So I have officially finished my first week of classes at the London Dramatic Academy! It is both reliving and strange to think about.
I've been sore all week from the first day (Monday) because we started with three active classes. Our schedule for Mondays consists of Voice, Movement, Stage Combat and Period Dance. Voice was my first class and it established a good president for the rest of the classes. It is taught by a very chill man named Simon Money who also teaches at RADA. He also teaches our dialect class which is nice. It was a good way to start out classes. For the next class, we had to bring in a poem or song lyrics that we liked and I chose Miss Macbeth (which is the blog title). The class we had after that was Movement, which is taught by an older South African woman named Sue. Let me say, I have never laughed so much in a class. Sue gets very excited about things and calls every student Poppet. She made us feel comfortable with the movement things we were doing and had us laughing all the time with her comments such as "super sonic spudnic" and her squeals of happiness over people's flexibilities. Movement kicked my ass though and made me sore for days. Then we had Stage Combat which is taught by this awesome man named Gordan. We learned how to do slaps and punches to the face. I love stage combat so I loved this class a lot, but was super tired by the end. We ended the day with Period Dance which is probably one of my favorite classes. We learned a 16th century country dance that is so much fun but super exhausting. The only thing that is annoying about the class is that the corset we spent so much time trying to find the right fit are too big for me and is not doing the job it's supposed to. We ended the at five pm and proceeded to have a little birthday celebration for one of the girls in the program who was turning 21. It also had been snowing all day and made for a very magical first day.
Tuesday was a nice day because I did not have to start class until eleven that day. Our meal plan in the dorm also started and it has not turned out to be all that bad. There organization is the only thing that needs serious work. My school day started with my Acting class which was not the way I was expecting it to be. Our teacher is this very strange woman who is very passionate about theatre and has high standards about what she wants for the class. We spent about half an hour trying to answer her question "What is Acting?" and finally when she told us that "Acting is doing something to someone else" it made a lot of sense. She then had us do an exercise where you had to sneak into the room without waking someone or else you died. She was kind of harsh throughout the class and yelled at me for yawning in class, which I found unnecessary since I only did once. This first class left me with a bad taste in my mouth but I decided it would be best to keep an open mind. We then had Space, Place and Text which is a part of our Dramatic criticism class and consists of reading plays and then taking tours of the areas where the plays were staged. Our teacher for this class is a very adorable older woman named Alison. The entire group was in this class and we discussed Doctor Faustus in great detail. Our day ended there and I limped on home to chill that night and rest my very sore limbs.
Wednesday started at nine as usual with a entire group Physical Theatre class which was a lot of fun. Our teacher is this awesome woman named Alley who studied at the Le Coq school and does a lot of physical theatre all the time. We did all kinds of stretches and exercises that involved physical theatre. It was very enjoyable and I will like this class. We then worked on sonnets with Ellen, the director of the program. I was the third person to go and Ellen helped me work on making my sonnet more personal to me. It was very nice because I got to hear everyone else in the program kind of act. I then had Dialects with Simon which was great because we led a list of words and tried to pick out how the other people in the class said words differently. It made me realize the the Bay Area does have a very slight accent. We then listened to the RP pronunciation of words and tried to imitate them. I then had my audition tutorial with Ros who is amazing. She helped me work on my Joan speech and helped me scan the speech to find anything interesting in the speech to help me act. I am going to really enjoy working with her. Wednesday night was uneventful.
On Thursday we started our day with an introduction to our Alexander technique class. With those unfamiliar, this is a way to teach proper alignment to the human body and is necessary both for life and theatre. We discussed it with our teacher, Dee, and then watched a very old movie discussing the subject. After this, my group had physical theatre again and we did massages (which were incredible, apparently it made me grow about three inches) and then began on the elements which helps with physicality on stage. This class, we were air and had to move around the room as such. It ended up being incredibly relaxing and made me feel great afterwards. Because I had no one-on-one Alexander tutorial, I was done with my day by lunch time and got to chill in my room until we had to go see The Master and Margarita at the Barbican Theatre. Before LDA started, we were required to read the novel and it made the viewing of the play very interesting because I obviously knew what was going on. This show was incredibly technical which helped with the fantastical element of the story. There were some things I did not agree with in the show but I still found this three and a half hour play to be quite enjoyable. Plus, they used "Gimmie Shelter" by the Rolling Stones which I was very excited about.
On Friday, along with it being the end of the first week, it also began to snow all day! Kensington becomes magical when this happens. Anyway, on this day we started with Dramatic Criticism which was amazing, I love this class. Our teacher, Christopher (we are only allowed to call him this) started the typical name, where you are from, with asking us "Which Shakespeare role would you kill someone to play?" The answers were all very interesting. We had roles from ten tragedies, two histories, and eight comedies. I said Lady Macbeth because I would kill someone to play this role. We then had a guest speaker! Pip Carter from The Dark Earth and the Light Sky which we had seen the week before! He talked to us about being an actor and it comforted me to know that even professional actors can still doubt their talents and lack a process. I then had a long break before I had to return for acting, which I was dreading. Acting turned out to be incredible because we talked about the personal objects or photo that we were instructed to bring. It really gave a great insight into these people that I feel like I've known my whole life but really have only known for a week. We then worked on sonnets with Ellen and then were done for the day at six thirty. That night, me and a bunch of people went to a gay pub and club which was my first time ever doing anything of the sort. I loved it from the minute I stepped into the Duke of Wellington. Everyone looked good, they were playing eighties music, and no one was trying to awkwardly hit on me! We then moved onto Gay Late, which was the gay club. This was also a lot of fun until one of the guys in our group got his wallet stolen. We all felt bad about it and decided to come home.We arrived back at the dorm at about three am.
Yesterday, I woke up at eleven thirty (so not what I wanted to do) and then went to the Victoria and Albert with a group of girls. We had an amazing time and saw the fashion, jewelry, glass art, architecture, medieval and sculpture section and didn't even touch the rest of the museum. That place is massive. While in the jewelry section, Meg and I got roped into a very long conversation with one of the museum docents that started with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo and ended with Winston Churchill. I had been feeling sick all day and was starting to zone out during this point. The museum was the perfect way to escape the cold weather and see some amazing things. We then did a little tea break at our favorite neighborhood cafe called Montparnasse, which serves some great food. Last night, me and Summer and Laura went to the Prince of Wales pub on High street and enjoyed one drink before coming home to hang out.
Today, it had begun snowing again and despite this, we managed to go to Spitalfields market, which is one of my favorite places to shop in the world. I managed to finally get an amazing dress coat for only 30 pounds along with a cashmere sweater for only fifteen pounds! We then met up with Kyra and Summer to see one of the Harry Potter filming locations. It was a bit anti-climatic because none of us could recognize what set exactly we were looking for. I then decided to come home because I was freezing. I have since been relaxing and managing to watch half of Django Unchained before it was removed off Youtube.
Class resumes tomorrow and now it's no longer the first day. I should go to sleep soon and get ready for the coming week, which is not looking all that bad.
As usual, see you all next week