Sunday, December 4, 2011

England weeks 2ish-4ish

GAHH!!!  SO many cool and wonderfully exciting things have been happening!  We've been doing so much everyday I barely have time to breath... except in voice class where we spend about an hour doing breathing warm-ups :)  But still.  We're going practically all day long going from this activity to that.  I love it!  We've accomplished, what would normally take a few weeks time, so much in so little time; though I am getting ahead of myself a bit. Let's see, where did I leave you off at... Oh yes, Oxford.

Kings Cross Station
Well after we completed a week of classes at Oxford, we took a bus to London and settled down at a dorm near the Kings Cross Station (Where platform 9 3/4 from Harry Potter is).  This was where we spent most of week 3.  We had from Monday to Thursday to complete all the research we could getting primary sources from the British Library.  This place has a massive amount of knowledge stored underneath it.  It takes about 70 minutes to get your books once you've ordered them.  

You may only bring pencils into the library with you, no pens or highlighters.  Paper, laptops are acceptable, but no camera's, jackets, sharp objects... because we all want to cut up pieces of history.  Sadly some people did hence the no sharp object rule.  
In case you didn't catch it, The British Library
So yeah, we sat in a big room with these books from the 14th to 17th centuries... some of them were falling apart and a lot were written in old English where V's read as U's and certain letters like an s look like an f, so lesson would look like 'leffon'.  But being able to hold books like that was slightly exciting and intimidating all at once.  Anyway, that week was pretty boring because lots of sitting and researching was involved.  I loved all of the knowledge that I soaked up, and I felt really smart, but I'm an actor... I need to be moving, thus I take you to where we next set up; Bankside right near Shakespeare's GLOBE!!!!!

So this past week we have been taking classes at The Globe Theatre where Shakespeare would have put on his plays... however the original globe was burnt down in the late 1500's when a cannon went off during a production of Henry VIII and set fire to the stage.  It was re-built soon after, then torn down again by the church in around the 1640's.  The Globe that we are at now is a replica of the original and was built sometime in the last century.  Okay, now that you know your history, lol, we have had movement classes, scene classes, text classes, voice classes, and one of my favorites, combat classes!!!!  Movement has been really awesome and fun, it's been getting me back into stretching and dancing; which I have missed with a passion.  For scene class, we are doing an abbreviated version of Winter's Tale, by Shakespeare.  We are sharing and swapping roles throughout, so it's a bit confusing and weird, but if you saw it, it would make sense.  It's about 40 minutes long and we will be performing it after having the script less then a week on Wednesday.  For text class we have been learning a lot about how to interpret how to say lines and going over iambs and stuff; basically it's a crash course in Shakespeare's text.  Voice class is a MAJOR work out!  Seriously!  We are doing a lot of stretches and movements that restrict the space available in our chests so that the breath is forced to expand in our backs and other places.  This will be great for dancing and projecting on stage.  
Rehearsing A Winter's Tale

Combat class, well there were two REALLY good looking guys that were there for teaching and demonstrating purposes.  The fight choreographer, Phil, was so knowledgeable about Shakespeare and all kinds of different types of stage combat; well he should be after being in the business for 50 years or so.  Anyway, we took class for 2 hours on rapier and dagger fighting!!!  It was SO AWESOME!!!  I also got some help from one of the cute younger guys who looks like a musketeer; that will go in the memory bank FOREVER! I went back that same weekend on our free day to work again on stage combat, this time it was just working with a rapier and not a dagger, but still LOTS of fun!!!  I would love to do this as a job, seriously, it's SO COOL!  

On the Globe Stage!!!

We've seen a lot of really awesome productions while here and I cannot even begin to tell you about all the awesomeness that has happened since we've been at the Globe.  We leave tomorrow for house stays, then we'll be heading to Stratford. :D

<3 always,


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