So, here we are. My penultimate blog before the festive season submerges us all in a river of candy canes, merriment and acute indigestion, and, as my title suggests, I’m in two minds as to what to feel.

This week, we’ve had the opportunity to reflect on our progress so far and to see where we are in terms of progression and development as actors. Let’s just say that in certain classes, I’ve been about as successful as a Cheryl Cole rendition of ‘Ave Maria’.

I’m going to be candid, though probably not revolutionary. Following a term’s work I feel – in some ways – like a terrible performer. Not that I’m doing particularly badly in anything, you understand (though Meisner Take Four defeated me, confirming my foreboding), but a general sense of ennui (or “meh”) is prevailing at present. I’m still ridiculously passionate about what I do but there’s something about this time of year, with the piling up of work, that makes school feel like more of a chore. I know this may sound ungrateful, particularly since many people would love to be in my position, but the one thing I have noticed this term is how not-like-drama-school it feels to attend drama school. Like anything else, familiarity breeds, if not contempt, at least comfortable acceptance, like becoming intimate with a cherished idol. You still like said idol, but are no longer awed by his/her/its presence.

I think, if anything, I’ve had my expectations subverted – classes I expected to do well in have been difficult, whilst classes I dreaded (namely improvisation) have turned out to be pleasurable highlights. Also, constructive criticisms have been levelled at me (not that I object) which have surprised – for instance, that I sometimes appear too focused, and therefore closed off, which is a shock given how open I feel I have been throughout the term. As well as learning that what I put out there isn’t necessarily what is seen by others, I’ve also found that criticism – constructive or otherwise – hurts even more when one feels, subconsciously, that as a mature student, one should somehow be…immune, or better equipped to cope.

To sum up: it’s been a week of ups and downs – a rollercoaster, in fact – and has left me pretty flummoxed.

But I digress. School is, without a doubt, winding down. Many of my classes have now finished for Christmas/Hannukah/winter solstice (delete as applicable) and there is a sense of “this is the end of the year, let’s get it all finished super quick” in the air. I have my final two assessments next week, then feedback from my other classes, but other than that, my regular timetable is out of the snow-silled window.

My response? Mazel tov! I’m psyched to go home for Christmas and spend time with the family again. It’s strange, I’ve always thought of myself as a free spirit, not tied to any one place, but it transpires that, for me, at least, home really is where the heart is. Who knew?

Image by GenBug.