Sunday, March 31, 2013

Life flows on within you and without you.

Hello everybody!

Happy Easter!! Hello Jesus, how was your two day nap?

Anyway, so my time in London is starting to round down and I am so not OK with the fact. So this is what happened in my last week.

Monday started with a rehearsal for our movement showing. Becca and I worked on "Dreamscape #9" and had it where we wanted it for our showing later that day. We then had a very short voice class in which we kind of worked on our speeches and then we had to go downstairs for our Movement showing. They actually were very good and sad and poignant because we were all watching how much we have all grown in the class. Chanelle's movement piece was dedicated to how much she had grown and I almost cried. Becca and I's went very well and everyone loved it. We then had to say our goodbyes to Sue, who was heading out to South Africa very soon. We wanted a picture with her and as a joke, someone suggested we lift her in the air. Sue took it seriously and we lifted her in the air! There is a picture of it somewhere out there. Then we had a break after this and had to get ready for our Period Dance showing. Angela made a massive deal out of the showing and had the whole thing organized out and we turned out to only be doing it for three people. But hey, sometimes that happens in theatre. All of our dances and introductions went well and once it was over, Angela got the hell out of their and we moved onto our Stage Combat showing. Gordan had us rehearse which my partner and I desperately needed. We then did a dress rehearsal which basically was our showing, worked for a little more (in which my partner and I FINALLY got the fight), then did it all over again. Then the day was over and Summer and I booked it over to Piccadilly to see Old Times, the Harold Pinter play. It was amazing and I'm so glad that I managed to get tickets for it. I did not understand one bit but I loved it anyway. Then we returned home and I went to LDA to work on my audition pieces because I had to present all four of my pieces the next day.

Tuesday began bright and early with Alexander at nine am. In this session, Dee and I looked at a picture I had drawn of myself in the first session and compared it with the one I did in this session. She then terrified me because I told her I had some neck tension and she said that I may develop a widow's hump later in my life and would have a hump. She then told me that I had progressed a lot in this short amount of time and it made me feel very good. Then I returned home for a little bit before I went to Acting. In my session with Kathy, I finished doing my actions for my scene which was nice to get out of the way. Then later that day, I had an hour session with Ros which was wonderful. I showed her my three speeches and we worked on Joan and Major Barbara again. We spent the last ten minutes working on Lady Anne which I was very excited to work on. Then I returned home and worked on stuff for Leo and chilled out in my dorm.

Wednesday began as usual with Leo and I did not actually work with Leo at all in the class session. I was rather annoyed about this because it meant that I was not going to work with Leo for two weeks. Then we had our voice class in which we did various exercises to help us with our monologues. Then we sat up and presented them and Simon said that mine sounded lovely, which was nice to hear. Then we had to run toe Leicester Square because we were having a walk for SPT. This time, we were getting a tour of the 19th century theatre, the London Coliseum. It was incredible to see because it is incredibly large and ornate with Roman-like motifs and large symbols of empire. We saw the fly rail, the balcony, the royal box, backstage, the circle, and part of the stage. Then Christopher sat us down and gave us a lecture on the 19th century that started out interesting until he kept repeating himself. Then he led us out to the main theatre road at Piccadilly and we were on our way home to rest before seeing a show that night. We went to see People at the National Theatre and I loved the show, mainly because I found a spirit animal in the old woman Iris, who hid fried potatoes in her pocket and had a hump. Then we returned home to rest before class the next day.

Thursday was a unique day because we had Acting for the entire day. Our autobiographies were also due and I had luckily finished mine two nights before. We started out our morning with all 21 of us working on the Waltz and then moved on to breaking up times we would all work with Kathy on. I dragged in my friend Mike to play the lady plaintiff because I had to physicalize my actions and needed someone there to do it on. My session was a disaster. I had forgotten to bring my picture which Kathy was unhappy about, and then Kathy wanted to add something to my character which freaked me out and then I proceeded to do the exercise all wrong and talk too fast. Luckily I had Mike there with me to comfort me after the session when I was on the verge of tears. Then my day was over and we could celebrate the fact that it was our Easter Break! We went out that night o celebrate Mike and Mia's birthdays which are a day apart and had a wonderful time.

Friday morning, I woke up at 7:50 am and could not go back to sleep. Later that day, Becca and Mia and I went to The Breakfast Club and had brunch for Mia's birthday. We all absolutely loved it and then moved on our day to the Tower of London which we three had all been dying to see. I decided to walk around the Tower envisioning myself as Lady Anne and wondering how scary it would be. There were so many tourists there that it became a bit hard. The weather was also sub-par but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. When then sat in a Starbucks for a little while and talked about our lives with one another. Then we started our journey home, which I broke off from to go to Piccadilly circus. This was because I was going to 3 Saville Row, which was where the Beatles played their famous and final rooftop concert. The building was nothing special and people kept staring at me as I ogled over the building and took pictures. It was incredible to see because I kept seeing the footage of the concert played out in front of me. Then I returned home and watched The Boat That Rocked and The King's Speech that night (trying to stay British) and went to sleep.

