Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Multiple theatrical identities.

So, I am currently rehearsing for the (amazing) (awesome) (insane) play 'When It Rains Gasoline', to be performed this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Then, Saturday, I start rehearsals for 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.
   I'm actually really happy that the rehearsals start so soon after 'Gasoline', because then I don't have too much of a sad post-performance period. It'll be strange going straight from a modern American play to an ancient Shakespeare, but in a good way. Also, at least five other people from 'Gasoline' are going to be in 'Midsummer' with me, so I won't even get a chance to miss working with them. The people I'll miss most, aside from the (amazing) (awesome) (insane) crew working on 'When It Rains Gasoline', are the characters; the jocky boys, the gamer nerds, the quiet insecure "queer", and my cheerleaders. I'll miss them as much as I'll miss the actors who play them.

It sounds like a terribly poncey actor thing to say, but... I love being several different people at once. Especially when those people are so completely different to me.
   Alysa, from 'Gasoline', is your classic head cheerleader Queen Bee plastic fantastic beyotch. She calls the other kids losers and dorks, dumps all her boyfriends when she gets bored, ditches one of her best friends when she gets into some trouble, and is constantly encouraging her other bestie to lose her virginity. I love being her, and she's one of those characters that you can never take too far.

Alysa; head cheerleader, lover of pink lipstick, supreme bitch.

   Robin Starveling/Moonshine is my role in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'. I read Moonshine in the audition, and made everyone giggle with my best "stoopid" voice. "I th' man in th' moon..." I can't wait to see what that character will be like. Despite it being a small role in a massive production, I'm just delighted to be involved, the concept and script is fantastic and I'll be having fun the whole way through.

I auditioned for two musicals this term, to no avail - cementing my belief that while 
I can act at a push, I am no singer; I can sing in the bathroom or the kitchen, but not onstage. That's fine by me. Singing seems to me like such a vulnerable, intensely personal thing... I hate singing in front of people (if I sing in front of you, be honoured), and I don't know why I decided for even a moment that I could do it onstage. Acting is different; I can have fun and be utterly un-vulnerable, wrapped in the guise of someone else.

Anyway. I used to want to be an actor, before I realised that I had to be a writer. Not as in "they made me do it", as in "I HAD to do it or I'd die". Yet, here I am in two plays. Loving it. And this time Friday night, I'll be saying goodbye to Alysa. This time Saturday night, I'll be Moonshine. C'est la vie.

Photos of the play(s) will be added later! :)

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Thankful for...

Skinny vanilla lattes in Caffe Nero. Completed essays. The blackout blind I have over the window in my bedroom. Radio 1 in the morning. Rimmel Urban Purple nail polish/Barry M silver glitter. How I Met Your Mother. The Uni Student Confessions pages on Facebook. The Forage & Find antique 'n' unique jewellery stall. YouTubers. My fabulous hairdresser. John Green books.
PostSecret. Payday. The two-minute silence on Remembrance Day. Carrie Hope Fletcher T-shirts. My cat.

Having food in the cupboards. Getting a part in a fantastic play, and working with some seriously talented people. Being offered two jobs in the same week, and having to turn down two more offers. My inspiring lecturers. People setting me back on my path when I'm lost. Having a magical family who supports me in everything I do. My new life away from home. My Mum texting me every day. My beautiful family in Australia, and being able to visit them so often. The way my little sister writes statuses on Facebook with a million hearts and kisses. Lovely friends, people I can text when I'm feeling down, get tipsy with, order pizza and be irresponsible with. People who read my blog. Opportunities for something better.

Tonight, when I'm eating pasta and watching 'Slapsgiving', 'Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap', plus all the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends, I'll be thinking about all these things, big and small, that I am thankful for.

Monday, 19 November 2012

We all need a win.

My friend had his second attempt at his driving test last week. I was a nervous wreck all day waiting to hear from him as to whether or not we’d be celebrating with pizza and TV that night, or drowning our sorrows with pizza and TV that night. Finally, the text came through: “so guess who won’t be getting a pink licence any time soon…” I sighed and shook my head. My friends asked what was wrong. I replied: “he really needed a win.”

There comes a time when we all need a win; a good old-fashioned victory, something we achieved in the face of adversity after what feels like an age of unrelenting disappointments and setbacks. It could be getting 71% on a piece of work after missing out on several job opportunities, getting a lead role in a play after being turned down by a love interest, or winning an Ultimate Frisbee tournament after having all your ideas shot down in group work. My friend needed to pass his driving test because he’d been unsuccessful in applying for jobs since summer, he’d been disappointed with the results of his countless play and musical auditions, he’d been watching all his friends doing brilliantly and had next to no good news to share. He needed that win.
The idea of the “win” is obviously something that has existed for centuries now, since King Harold was shot in the eye and was on the ground begging for a horse, since Pompeii was drowning in flames and since King Henry was chopping off his wives’ heads as his search for a son continued to leave him disappointed. And if there is anything history has taught us, it is that if we don’t get a win once in a while, we forfeit our crown, our cities will burn and heads will roll. Surely if we explained this logic to our peers and lecturers, we’d get a bit more slack and a few more Firsts.
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