Monday, April 29, 2013

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life

Hey everyone!

Sorry I have been MIA, but I was traveling and finishing up LDA. It is not over, I am not back in the US, I AM IN DENIAL!!!!! Anyway, I made it back to the US yesterday and am now in an existential crisis about where I am. Anyway, such is life.

So the last week of LDA, here goes.

Monday began with our final voice class with Simon. My class got the unfortunate luck of the draw and still had class at nine am. That really isn't bad considering we started class at this time every day. We did a little vocal warm up and read out 19th century instructions on how to act properly, in our RP accents of course. And that was it. We were supposed to have an extra long Acting class that afternoon but Kathy was dreadfully sick (my fault) and so the rest of the day was ours to work on stuff.

Tuesday began with another four hour Shakespeare class and we worked on transitions for our scenes and then did a run through of all of our scenes.  Leo then told us that we should not under any circumstances run our scenes until the showing because we were all needing an audience for our scenes to be good. Without that, we were just spinning our wheels until we got that audience. Then we had a little break and then had an exceptionally long Acting class, which we all wanted since we had lost out of the one the day before. I was nervous about my monologue and really wanted to have a chance to work on it. We did a basic blocking of the entire showing and got the room set up for the showing the next day. Kathy was not thrilled with me because I had no idea what my set up would look like and because I accidentally messed up the order. This was not a good way to feel. Then we got our autobiographies back and Kathy hated mine. I was very upset about it and talked with her about it and she said not to worry. Anyway, that's done. Then we were done for the night and some of us had to go to a party at one of the funders of the London Centre. He lived in an incredible flat over at Sloane Square and it was incredible to see something of such wealth. We were only there for about two hours and then we came home to get ready for the showing.

Wednesday, we all decided to have a run-through at 9:30-ish so that we would feel confident for our showing later that day. We were surprised that we all handled it quite maturely and all did our thing. Then we had a lunch break before our showing. Then we got there about an hour before to get everything ready for the showing. Then it was time and we began to do our animals, tempo, and visualizations as people began to meander in for the showing. The weather was beautiful so we had all of the gardens to use for our animals. Mine went everywhere because I was one of the first scenes and needed to keep any eye when we were starting. I got distracted at one point because Leo came up and was standing next to me as I was being a pelican and I was so aware that he was right next to me. Then the showing began and I did my monologue. I did not think that it went very well but the audience loved it and the entire showing. Dee told me that I had a strong presence when I was on stage and that I did great Alexander. Ellen was amazed because we were all speaking, without meaning to, in Standard American. We then had to get the rooms organized for our Shakespeare showings and then Andrew and I had a long conversation with Ellen about the whole experience. I love that woman. Then our Shakespeare class met to do a music rehearsal for the showing and it was a hysterical disaster. This happened when we went on to rehearse "Blue Jay Way" because Leo wanted it hummed and Shea started humming it and it was so off-key that we all dissolved into laughter for the rest of the rehearsal.  We then went into Leo's class super giddy from our showing and rehearsal. We then got our shit together and managed to do a cue-to-cue of our showing and then Leo let us go so that we could go home and not work on our scenes. That night, I watched Mrs.Doubtfire and listened to Monsters Inc while Kyra and Scott watched it. Then I went to bed in prep for the next day.

Thursday was the Shakespeare showing and it was one of the most memorable days of my life. We started that morning with a vocal warm up with Simon then we broke into our sections to talk to our teachers.  Leo gathered all of us and told us that “today was a blank slate and you will not know what is going to happen” which for me is one of the most exciting things about being an actor. We had our showing second and so after we talked with Leo, we went downstairs to see the other classes showing and who should be sitting there but Ben Whishaw. It took me awhile to process this information.  It was hard to concentrate on the other classes showing, in which they were doing scenes from Twelfth Night, because we had to stay engaged in doing our own showing and were super nervous about it. Then we had to run upstairs and get ready for our own showing. We could not talk to anyone in the other class and just had to go and do our thing to get ready. It went incredibly well and I was so unbelievably happy with how everything turned out. During Christian and Shea's scene, which was from Measure For Measure, I realized just how much we had all changed in Leo’s class and become formidable actors for our young age.  My Macbeth scene went very well and I had so much fun going through my Lady Macbeth craziness that it took me about twenty minutes to fully come down from the scene. Ben Whishaw was there to see it and told us that we all did excellent work. I was surprised with the amount of incredible compliments I got from audience members such as “a real sense of character” and “force of nature”.  This was one of the best days I had in my time here in London helped by Simon’s (my voice teacher) note that I am “an interesting enough person to hold an audience” along with being great at playing Lady Macbeth., even at the age of 21. If it had not been for Leo, I would never have become all of these things people were describing me as an actor. I was on an acting high for the rest of the day. Then the business school threw us a party which was a nice gesture but super strange at the same time. I was finally able to drink again and enjoyed hanging out with the people I loved and getting free food. Then we decided to go out for our end of showings hurrah. We went to a place called Roadhouse and had an incredible time dancing and singing to all of the songs we loved. Then we traipsed all the way to Trafalger Square to try and get the bus and Becca, Danny and I got bitchy and annoyed and then decided to to take a cab back to Atlantic house. We got back there and then went to bed.