Saturday I slept in and got breakfast from the cafeteria with Becca and then it was time for us to go off and see the show The Low Road, at the Royal Court Theatre. We had a mildly nightmare-ish time trying to get there because the Tube was all closed but we got there in the nick of time and got settled to see the show. It was a great play except for the terrible ending which included aliens beaming down to Revolutionary America. The play was shockingly relevant because it dealt with capitalism and sounded exactly like everything that was thrown around during the election. It was a great discussion starter and Becca and Mia and I passionately discussed the play and America over an Indian food dinner.  Then we returned home and did the same kind of vegging out, in which I watched Ian McKellan's Richard III (for some character research you know).

Sunday, Easter, Becca and I decided to go for a walk through Kensington Gardens although the weather was far from Easter-like. We then wandered down High Street and reminisced about the first day we were in London. Then we returned home and she went off to Brunch and I stayed home and worked on Leo stuff. I chilled like this the rest of the day and am doing so now. Jesus had to rest for a little bit too after he was resurrected.

Anyway, that has been my week and I will keep this going for a little bit longer more.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway

Hello everyone,

So consider yourselves very lucky that I am writing this post considering that i have so much work I have to be doing right now.

Anyway, so Monday started out as usual with our four classes of the day. In voice, we did a long warm up and then chatted with Simon about our progress in the class. In Sue's class, we did a little bit of review because we had not had class for a few weeks and we came up with our final movement piece. I am paired with Becca and we had a grand time creating our ridiculous looking piece called "Dreamscape #9". Then in Stage Combat, we worked on our final fights and worked with Gordan a little bit on the fights. Then in Period Dance, we reviewed all the dances and solidified who would be doing what for the showing. Then the day was done and we celebrated because we did not have class the next day. It was also Summer's birthday so we took her out to dinner at this very good Italian restaurant on Gloucester Road. Then we came home and tried not to do any work, convinced that we would do it all the next day.

Tuesday began at a wonderfully reasonable time of 11:30 am with our bus taking us to Stratford-Upon-Avon.  I spent my entire bus ride up there doing work that Leo had just assigned us. We had to go through the entire play and write down everything that was said about our character, everything we say about ourselves and everyone else. The two hour bus ride went very fast when you are trying to complete a lot of work. We got to Stratford around 2 pm and were given a little break to get some sustenance. I have been to Stratford before when I was here my Senior year but it was nice to see again. I did not realize how many stores thrived on some Shakespeare pun of a name. For example, we got tea from a place called Quickly's after Mistress Quickly from the Henry Tetrolgy. We then had Simon Money lead us on a bit of a tour of the major sights in Stratford and ended in front of the Royal Shakespeare Company. We ran into someone that Simon went to drama school with who was going to be working at the RSC in the summer. Simon then proceeded to tell us all that we may one day be working there. We then had a little break before we were going to see Hamlet at the RSC, which I was beyond excited about. The new theatre that the RSC has built is incredible with three levels and a thrust stage. The Hamlet we saw was.....interesting and four hours long. I'm still not sure how I felt about the show. We then boarded our bus at about 11 pm and then took the journey home. Danny and I had to work on our scene so we did that for the first part of the journey. Once we finished that, I tried my best to stay awake so I could finish more work when I got home. I eventually had to give into my desire to listen to Simon and Garfunkel and arrived home slightly lulled. I finished all my work and went to bed by two am, considering that we got home at one am.

Wednesday morning was rough because we had to wake up by nine for Shakespeare with Leo. Danny and I were the first to be worked with and the scene came along incredibly well. It's nice to work on a scene that I actually have a passion for in that class. Then class was over and we had voice with Simon. We talked about Hamlet and then did this incredible alignment exercise that left me feeling wonderfully relaxed. We then had a break and then had SPT in which we were supposed to have read She Stoops to Conquer. The discussion at the end of class became a bit heated about female progress throughout the last three plays we read. Then class was over and we were done for the day and came home to work on all of our work.

Thursday began nice and early with Leo's Shakespeare class. We were visited by Ellen and Simon who were going to be helping us with voice work. I worked with Simon on the "What beast was't then" speech and was very happy with how it turned out. It was very nice to work with Simon on actual text and helped further my understanding of the character. Then class was done and we had SPT again, this time reading The Importance of Being Earnest. This class was much more lively because we had all read the play. We then learned that while it is a comedy, there is a very dark edge to the play about identity and Wilde's own problems with sexuality. Then the day was over and I returned home to work on Acting.

