Afternoon, lovely lot! As a lot of you will know I’m currently nearing the end of my final year at Performance Preparation Academy (PPA). Scary stuff. But safe to say I’ve had the most fantastic and hilarious few years. I’m sure as I post some more there will be many stories that come to light. And hopefully it’ll dispel some of the myths around drama schools created by insufferable programmes like E4’s Stage School. I thought I’d sum up my personal experiences so far in a hopefully entertaining short story. Don’t worry it has pictures…
THE DRAMA SCHOOL EXPERIENCE
Based on true events
Once upon a time, a bright eyed bushy tailed girl from the north moved to Guildford to follow her dream of becoming a musical theatre performer. At first she was a bit nervous. This was a strange new place where people sometimes payed in excess of £4 for a pint! But she put on her big girl pants, decorated her new room and got ready to embark upon a brand new adventure. She also discovered cocktail pitchers. 👍🏻
2 weeks later:
It’s 10pm and water is pouring through the kitchen ceiling. None of the lights work and you are plunged into darkness. Your landlord is on the way but you just googled him and discovered he is a weapons smuggler. And all you’re wearing is a leotard.
Foundation year is in full swing. You’ve made loads of friends, you’re loving life and your diet consists mainly of these.
The festive banter is on top form. We have our first ever Poundland Christmas (definition: house decorated entirely with trash Poundland Christmas decorations).
Drama school auditions, stress, stress, stress… On the bright side, you’ve started this hilarious joke where you take a paintbrush with you on every night out… It is hilarious I swear.
Found out that your neighbour enjoys juggling fire, and adopted one of those dinosoar egg thingys that hatch when you put them in water cos that’s about as much responsibility as you can handle.
Congrats! You graduated Foundation year and got into drama school! Mission accomplished 💪🏻
When you begin Freshers looking like this, but then 3 hours later you have a huge cut on your leg and your lying face down on the bathroom floor and your housemate thinks you might be dead.
Let’s play a game of ‘Spot Natalie Weiss’.
Your college holds its own Eurovision Song Contest (an essential component of musical theatre training). Your team is Ireland, and you write a kickass catchy song together which should have won, but you couldn’t really remember the words cos you wrote it the day before. You compensate by covering the stage with hundreds of potatos. You come in fourth. First place is awarded to Israel’s entry: ‘Jewbilation.’ Dammit that song is catchy.
A busy month!
You get given a marketing project in PLS but you just have this feeling that it’s not gonna be your strength.
Also, the sun is out! Our year decides to have a team building rounders match. Except no-one can agree on the rules and we just have an argument instead.
Rehearsals for our first year project ‘Carnival’ are in full swing. Our creatives like to say things like ‘Just walk across that ladder on your hands it’s not that hard!’
Carnival is finished! We completed first year!
But little did we know what was to come…
Second year blues has hit HARD. You are also plagued by a spate of injuries. And you swore to yourself you’d never have a red card.
BUT it provides you with some smashing material for comedy night.
Behold the horror that is SWING PROJECT. A project designed to teach you how to be a swing in a show by making you learn (in our year’s case) 32 SEPARATE TRACKS. Oh by the way you’re also directing it. Hahahahahaaa.
HOWEVER, it ends up being one of the most fun things you’ve ever done, you get to play a fierce riffing dragon, and swing is somewhat of a success. Never mind that you blocked the last scene on the day of the show.
You celebrate the hardest term of your training being over by going on holiday with your lovely housemates!
You get coerced into getting all your hair chopped off. But it’s ok cos you actually like it.
AND you audition for your third year shows. Five shows cast in one week. I mean the most stressful thing about that is finding five different and appropriate outfits.
You have the most hilarious term doing High School Musical and finish second year on a high!
Your final freshers week!
And as part of it you get to sing at PPA rock night. Rehearsals for your first third year show start and life is good…
But then suddenly scary things like this start happening.
And out of nowhere it’s your first big grown up show. And because it’s a rock show every picture from that week has the same expression…
As your second show draws closer, you begin to reflect on how much you’ve improved since first year…
And just like that it’s your second show! You maybe don’t feel as rehearsed as you’d like to feel so you compensate with facial expression.
The best day with the best people.
You start a blog cos you know why not. And rehearsals for your FINAL show start tomorrow.
So stay tuned for the rest of the story! I’m not sure how it ends. Hopefully with me graduating. But beyond that? No idea. I hope this made you laugh. After reading this back to myself I feel like I should say that in between all this stuff that we did, we actually did some training as well.
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