Friday morning began with my evaluation with Leo. It was great because he told me that I did really well in the showing and that I made a huge jump in his class to become a strong actress. He also told me that he really did like me as a person and that I needed to have more faith in myself. He gave me some books to read and later told me that he saw that I really needed to play Lady Macbeth which he saw on the first day. It was nice to talk to him without the pressure of the class. Then we had a break and had a meeting with Ellen in which we evaluated the classes and then we had our goodbye party. This party was super sad and happy because Ellen gave us all gifts and we talked about the term and got food. Dee also gave us cards with notes on our progress through the term. We all dressed up and loved being able to relive moments from the term and I told the story of my crazy audition. Christian had to leave for the airport in the middle of the party and that was when the tears began. I then had a long and very funny talk with Leo about his teaching style and made him laugh a lot. Then the party was over and I returned home to cry and pack. That night, we decided not to go out and instead drink the rest of our alcohol and talk, laugh, the usual. We all managed to reach our goal and then the night was over.

Saturday morning, everyone was getting ready to leave and I helped Summer lug her suitcase to the post office to ship it. My mom was landing at Heathrow that day and I went to meet her at the hotel. The weather was exceptionally beautiful and I wore one of my new London dresses and then we walked around Piccadilly circus and went to Borough market in which we got an incredible meal, because my mother was paying. She was jet lagged so she went back to the hotel and I returned to Atlantic house to see everyone. We all went to dinner in which I partook in Harold Pinter's new play known as Last London Dinner with Mike, Noah and Andrew. It was incredible quiet and awkward and I was really not digging the vibe. We then decided to go to LDA late that night to see the place for the last time and talk about the term, which we never ended up doing much to my chagrin. Then we returned home when the security guard came to the room and told us we had to leave. We continued our meeting down in the common room and started to say goodbye to people that were leaving early in the morning, this being Danny and Kelly and Scott. It was a very sad moment and I hated it. Then I went and said my goodbyes to everyone, just in case, and went to bed.

Sunday morning began bright and early because I wanted to make sure I had a chance to say goodbye to everyone. I wandered around for awhile and talked to people then escorted a large group of people to the tube and met up with my mother at the tube. It was really hard to say goodbye to everyone and I am still very sad about it. Then my mother and I walked around Kensington and went to Da Mario's, the Victoria and Albert, LDA and then took my luggage to the hotel. That was it and I was moved out of the dorm, my London home. We then chilled at the hotel for a little while and then went to the Birthday Whirlygig for Shakespeare's birthday at the Globe Theatre. Johnny Flynn was playing and Laura and Shea and I decided that it would be fun to go. I had to say goodbye to those two there and that was also sad. Then my mother and I returned to the hotel, got some tea and went to bed.

Monday morning, I took my mother to The Breakfast Club and it was amazing as usual. She also loved it. Then I tried to take her to Spitalfields market, but it was less awesome as it usually was and instead we went in Collectif and she bought me a sweater! Then we wandered down Brick Lane which I wish I had done before because it was amazing. There literally was a vintage store every other store front.We then made our way back to the area near the hotel and then walked around Piccadilly and Covent Garden and Lecister Square. I finally went and did Afternoon Tea and got to eat my favorite pizza for the last time. We then ended at the Chandos and made our way back to the hotel to sleep. It was a very nice day.

Tuesday began with us checking out of our room. This was my last day in London. I couldn't believe I had got to this day. We then went to the Southbank and walked around near the National Theatre and Westminster and ate our last London meal at Wagamama's. I managed to fling food in my eye while there. Then we walked up to Covent Garden from there and made it to the Cambridge Satchel Company store. Then it was time for us to make our way to Heathrow for our flight to Dublin. We took the Heathrow Express out of Paddington and that was that. I was gone from London. I'm still dying. I am much better suited to London then I am to the US. I want to go back, why am I in Sonoma?

And that is the end of LDA. So it goes, that's all she wrote, case closed, that's a wrap.  It has been the greatest experience of my entire life and I am having trouble being back in the US. I met incredible people while here and I miss seeing them every day like I have been for four months. I learned I was a great actress and now have the confidence I need to go back to Catholic and kick everyone's asses, even if it is only secretly.  My trip to Dublin will be another post. And that's it for the blogging from London. I will go and cry about this now.

And for you all, a group picture of LDA Spring 2013, in human form.


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