Friday began with Dramatic Criticism in which we were discussing Hamlet. We talked about the many ways this play can be done and I remembered the incredible one I saw at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We all came to the consensus about this show that the director tried to do too much with the play because he wanted it to be different from every other Hamlet the RSC has done. Then I had a long break before my Acting class. In class, I worked on my autobiography and activities for the scene. In my session, Kathy and I finally figured out what part of the speech meant and I felt great about progressing throughout the rest of the scene. Then my classes were done and Laura and Sara and I went to the Chocolate Festival! It was over by the Royal Festival Hall and was a bunch of different booths featuring chocolate. I got this incredible wrap that had chickpeas mixed with spices, chilli and chocolate. It was very good. We then walked around the Royal Festival Hall and went into the poetry room and read bizarre children's poems about Goldilocks on CCTV. We then went to the National Theatre and looked at their beyond-incredible bookstore. We then returned home and did a little bit of work and more talking.

Saturday began depressing because it was snowing. It's the end of March, no more snow please! So Summer and Laura and I went to Harrods and Neal's Yard. Harrods was fun to see with other people because we could pass judgement on all of the expensive items and find our Oscar dresses in the evening wear section and our shoes to go along with it. Of course we ended in the toy section because it was incredible. Neal's Yard was beautiful and reminded me so much of San Francisco because it was full of hippie stores and such. We then came home for a little break and then went out to Shoreditch for the night. We wanted to go to this pub that had board games but when we arrived, we found no board games and decided to keep walking. We came across this awesome bar called Roadtrip that was a nice mix of pub and bar. We got cheap drinks and were sitting and chatting when someone offered to buy us a bottle of wine. We said yes and he went off to buy it. Then three guys walked up and asked if they could sit down on the coaches. We said yes and began to talk to them. They were all from Dublin but one was actually French named, wonderfully, Guillaume. The other two were Irish and named Shane and Oshean. They were all mechanical engineers and we spent the rest of the night with them. We never saw the man who bought us the wine ever again. We had a grand time with these three guys and then decided it was time for us to head home. We found a bus that would take us to Oxford Circus and while waiting, we met this British named Micheal who chatted with us all the way to Tottenham Court Road, where the bus driver made us get off. We had no idea where we were and made out way to Green Park to finally find the bus we needed. We finally made it home and went to bed after our fun night.

Today was the most unproductive day of my life. Kyra and I spent about an hour yelling and listening to the Pokemon Theme song in our room before sitting down to try and do our work. And now I am sitting and writing this blog.

It is now my bedtime and I shall say goodnight. 


Sunday, March 17, 2013

She's beauty and she's grace

Happy St.Patrick's Day everyone!!!

So this has been a very busy week for me! Classes have been going along and stuff has been happening.

So Monday started out with Sue's class. It actually was very nice to be back in this class because we had not had it for about two weeks! We worked on making movement pieces using circles and did our handstands and things. Then we had voice with Simon and we did a nice long vocal warmup and then the remaining people read their monologues for dialects class. Then we had a break and then we had Period Dance. My corset was fitting much tighter then usual and it made the class a bit hard. We worked on all of our dances and I finally perfected the Mister Beverage's Maggot! It felt great and is a beautiful dance. Then we had Stage Combat in which we finished choreography our fights and got dialogue for the beginning of the fight. Mine is from a play called The Devil's Law Case by John Webster. Then the day was done and I went home to work on things. My audition class got cancelled for the next day so I had very little work left to do.

Tuesday began bright and early, unlike most, with an Alexander class. It was very relaxing even though we were doing it in Ellen's office. We learned that day that Kathy was snow bound and that we were not going to be really having class but we still had to come in to work on our animals and stuff. I changed my tempo to a flicking person singing "Paint It Black". Then I decided to go to the Old Bailey and had one of the strangest experiences. I got to the building and learned that I could not bring my bag into the building so I had to go leave it at a travel agency down the street. I met a old British man in line who used to work at the CIA and told me about how the British law system worked. When he asked me why I was there, I lied and said that I was planning on studying Law at Harvard and was going to Georgetown. The case itself, I could not figure what it was. But there were eighteen barristers all wearing wigs and robes and collars and there were four women. It was very interesting to see and I was there for about two hours. Then I came home and did all of my work.

