...did so yesterday. She would've blogged about it yesterday, too, but Shakespeare got in the way - or at least his Complete Works did. No, really, I'm not reading them from cover to cover - though I'd very much like to. I haven't had the time or the head space to attain that level of geekiness, yet, just as I've not had the time to blog. I am, however, currently immersed in the Shakespeare Summer School at RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, if you're not a Brit or particularly well-versed - pun intended, sorry! - in all things thespian). We're now just six days in, and I can quite honestly say it's already been the most amazing experience of my life, I've learnt and grown so much. We've had absolutely everything thrown at us, some things I've practised before and others I've not, ranging from vocal studies and historical dance to the Alexander Technique and Colour Therapy - all with the aim of enhancing our theatrical presence and ability.
I've taken something from each of these classes - I could wax lyrical about the delight I felt when our Stage Fighting instructor not only let me handle a sword but actively encouraged me to use it - but today's post is focused specifically on a single class and the tears it provoked, albeit ones which were shed in a similarly happy fashion, as I went down Gower Street at 5.15 last night. This class is called Physical Performance and it allows us to explore movement in order that we may get truly comfortable with our physicality and thereby (literally) embody our characters. So, yesterday, our wonderful tutor had everyone on the floor pretending to be an octopus (which I want to pluralise, but I think I shall be called a pedant if I use 'octopodes'...).
Anyway, I hadn't been sure about getting on the floor, and especially lying on my back. Those of you who know me as more than just the words on this page will be aware that, over the last few years, even my leaving chair to do physio (and, when it got really bad, to sleep) was considered an achievement. This, then, is a Public Service Announcement to inform you that the lie of the land has most definitely shifted.
After deliberating during the break, you see, I enlisted the help of my dear, dependable Mama to get down on the floor. Not only that, having stayed on my back for quite some time, with the freedom to move my arms around, I then rolled onto my side and (wait for it) asked her to move and stretch my legs far more than I would normally allow. It really was the most fabulously freeing experience and I'm extremely glad I was brave enough to do it - especially as it didn't just affect me on the floor, but sitting up as well, because when I got back into my chair both my shoulders were in equal contact with the backrest.
It was all rather overwhelming - hence my tears of joy on a London street. I knew that things were changing, and I knew that the achievement of the goal I am documenting here was becoming more conceivable, but this progress and the impact of the RADA course has made me truly believe that I can do it. If I can act, if I can roll on the floor and feel comfortable when I do so, then I can definitely walk to get my degree when I graduate next year. I realise that, before, I thought I could - but now I know I can. The power of Shakespeare, eh?
So thanks, RADA - it really means everything that I'm there.