Fear not, I haven’t turned into an anti-social pyromaniac or been indoctrinated into a career in international espionage… rather, I have been exploring the forces of nature and simultaneously ticking several boxes on the ‘actor cliches’ list. I’m being facetious – secretly, there’s a part of me that has always yearned to move about the room embodying the wind or to writhe about on the floor exploring the destructive inner spirit of water.

This week – my first back at school following the Chocoliday (TM) break – was the start of my third and final term as a first year (insert appropriate climactic sound effect) and I’ve actually had a lot of fun. This is how I had envisaged my training – a collaborative and exploratory experience in which I contort my body into previously unseen shapes and touch parts of my fellow classmates’ bodies that I swore I would never touch without being bought dinner first…

There’s quite a ‘warm’ feeling to this term, in the sense that it feels as though everyone is finally completely comfortable with one another, and we appear to have adopted that relaxed kind of conversation and physical openness that only comes from having spent time with one’s head wedged up someone else’s armpit (or worse – I won’t go into details).

Next week, we begin rehearsals for our first full-length play, so I’m enjoying this week of late starts and easygoing arty-fartiness before I kiss my social life and any kind of sanity goodbye. Thirteen hour days. Farewell, life, it’s been nice knowing you.

In other news, I was reading an article in a national newspaper (not mentioning which, they don’t pay me for product placement) about university, this being the time of year at which the majority of prospective students are making choices, responding to offers and so on. The article was discussing the process of choosing a university and making sure it was a ‘good fit’ before accepting a place. The advice, in a nutshell, was not to choose somewhere that didn’t fulfill exactly what you wanted.

I found myself pondering the idea and concluding that we should be so lucky… As performing arts students, applying to and studying at conservatoires and training schools, we rarely have this option. Given how difficult the audition process is, the odds of being offered a place AND having the cash to finance said place are slim, so we don’t really have the luxury of making that choice – we have to go wherever wants us. We can’t defer, we can’t spend months making decisions, we simply have to say YES, whether or not the course is the best fit. Of course, I recognise that some people are offered places at several institutions (as I was lucky enough to be), but for the majority, it’s less like making a choice of school and more like accepting whichever rope is thrown. Thankfully, I feel I’ve made the right decision, but I wonder how many others may not be, but are resigned to sticking it out rather than facing the laborious process of reapplying.

Just something to ponder.

Until next time,