Wednesday started with Leo's class and we were supposed to have voice after that but Simon was sick so class was cancelled. I did not work with Leo at all in this class but the work he was doing with people was very good and I thought it was working out well. The best moment of this class was when Leo was trying to help Sara get the gravity of the scene and he kept saying " I have a hamster is condemned to die?" We then had a break and then had Space Place Text, now taught by Christopher. He lectured us about The Rover for a little while which was rather dull and then we acted out Act 3 of the play which was much better. Later that day, we had our second dance workshop for the Waltz and Quickstep and we all did so much better! Then the day was done and I had a lot of work to do on my Leo scene.

Thursday started with Leo's class and I managed to work on my Macbeth scene at the end of class but Leo did not give me any good notes because he only worked with us for ten minutes. The best moment of the class was when Torian messed up a line and Leo laughed so much, he began rolling on the ground. This class never ceases with the random outbursts from Leo. Then we had a break before we had Space Place Text again this week in which we talked about The Beaux Stratagem. We followed a similar pattern to the class before and had an entertaining time with the acting out of scenes because when it comes to casting, gender is disregarded and it makes everything wildly entertaining. Then we had a little break before we had another masterclass, this time with Arthur Darvill of Doctor Who fame. He was very nice and down-to-earth and made it feel like a discussion between friends. Danny, one of the kids in the program, was so thrilled to see him and it was precious. Then the day was done and I went home to do more work.

Friday began with Dramatic Criticism. In this class, we were going to be talking about Port and we then proceeded to have a rousing about this interesting play. I love this class taught by Simon because he reminds me so much of Guillaume, my Moliere professor from sophomore year. Then we had a break and had Acting. We continued to do the breaking up into times to work on the scene and I had the last slot of the class. We found out in the middle of the class that there were giant platters of cheese sitting upstairs and I was so happy that I took a block of cheese home for my own enjoyment after eating several in class. We then learned a lot about the life of the man who works in our front office named Chris. It turns out that he is a painter and wishes he could live in the South of France. Then I had my session with Kathy in which the Ides of March (which was this day) really came out to play. Halfway through, the window flew open and knocked the clock off the sill and scared Kathy and I. Then Kathy's necklace got stuck to he sweater and we spent the last five minutes of class trying to figure out out to detach it. Then I went to the Breakfast Club in Spitalfields later that day and realized that the Angel location is much better. Then I came home and Summer, Laura and I went to Hamley's toy store which has existed since 1760. It is this big massive building with all kinds of toys and we then proceeded to find all of our animals from Acting and take a picture of it (included below). We had so much fun seeing all the toys from our childhood and I even managed to buy a present for Rosie (shh, it's a surprise). We then went to a vintage store called Beyond Retro and I got a pair of vintage Ferragamos for only 16 pounds. It was awesome and I enjoyed my night a lot. Then I came home and ate my cheese, drank my wine and watched A League of Their Own.

Saturday began with me watching Miss Congeniality before going off to a tea dance out in Greenwich at the order of Kathy. It gave us all the perfect opportunity to practice the Waltz and Quickstep. The dance was wonderful and our group brought down the age by about fifty years. It was so precious to see this older couples dancing around and not caring if they were even doing the right steps. We all danced around and had fun and were dressed up. Then the dance was over and we came back home to rest for a little bit. Then we were going out for Summer's birthday, which is technically on Monday. Needless to say, we all had a VERY enjoyable time around Leicester square and at the dorm.

Today, St.Patrick's day, I woke up and went with Summer and Christian and Laura down to where we believed that St.Patrick's Day parade would be. We never found the parade but came across the festival that was happening in Trafalgar Square and enjoyed some Irish cheese and potato crisps. Then we returned home in order to do our work, which instead was me watching parts of the first season of Glee. Then we had a dance and stage combat rehearsal and that has been my night. I have managed to memorize a lot of my Vivie speech and have my entire Lady Anne monologue memorized.

And that has been my week. I hope yours was as enjoyable.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Won't you come see about me?

Hello everybody,

So I just finished my first week of the second half of the term. I can't belive how fast time has gone. It feels like just yesterday that I got to London!

Anyway, Monday started out with a different schedule because we had Physical Theatre all morning to make up for the fact that it ended on Wednesday. People were half asleep and falling all over everything so we knew it was going to be a rough first day back. In Physical Theatre, we worked on neutral mask again and this time we did the "Farewell of all Farewells" which sounds simple but is actually exceptionally difficult because you have to learn how to take all emotion out of your face and place it in your body instead. We then had a break after this three hour class (!!) and moved onto Stage Combat. I tried to take the midterm notes I got into consideration and we got a new part to our combination and were told that we would get scenes by next week. We then moved onto Period Dance where we worked on all the dances and learned a new one called "Mr. Beverages Maggot". It's a very beautiful dance beside it's very strange name.  Then we had a masterclass with Dame Harriet Walters!!! It was incredible and I am so happy that she came and talked to us!! That night, we were all exhausted and stayed in and did our work. I went to LDA and worked on my monologues which made me feel better for audition.

