Saturday, 7 November 2009

My first week of Classes at Mountview…6 Weeks after the first day for TU!

September 28, 2009 to October 4, 2009

Ok…so here I go... This first blog about school is just going to be about each day of the week and my classes. I just want to explain what I’m actually doing here in London.

Mondays start at 9 A.M. (Well, classes started at 9 A.M. but I have to be up by 7:30 in order to make it to class on time. I have to catch the bus every morning and make sure that I sign in at school at least ten minutes before my first class or I’m not allowed in for the day! They are really strict here but that builds character, right?) On Mondays I have Actor & Text, Movement, Pilates, and Workshop. In Actor & Text we learn to work with a piece of text and how to get as much information from the text as possible. At the moment we are working with Much Ado About Nothing. In Movement class we work with archetypes and getting them to really sink into our bodies. Pilates…well that is obvious. Workshop is a lot like “Workshop” back home at Tulsa that we had last fall. This semester we are working on Anything Goes while the other group of second years is working on Me & My Girl. We actually have workshop Monday (Music), Wednesday (Acting), and Friday (Dance).

Tuesday starts at 8:25 A.M. (6:25 for me back home at Chester House…and for all of you back at TU who had Music Theory with me freshman year and knew how hard it was for me to make it to class by 10, you know how big a deal this is for me to HAVE to get out of bed at 6:25 in order to make it to school for the day!) Tuesdays I have Ballet Barre, Jazz, Acting, Presentation, and my private vocal technique class. Ballet Barre is simply a warm-up for my Jazz class. Jazz class consists of making sure that my technique is right, moving across the floor, and learning difficult choreographic pieces (Right now we are learning one of the dances from Pricilla, which is currently on the West End). Acting is a lot of fun and we are working on monologues from 1890 to 1900. I am doing a monologue of Sir Robert Chiltern from An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde. In class we also do a lot of exercises that deal with working with others and being ready, focused, and in the moment. Presentation is a lot like MTP2 in that each week is a new audition and we have to have a new song each week. My voice lessons are really nice…although it took the entire first lesson to understand what he was saying. They use different terms over here than we do back in the States and so communicating ideas and exercises at times can be difficult.

Wednesday starts like Mondays at 9. Wednesday I have Sight Reading, Voice Rep Class, Tap, Singing and Workshop. Sight Reading here isn’t exactly what I thought it would be. For Mountview, sight reading class isn’t used for sight reading music but for sight reading text. It is basically a class where they teach you how to read a piece of text, pick it up off the page, and communicate it properly. I have never had a class like this before and I am finding that it is very helpful…especially since I suck at sight reading and cold readings of scripts. Voice Rep Class is a thirty-minute session with a pianist for me to work on new pieces or have songs that I am working on recorded for me. Tap is fun and I am actually learning at whole lot in such a small amount of time. The tap here is British Tap and isn’t exactly the same as American Tap. For example, the time step here is much different from ours back home. It has been a fun class though and we are moving really fast. By our third lesson we were already working on pullbacks! The tutor is very talented, encouraging, and knows what she is talking about. Wednesday’s Singing class is where we work as a group on hard harmony parts, sight reading music, and a blend of singing with music theory. Knowing scales, key signatures, etc. is a must here! Like is said earlier, on Wednesday we use Workshop to block, work on acting, and work on the American dialect for Anything Goes. (My American dialect actually isn’t that bad! Haha!) After school on Wednesday I tried to go see a production of Mountview’s third year students in The Rink. I got on the waiting list but unfortunately I didn’t get into the show. I figured I would try again tomorrow night since I heard the show was just too good to miss!

Thursday is like Tuesday in that I have to be at school by 8:25. On Thursday I have Ballet Barre again, Ballet, Music Theory, and Voice. Ballet Barre and ballet are of course working on ballet technique. Music theory isn’t as hard as I thought it would be but the only thing that I am finding difficult is understanding what the teacher is talking about at times. Like I mentioned earlier, they have different names for things here so it is just taking me some time to get use to the names of everything. I am very surprised though at how much I actually remember from my classes in the past and that I am keeping up with the course work. Voice class is the “V” part from “V&M” back at TU…also called Voice & Movement. This is actually one of my favorite classes. Last year when I took V&M I was so worried about everything and everyone else around me that I wasn’t able to let the exercises work for me but for some reason I can completely release myself here and allow the exercises to work. So my “words of wisdom” to the current sophomore class at TU: don’t hold back, don’t worry about what everyone else might think, and allow yourself to go for it! J This is the one day were I actually end early and I get to go home at 2! This is truly the best day of the week! After classes I went to the library to copy as much music as possibly and to kill time while I waited to go put my name on the waiting list for The Rink. The show is playing in a small theatre right down the street from Mountview so I really didn’t want to go home and waste all that time traveling. I’m glad I waited because since I was the first person on the waiting list, that night I got in! The show was really good. I mean, I understand why the show itself didn’t do so well in New York and on the West End but the students were very talented and did a fantastic job with it. Seeing this show and the quality of what Mountview produces made me even more excited about my time here in London.

Friday starts at 9. Friday I have Jazz, Singing, and Workshop. This jazz class is very different from the class on Tuesday in that I have this class with the devil! That’s right, the devil! If you read my last blog you will have heard me talk about Kresida. She is a crazy lesbian who hates men…and my entire class is only guys. The music she plays for her “warm-up” makes you feel as if you are entering into the gates of hell and it is telling you that the torture is coming. This woman is crazy! The Singing class on Friday is a little different from the one on Wednesday. This class is more like choir back home and right now we are working on the opening number of Sweeny Todd. Workshop wraps up my day on Fridays with choreographing the numbers in the show. After school on Friday, I went home to clean up real quick, grabbed dinner, and headed out to see Mountview’s other production at the time of Lucky Stiff, also put on my third year students. It was the first time I have ever seen the show so it was nice to be able to just sit back after a long week of school and just take everything in.

One thing that I haven’t mentioned yet but would like to is that they have placed into my week’s schedule several different breaks. One is an hour and a half break on Tuesday morning, the second one is Thursday afternoon for an hour and a half, and the third one is for an hour on Friday. These are really nice just to work on different schoolwork and to get together with fellow students and work together on certain group projects.

Saturday was a very chill day. Just worked on some homework and walked around Muswell Hill just to get a better understanding for where I was living. That night, a group of us went out to Heaven, a bar is Soho, and saw the Saturdays, a girl band from London, play.

The course work is really intense here but I love every second of it. And for the first time in my life I understand the following quote: “Work hard, party harder!” Let’s just say that the weekends in London are epic. I LOVE LONDON!

To see my pictures of London so far look on Facebook or copy and paste the following link:

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