not ;)

The entrance to RADA
After voice was Basic Principles with Caroline. We basically talked about the basics of how to tell a story onstage. We used an exercises Caroline called "WWWWH Park", meaning who you are, what you're doing, where you are, when you're doing it, why you're doing it, and how you're doing it. We pretended to walk into a park knowing WWWWH the entire time. It soon became clear that having all of this in mind was REALLY useful, even if you were just playing a silly game. I've always worked with the what, where, and why, but not so much the others.

We then had Stage Fighting. Oh God.

The teacher, Phillip, to the say the very least was like a modern version of Snape from Harry Potter: long, black hair (but it was tied back), vague, and had a lot on his mind. He was not afraid to tell us what we were doing wrong because he knew right away that we were all terrified of him. I mean, he was a great teacher, but was very tall and menacing. We learned the basic slaps and punches and how distance between you and your partner is your best friend in a stage fight. I learned about something called the knap (silent k), which is the sound you associate with a hit onstage.

The last class of the day was Sonnets with Andrew. We didn't actually work on the sonnets, but we wrote limericks and quatrains and how poetry "form" shapes our world. Here's my limerick:

When first attending a school like RADA,
you'll soon realize that you're quite a goner! (pronounced with a British accent "gonuh")
With accents galore
you're much in store,
for British accents are much harder ("hahrduh")

WELL! Besides my classes, I've met some great people. There's this crazy chick named Priscilla (everybody calls her Pris, though) who I've become really close with. She goes to school in Britain, but is from Chicago so she has a really weird bi-accent (is that a word???). Actually, a lot of people are like that here. Born in Germany but raised in London, born in Somalia, raised in London and Mumbai. It's intense. We all went to dinner in this little strip mall down the road from our dorms called Brunswick, where I ate at a really cool sushi place that has one big round table with a conveyor belt built in; when some sushi or yummy things comes by on the belt, you grab it and eat it and you pay afterwards based on the color of the dish that your food is on. It was so good and not that bad on you buck either.

I've suddenly realized how American I really am here. Everyone here makes fun of us few Americans and how we don't understand British sayings. During Basic Principles, everyone burst into laughter when I didn't know what "tig" was, which I now know is basically a more complicated version of your basic tag game. Everyone has a European accent, which is kind of fun cause they help me with my British accent.

All in all, it was a successful day. Until tomorrow friends!


  1. Omg you went to Yo Sushi you go girl :D (and I'm just going to comment on every blog post because I'm cool like that)

    And yeah being American in England can be interesting. It's cool that you're meeting a lot of people from different places though- that's the cool thing about Europe, it attracts a lot of different people.

    so posting this probably makes me super nerdy but so be it

  2. Tiffany, I am SO happy for you. The experiences you will gain over the next several weeks are beyond my comprehension and I look forward to seeing and hearing about them through your blog; what a great idea!

    Love you (and missing you of course!)
    [Alice - we'll be cool together!]