Tuesday started out as usual with our Acting class at 11 am. We had to talk about our activities that Kathy gave us and she was fine with the fact that I was unable to get into the Old Bailey to see a trial. We then talked about our homework from over the break and that was that. We then had a break and I had audition later that day. The work I did on my monologues kind of showed but I needed more time with Major Barbara. I was done with that by 3 pm and later that night, we went to see a show at the National Theatre. It was called Port and was decent but not the most incredible theatre I have seen. The lead actress had a crazy voice that was not helped by the fact that she was speaking with a Manchester accent. Kyra can do the perfect impression of it. It also did not help that I was madly hungry throughout the play and was only finally satiated when I got Tesco sandwiches. I then went home that night and ate my sandwiches.

Wednesday started as usual with Physical Theatre. We continued on with the "Farewell of All Farewells" and I had a chance to work on it in front of the class. It was a very strange activity to do with the masks but was also strangely freeing. Then I had a bit of a laughter break-down during someone elses exercise because the mask made him look like he was in a horror movie and the wave he did looked like less of a wave and more of a move before murder. It was crazy and I felt so bad for just constantly laughing, even when I wasn't laughing at him anymore. We then ended that class with critiques from Alison and she told me that I was progressing a lot and that I have grown since the beginning but I still need work on taking in the space. Then we went to Shakespeare and Leo spent a lot of time with me trying to draw out raw emotion from me which is like trying to squeeze water out of a rock. I kept trying to be open but it wasn't working. He told me that we would get it by the next day and I was not certain. I mean, Rome was not built in a day. We then had a few hour break before we went to a reading at the St.James Theatre at four pm. It was a new Timberlake Wertenbaker play about Thomas Jefferson and it was strange to see a reading about America in England. She is an American playwright and it was obvious except for the British actors doing American accents. Most of them were good except when they said Maryland or Georgia (with an R). It was a very long play but it was one of the first drafts of the play and even still, the writing was beautiful. We then returned home that night and did more work.

Thursday began with Shakespeare. Leo was true to his word and worked with me to get my emotions out which he did. Leo only stopped working with me when I was performing my speech through sobs and tears and a runny nose. It felt great though because it was exactly what I needed. He also was super nice once I was done and let me leave the room to get water. We then experienced all kinds of crazy emotions because at one point, Leo imitated a raven by shrieking exceptionally loud, scaring the living daylights out of us all. Also when he was working on Torian's speech with him, which is when Angelo is threatening Isabella with rape and such,  he shouted out "Your Penis!!" very loud and made Torian believe that he actually had to gesture to it during the speech. We then all dissolved into laughs over this for a long time. We then were told that we would receive our scenes from either Macbeth or Measure for Measure over the weekend. Then we had a break before our voice and dialects class which was nice to have because we had Simon again. He told us that he had been robbed over the weekend which is unfortunate and told us about how he learned this from Max, the local crackhead. We then worked on our speeches in RP and I actually did a lot better then I thought I would. Later that day, I had my Alexander appointment and Dee hit the nail on the head when she said I am too hard on myself and it is present in my body. Then I was done for the day and came back to my humble room.

Friday began with our first Dramatic Criticism class taught by Simon. We were talking about the bizarre play, Playing Cards and the discussion went really well because we learned about Robert Lepage first and got to have outside information. Simon is also a very great discussion person because he also adds to the discussion instead of just having us talk. We then had a nice long break before Acting with Kathy. She had broken the class into four time slots so that she could work on each scene one on one. I had a twenty minute session with her later in the class and I got to really work on both my text and my character. Then the day was done and I came home and passed out for the rest of the night, while working on the SPT paper I forgot we had been assigned.

Saturday morning, I slept in and could not figure out what to do for the life of me. I went to breakfast at the French Cafe and decided that I was going to go visit a store that I had been following online since I was a Freshmen in high school called Vivien of Holloway. It was in a rather nondescript place of London but the store was beautiful and I wanted every beautiful vintage reproduction item that they had. I then went to Borough Market and almost cried over the amount of cheese stands that existed in the area. I ended up getting some fresh made Pumpkin Tortellini, fresh mozzarella and ham on a stick and a heart shaped cookie filled with Jam. They were all amazing and I am dreaming about them now. Then I went over to Harrods just to get a cup of tea. I ended up wandering around the entire store and got no tea but saw all of the super expensive toys and other things. I then returned home and worked on my paper and watched movies that night. No partying for me this weekend. But I did get my scene for Shakespeare and I am playing Lady Macbeth in the scene where she torments Macbeth. I'm excited.

