Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Return Of Saddlers Wells (Part 1)

I will be honest right now. I don't think this blog will make the most enthralling read, I am hardly in the mood to do this write up... come to think of it I am hardly in the mood to do anything of late. Though for four brief hours I did find some happiness, which was rather unexpected for me seeing as these last few weeks I have been feeling terrible. So what happened in these four hours then? I was back at Saddlers Wells doing my drama classes after a month away from the subject. A month is a long time away from something I enjoy so much, every day seemed like a year. The great thing about partaking in drama is that you can just leave the real world behind. For those four hours I don't have to be Gareth... I can be almost anyone or anything I want to be. That makes me happy...

I have two classes back to back, both with a new course tutor called Cat. She is really nice and has an immense ability to get the creativity in the group flowing. Both groups were much smaller than what I had been used to before now. Maybe this was because the group was on a Sunday afternoon rather than a weekday evening which is when most of these courses are held. Who knows? All I know is it would definitely have a different feel working alongside so few people in comparison to my last two courses. I just hope we all get on well seeing how few of us there are! If we don't... well that would just be awkward, wouldn't it?

The first class is on a Sunday is based upon vocal technique, for me this is very important as the voice is one of the most important tools of the trade in acting, just like a paint brush is to a painter and decorator. Obviously being the first week we started on all rather basic relaxation and breathing techniques. Simple? Well yes it is, but you have to start at the bottom and work up. If you don't breathe properly you are getting into bad habits before you have even made a sound. You'd be surprised at how many people get the basics wrong. I want to have mastered the basics before going into a more intensive field of training next year.

Now for the second class, something a lot more relaxed, well at least it was for me... Acting. Like in my previous batch of classes before the summer we explored the depths of status after a few name games to familiarise ourselves with one another. Already I am starting to feel this group gelling well, which will be great for when we get onto the script work thats headed our way next week.

The vast majority of this lessons work was based upon improvisation. Improvisation is fun, as long as you can believe that you are who you are pretending to be. I really don't like the word pretend, it doesn't sound professional, but ultimately thats what improvisation is... it's pretending to be something or someone else. If you cannot believe that you are that something else you are trying to be, how will your audience believe you?

As I mentioned we will be going onto script work in the next couple of weeks. I am quite looking forward to it, we will be working on a modern piece that was performed in the National Theatre last summer... I can't remember its name for the life of me, but I always feel more at home in modern theatre than I do when working on dated script work.

This weeks class culminated with a brief performance which we had put together in two groups. I feel of the two groups we were leagues ahead. The three of us interacted well and produced a nice little scene. I really can't fault what we did too much, we used some great techniques which Cat picked up on, which went very nicely with the positive feedback she gave our group. I was gifted with the lead role in this piece which is rather unlike me. Normally I don't like to play a lead role, I prefer a part which is fairly notable, but not right at the forefront of things. I am rather pleased with the overall outcome of this class, a very positive first session indeed!

Only problem is... now I have to return to reality, and as you may have gathered my reality of late resembles a horror movie rather than the fairytale land we all wish we could live in. Well if i manage to pull myself through to Thursday evening I have another bout of drama then, lets hope this is as positive as what I have just talked about. Who knows it may help pick me up again.

G xxx

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