Hi everyone! 😀
As I mentioned in my first blog post I am a second year Theatre student. To be precise my
course is called Theatre: Writing, Directing and Performance. I thought that it’d be interesting, for those of you who have applied to this course, to see a typical day of someone who studies this degree. And even if you haven’t applied to this course you can still have a read to see what Theatre people actually do (SPOILER: we don’t stay still all day pretending to be a tree).
To write this post I picked a day from the past week: Friday 20th January.
- 7.50 a.m.
My alarm goes off, it is time to get ready for my first class of the day. I live off-campus, in a place called Badger Hill that is about 10 minutes away on foot from my department (Theatre, Film and Television, on Campus East). I quickly have breakfast and then check if I have all the books I need for the day.
- 9.30 a.m.
My first class starts. This is the earliest possible time you will start in a department on the East Campus (on Campus West they start at 9 am – #poorthem). It is a two hours seminar/workshop for a core module called Comedy: Performance Styles & Traditions. For the first hour we discuss some readings we had been assigned for today. The conversation moves to the concept of the relativity of laughter, what we find funny, why and how different cultures have different senses of humour (with me trying to explain in what ways British and Italian humour differ). For the second hour, we do some improvisation games, learning not to overthink things and follow the flow (important for comedy acting) as well as how to cast a play. They also divide us in small groups to rehearse a scene and perform it next week.
- 11.30 a.m.
I have a short meeting with my group to cast the scene we have been assigned, following the rules we have just learned, and to establish a rehearsal schedule. We don’t have much time since the scene will have to be performed next Tuesday.
- 12.00 a.m.
I have a supervision meeting. These meetings happen once every term and serve to monitor your academic progress and what you have done to enhance your employability and to build your CV. In this occasion you can also ask for advice on anything (course related or not) or express your worries about anything. Your supervisor will do his/her best to help you.
- 12.15 a.m.
It’s finally lunch time. I go to the Ron Cooke Hub (a building close to my department that has a restaurant and many study spaces). I have brought a packed lunch, so I just look for a free spot to eat my sandwich. Then, I use the rest of the time I have before my next class (almost two hours) to start doing some reading for next week.
- 2.30 p.m.
My three-hours practical workshop for the module Acting for Theatre, Film and Television Directors starts. This module is not compulsory. Last year we got to choose between this module and a Theatre Production one; I picked this one because I have never acted in front of a camera and I wanted to learn this craft. This class mixes students from my course and those doing Film and Television Production. The workshop takes place in one of the two TV studios that my department has. In the first two hours, we teach the Film students how to analyse a script for Theatre according to Stanislavski’s system. Then, the Film students teach us how to operate a TV camera and we explore how to film a performance of the scene as if it were an episode of a drama series. I really enjoyed this workshop because I learned many new skills in just one class. Also, the exchange of knowledge between the two courses is really exciting. I can’t wait to keep going with this module.
- 5.30 p.m.
My classes for the day are over, but I am not going home just yet. In fact, I am attending rehearsals for a production I will stage-manage in a couple of weeks’ time. My department has its own student-led Theatre Society, Platform and, financed by the department, it produces one show per term. This gives us the chance to work on a production as if it were a professional show. As Stage Manager I am in charge of the props and generally make sure that everything runs smoothly.
- 7.30 p.m.
It’s finally time to go home and relax. After a long day all I want to do is just to have a chilled Friday evening. I want to get as much sleep as I can because the weekend and the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty busy (a show in week 4, one in week 6 and one in weeks 7/8).
That was just an example of what a typical day for me is like. I have to admit I picked a really busy day, but don’t be scared, some days are almost completely free (maybe I just have a one hour lecture in the morning and that’s all). Also, my life is not all about theatre (as it may seem from this post). I have other hobbies and I’m involved with societies that are not drama related, but I will talk about them in my next blog post!