This Sunday morning, Laura and I decided to go to breakfast at a place called The Breakfast Club. The food was absolutly amazing, I have never had such a good breakfast in my life. I want to go back so badly. We went to their branch that was in Angel but they have four more that I plan on hitting up. We had to wait a long time for a table but it so was worth it. I then returned home and have been doing my work all day, much to my own depression.

And tommrow begins the new week. Here we go!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bonjour Paris! And Berlin!

Hey everyone!

So it's the Sunday after my half-term break and I can't wait to tell you all about it. I spent seven days on the continent and went to Paris and Berlin.

So Saturday morning arrived and I had to wake up super early to get to my 8:24 Eurostar train. Laura and I rushed to St.Pancreas to get to train and just barely made it. We didn't really have a window by our seat but I still managed to sneak a peek out of a sliver in the seats. I loved the train ride because I hadn't been on a train journey since I was about six. I got to walk around the train to the food cart and could stretch my legs or whatever. It was wonderful to see the difference between the English countryside and the French. We pulled into Gare Nord station at about noon-ish and had to figure out how to get to our hostel on the Metro which was chaos to figure out. The woman working at the counter did not speak English and we did not speak French. We eventually found our way up to Montmartre and found our hostel after searching the various Rues (streets) around. Our hostel was super cute. Think charming, stereotypical Parisian apartment with carpet going up the stairs and red wallpaper. We were sharing a room with four other girls on the fourth floor of the building with the world greatest view. We couldn't check in until much later that day so we went and walked around Sacré Cœur, which was a five minute walk from the hostel, and wandered around the really touristy area of Montmartre and got macaroons and crepes. It began to snow as we were heading back and did not cease until we left for Berlin.  We then got dinner at an amazing French-Italian restaurant called Babalou and went back to our hostel to check in. We then went to a little cafe called Hope Cafe and sat and read our respective plays for class. We then went to sleep early that night.

Sunday began early because we were planning to go to Versailles. We got to the Metro stop and that was when the mayhem began. We talked to the man working about how to get a ticket for Versailles, which is outside of the city. He helped us but accidentally got us the wrong ticket. We then had to go to a new station in order to get the right ticket. Except we went out the wrong way and had to use our tickets to get back in. The lady did not really speak any English and told us that we couldn't refund our tickets. We were then planning on just going to the Musee D'Orsay and went to that stop. We asked the lady at the counter about Versailles tickets and she sold them to us. So we went. And it was amazing! And because I was an Irish citizen, I got into every museum for Free!!! I'm so glad we went. Versailles is beautiful and way more then I ever expected. I had always wanted to go and I finally reached my history nerd mecca. The Hall of Mirrors was my favorite because it was absolutely gorgeous. Versailles is even more beautiful in the snow. We then left and went to the Musee D'Orsay which was one of my favorite museums when we went to Paris when I was seven. It still was just as good as I remembered and I was so excited to see the Impressionists but I had not had caffeine all day so I was slowly drifting away. We then returned to the hostel for a little bit and got dinner at a Parisian cafe right next store. It was wonderful and I managed to get some tea! We then trekked out to the snow and went to see the Eiffel Tower from the famous viewing point that everyone and their mother has taken pictures from. We got crepes and then returned home to go to sleep after our very full day.

Monday morning also began quite early because we were planning on packing a lot in. We started out by going to the Louvre museum because one does such things. We only managed to see about a fourth of the museum but we saw the Mona Lisa and I got to replicate a picture from my youth. People kept shoving when we were looking at it which was annoying because it is only a painting, not a cure for cancer. We then got some tea and coffee and made our way down the Seine to Notre Dame. Along our way, we stumbled across the famous Lock bridge which was amazing to see because there are literally locks upon locks upon locks. We then found Notre Dame and went inside to see the 850 year old church. It was incredible as always. We then searched for Shakespeare and Company, the famous Lost Generation bookstore and could not seem to find it so we were all set to leave when we stumbled on it. It is the world's most incredible place, I died and went to heaven when I saw it. I ended up buying a copy of A Moveable Feast because Hemingway talks about that bookstore in the book, so I couldn't resist. We then returned back to our neighborhood and went to Babalou again for dinner. We then returned to Shakespeare and Company only to learn that they were closing for an hour for a reading, so we went and sat in a little cafe for the hour right across from Notre Dame. We were finally feeling settled in Paris on Monday and were sad that we were leaving for Berlin the next day. We then returned to Shakespeare and Company for a bit and went home to get to sleep.

