Monday was threatening to be a particularly painful Movement class, because Sue - who had broken her very first bone - had finally gotten her cast off. And we all knew that that meant she was coming back with a hyperactive vengeance. We did the usual, some handstands and strength training and stuff. I was sore one hour after that class was over. Historical Dance, blah blah blah. Dramatic Lit, click click click. Sword Fighting: we finally got cast for the Romeo and Juliet fight showing scene thing, and I got the part that I wanted, i.e. there is a fight between the Capulets and Montagues, and then Tybalt and Benvolio come out and have a sort of “featured” fight, and I didn’t want to be Tybalt, because - let’s face it, he’s a douche - so I wanted to be Benvolio. And I am! It was very exciting, and a nice little ego boost. Especially since I’m so not coordinated. Hopefully I won’t kill Vanessa during the showing… but the blades are particularly sharp…
That night we just hung out, and some people freaked out about memorization (I won’t name names, but it was a boy).
Tuesday my group had an incredibly disappointing Shakespeare class. Michael was very disappointed and just tore us apart - took away my Benvolio ego boost. But Physical Theatre was really neat. We did more mask work, which gave me a cool idea for independent study next semester to get more units. It’s still in the primordial stew phase, so I won’t jinx it by talking about it, but it would be cool. We visited the British Library after that, but I had already gone, so Michael just sent me and a few other people (STEPHANIE) to St Pancras station to look around there (I got a crêpe and we did a few social experiments). He also gave me some food of his, because I was hungry (there’s a longer story behind that) and it was wonderful. Ah, Michael… I hovered my hands over da Vinci’s pages again once more before leaving the Library for the theatre to see the show that evening (with a quick stop off at King’s Cross to take more Harry Potter pictures).
The show we saw was pretty far away from us all the way over at Warwick’s Station, in an insanely sketch area of London. The theatre from the outside looks like the kind of place refugees would hide. But the inside is actually quite quaint, and the show, Mixed Up North, was really enjoyable. It’s what’s called a verbatim theatre (or something very much like verbatim), and it was mostly narratives. But it was very well acted and well written. For the most part, I didn’t realise I was watching a show. The gimmick is that they are rehearsing a play and we, the audience, are their guest audiences for the dress rehearsal. So they talk to us a lot, etc. and it felt so natural and conversationalistic. Michael was also there, and bestowed us with some wonderful anecdotes that made us all love him even more (including one that involves mouthing the word “OBESE” to us from across the room - full story of course available upon request).
Today, after Theatre History, we had a Masterclass with the author of last nights play. He was … in Sienna’s words - and there are no better words - the most generous story teller. I had never had a Masterclass like it. I laughed (so did Sienna), I cried (so did Sienna) and I did … all manner of other emotional actions (and I think Sienna did too). He seemed like the perfect guy to just listen to for hours on end. He interviews a lot of people for his plays, and therefore has a lot of stories about life. Some of them are incredible, and some heartbreaking, but he also had a lot of really valuable advice for me as a learning actor. I would have enjoyed talking to him longer.
After our acting class, the evening was spent (in theory) getting ready for Edinburgh. Quick disclaimer: I will be gone from tomorrow till Sunday mid-afternoon, so there will be no blog updates. I’m traveling to Edinburgh (light) and will therefore not have my computer.