Tuesday rolled around and I woke up early to finish packing my non-existent suitcase and get ready to go. We left our hostel at about eleven am for our flight out of Orly and made it with plenty of time. We then boarded our flight at about 1:30 and were on our way to Berlin. We landed in Berlin at about 3 pm and had to find our way to our hostel. Since I took Spanish for about seven years, I could figure out a bit of French but once we landed in Berlin, I couldn't read a thing. We managed to find our way to our hostel and were immediately regretting our choice. Our hostel was this big building next to the train that was across from a bunch of grey office buildings in the outskirts of former East Berlin. It was miserable. We tried to get out of their as soon as possible and found our way to Alexanderplatz, a big square by the TV tower. We wandered around there for a while and got much entertainment out of the Germans attempts to use English on clothing and such. We then went back to our hostel and mourned the loss of our charming Parisian hostel. We then went to bed.

The next day, Wednesday, we woke up in time to go to a free walking tour of Berlin since both of us really knew nothing about the city. The walking tour really made us feel better about our choice to come to Berlin. We got to see the Brandenburg Gate, The Reichstag, the Holocaust memorial, the site of Hitler's Bunker (which is appropriately not mentioned  in a single way, it is a parking lot), a section of the Berlin wall, the site of the book burnings of 1933 and Museum Island. It made me realize that Berlin does have some beautiful places to it while still needed a little work after the damage the 20th Century had done to it.  It definitely is an interesting city, but not a beautiful one like Paris. We then went into one of the museums called the Pergamon museum which was named after the Alter that was from said city. It was a very cool museum because it had a lot of large structures from antiquity that were cool to see although not related to Germany at all. We walked down to the Brandenburg Gate after this and then returned to the hostel for a little bit. We decided to go that night to the neighborhood called Friedrichstrad and walked around there until we settled on a nice resturant to eat in.  While walking around, we stumbled upon the Berliner Ensemble which was Bertolt Brecht's theatre. I had a moderate freak out about actually seeing the theatre and the general public had to listen to be shriek about Brecht. At the restaurant, we tried Berliner Wisse which is this incredible beer that has a syrup added to it that makes it sweet. It was delicious. We then returned home and went to bed.

On Thursday, we woke up and wanted to do another one of the free tour but got to Brandenburg gate too late for any of them. We then wandered over to the Reichstag to see if we could walk up to the glass dome above the building but that fell through too. We then walked through the Tiergarten which was right next to the Reichstag which is this large park in the middle of Berlin. It was quite beautiful even in the dead of winter and we came across a statue of the famous German composers. It was moderately creepy because when the statue was fixed after World War II, they didn't cover up the bullet holes so you can see where chunks of the marble are missing making it very obvious that war happened. That's the case with the entire city, they are very serious about making amends for the Nazi party and their time under Soviet rule. But back to the present. We then walked down the park to the Victory Column which lies in the middle of the Tiergarten. We got to go up to the top and got a nice view of Berlin. We then returned back to the Gate and made our way to the East Side Gallery, which is a large part of the Berlin Wall that artists have painted. We got kind of lost on our way there and ended up in a rather sketchy area but soon got the hell out of there and found the Gallery. It was very cool to see and we ended this tour with a stop at Pirates Berlin, this strange pirate themed restaurant on the river. Then we made our way over to West Berlin for the first time of the trip and saw how dramatically different the two sections are. We came across what I believed to be a solely DC restaurant called Vapianos and just had to eat there. The chef in the restaurant thought that I was British and I didn't try to tell him otherwise. I guess we English speakers can't hear the difference in German accents so why should they hear our differences.  We then went to a piano bar we had seen the night before called Van Gogh and enjoyed more Berliner Wisse and the piano music. We then returned home and went to bed on our last night.

Friday morning, our last day on the continent, we woke up and decided to go to the Neues Museum which was right next door to the one we went to before. This museum is famous because it has the bust of Nefertiti. In this audio tour, we learned that basically every room in this museum was destroyed by bombs during World War II. Super depressing. We then finished there and went back to the neighborhood in Wes Berlin we were in. We wandered around there and then came back to the hostel before realizing that our flight was earlier then we thought by 45 minutes. We rushed to the train and had to wait ten minutes before the airport-bound train showed up. I was beginning to freak out at this point because I have serious anxieties about time and missing a flight is one of my biggest fears. We made it to check in about a minute before they shut it down and had to sprint through security to get to our gate. I ran through part of the airport with no shoes on, just socks. We were told that final boarding was at 5:30 and at this point it was 5:15. We get to the gate and they had not even started boarding yet. Needless to say, I was annoyed. We then had a nice flight back to London Gatwick and scarfed down Marks and Spencers sandwiches while waiting for a bus back to Victoria. We got back to Atlantic house at about ten pm and I was so happy to be home because I missed London while I was gone. I chilled out the rest of the night and went to bed.

Saturday morning, I slept in to about 11 and began work on my silly Dramatic Criticism paper. I managed to get 2/3rds of a way through it before I had to leave to go see a show at the Almedia: The Turn of the Screw. Based on the story by Henry James, it was an amazing show that scared me a lot but luckily, I had no nightmares. We then had a chaotic tube ride back home and chilled out and greeted everyone that came home from their various trips.

Today, Sunday, I woke up early and finished my paper and decided to go to Spitalfields market. The weather was beautiful today and it felt like spring. I had a wonderful time at the market and came home to finish doing work and the like. I wish that this weekend back could have been longer but alas, I got to travel around Europe, which was fun.

I hope you all enjoyed this very long post! And now, some pictures!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

All around the Cathederal

Hello everyone!

So I know that this is deviating from the normal Sunday night post but that is because this Sunday, I will be partaking in my Half Term break and will be in Paris that day! Very exciting!

So here is my week thus far.

On Monday, we had the usual day. It was exhausting and long. In Movement, we came up with little movement pieces that Sue filmed and in Voice we read our poems again and Simon gave me the same note I've gotten in every class, too much tension in the neck and back. In Stage Combat, we worked with the swords some more and in Period Dance we reviewed "Jenny Pluck Pears", which meant that we got nice little breaks between the long dances. Then we had an hour before we had to run to a show that was up near Camden Town. I could have done without seeing this show but the highlight was that I got to meet Timberlake Wertenbaker, one of Britain's best modern playwrights. It was a totally unexpected but great experience.

Tuesday started with Acting and we did our character object exercises that Kathy had asked us to do. I thought that mine went really well but Kathy told me that I didn't have the oilyness of the character yet, which she realized she had never told me about. Then in the afternoon, we had a master class with two of the actors from Privates on Parade. We were worried that we were going to have to talk about the play but we actually heard all about their careers and it was very interesting.  We then had a boring meeting about traveling and called it a day.  

On Wednesday, we had our physical theatre class and we finally got to do mask work! We worked with neutral masks and got to experience what that is like, which is very strange.You have to keep your face and body extremely simplistic which is actually more difficult then one would imagine. Then I had my Shakespeare class which was one of the most frustrating I have experienced in a long time. Leo wants us to stop using our brains so his way of doing this is to throw five things for us to do at the same time, which is just a lot to deal with. At one point, I began to cry but Leo told me to just let it out so I could keep going. It really did help to just release my emotion. Then after an hour of working with me, he said I could finally stop. Later that day, I had a meeting with Ellen who had just gotten back from her tour of the US. I told here about how I was, frustrations and all, and that was that. While I was waiting in the office, there were a bunch of Americans from Fordham who had come to visit the program. It was strange to hear American accents in a world of Brits. Later that day I had my audition class and we worked on Major Barbara and picked which Lady Anne speech I'm going to be doing. Act 4, Sc 1 here I come!

Thursday morning started with Shakespeare once again and I managed to successfully avoid having to work on my speech again after Wednesday's emotional roller coaster. After that class, I had Alexander Technique in which we worked on me sitting and standing properly. Then I was done for the day. Later that night, we went to see Timberlake Wertenbaker's play Our Country's Good. It finally was a great show again after the last three moderate flops. We then got to stay and talk to some of the actors from the show which was cool because we got to hear about their lives and what they want out of their careers. Then we had to get back early because we had class starting at 8:45 the next morning.

At 8:45 Friday morning, we began our Dramatic Criticism class with a discussion about Timberlake Wertenbaker and her play. I thought that everyone liked the play but it seems people didn't like the fact that it had no resolution and very low stakes. I still enjoyed. No one can take that away from me. The we finished class early due to early start and had a break before we went onto Acting. In this class, we talked about the relationships between the characters in the scene which was hard for me considering I don't have another character in my scene. Then we talked about units and the last two Stanislavsky questions. Then I had to run to go do my Acting homework. It was such a mess of me getting to the Old Bailey that I already had a great story including not having my oyster card, the ticket machine taking forever, the train being impossibly late and all kinds of fun things. I went and found the Old Bailey and walked in and asked about the public viewing gallery. I was told that it closed at 3:30 (it was 3:45 right now) and that the website had been wrong. I was so annoyed that I decided to walk across the Millennium Bridge and wander around Bankside by the Globe. My day ended better but I was still worried about when I could do my homework since it is due the Tuesday we get back and I am gone until next Friday. Right now, I am just chilling in my room before my early start tommorow morning for Paris!

I'll keep you updated on Half Term travels after I get back!