Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Well, I meant to post this yesterday, but I failed on that behalf. I have my three mini-blogs on Drama for you! The first was written on Thursday following the actual performance of the play and the afterparty. Enjoy!


Drama today. In short, it was great. That's not me being boastful, now. We were pretty fantastic. Play, a couple of stray lines, but great saves made. And, I'm told, I played the principal excellently! Colin's "realistic tears" were commented on as being the best the judges had seen, and only the script got much abuse...which is weird. We had 24 school girls in the audience, and my good friend Ciaran, who contributed to us selling out...twice! First the original chairs were gone, then the extra chairs!

Following the performance, we began our after party, which was going on for seven hours before I left. I figured that seven hours in a pub in one day is perhaps a bit too much...

Still, it was great to be able to get to talk to everyone about the play and just about everything else. Colin remarked on my performance, we a made jokes about Laura messing up her line, but also saving it, AND another line earlier on, and we got free food, which is always a plus. Several litres of wine later, I was the only sober cast member left.

I suppose my sobriety let's me remember things better. There's the unspeakable things I promised I wouldn't repeat, and there's the kind words of the director. He said that he saw great potential in me, and that if I do drama again next year and he's asked to direct again, he's going to "mould" me. (Kind of like Play Doh, I think...the alcohol made him perform such moulding actions in the air...)

There was also some great opportunities for bonding with Nigel (the director) and the students who won't be with us next year (namely Colin, Carol, Megan, Rónán, Bobby and Fian!). I can honestly say that I'll miss them. They've been such a huge part of my life of late, I really don't know what to expect without them!

The drama had a great affect on me. It's helped me, even just today, to realise that I can be happy when I want, that all this sadness around me is only made worse by my insecurities, that I have talents I can put to good use, and that I probably should continue to put them to use. I suppose a lot of it was in the direction; sure Deezie was a great director, but she was best at her overall vision and not at developing the tiny roles. I blame the script choice for that, because it didn't let her help her actors in ways of development like Nigel's script did. She was easier to work with, yes, but in the end I took more away from my experience with Nigel. I really do hope they ask him to come back for next year, because I'm willing to learn all that I can from him.

Okay, this turned into a lot about Nigel. I guess it's to do with the impact of what he said to me, and the fact that I left shortly after he said it. Still, I don't think he'd mind the praise, once he doesn't have to read it... Long story; egotistical director can't take praise very well. Go figure.

Following that post, I wrote one on Drama on Saturday night. The post is largely a reflection of what Drama did for me... read it now!
I've been thinking about Drama again, by and large due to the fact that the awards ceremony for ISDA is creeping up on us very quickly. I asked myself, Why did you join Drama?
I thought the answer was a simple 'I wanted to built confidence' but of course, that wasn't all that happened, and it didn't happen all that soon. I found that inside of building confidence I was building friendships. I didn't learn much by way of acting until earlier this week, and now I don't want it to stop. Sure, I felt uncomfortable at first, being tutored in the ways of acting, but what I got out of it is far greater than that sick feeling I got in my stomach when the tutorage wasn't entirely private. In front of the cast, it made me feel sick. With just Nigel and Colin, it was easier. A failure then and there wouldn't have been so bad. It was easier, then, when I knew what I was doing, to perform first in front of the cast, and then in front of the audience at ISDA.
On top of my learning to act and my making of friends, I also picked up the ability to project my voice better, and I learned the ways of feigning authority. I'll be honest: I was terrified of performing, but I was able to pretend to gave authority, which made me feel more comfortable. I feel this will come in handy in the future, as a teacher and, hopefully, as a patent. I've learned to take control of myself, so that I might also take control of a situation. And I didn't even have to try change my voice; Nigel resigned to letting me use my own voice rather than trying to deepen my voice for the competition. He said no one in the audience would know, but I would. I'd know, and I'd be entirely consious of the fact that I was using a voice that wasn't mine, at which point I'd probably drop it...half way through the play.
I don't know whether I've built up my confidence...I suppose in a way I have, but I still get nervous, especially with the competition. I suppose it's nice to know that it's over now: there's nothing we can do any more to influence the decision of the judges. And as Nigel said, we only need one nomination to make it all worth it. A win, though, wouldn't be turned away. Colin would deserve it, for sure! Some of the others too. Whether the judges notice is a different question.
As I've said before, time will tell! The curtains are drawn, the lights switched off, the costumes put away; it's time the judges tell us who was best in their eyes!
And finally, results! I can tell you straight away, the awards were entirely unremarkable. Cutting to the chase: we got one nomination, Best Production by a Small College...and lost to DCU..? Last I checked, tab thousand students isn't small! We have one twentieth that number! Those judges really messed up there!
As a result of Judge Fail 2010, the Drama Society were pretty down. I just hope Nigel directs again next year, because I loved working with him, and I know we can take the prize next year now that we actually know the categories! Sure, we won't win everything like Trinity, UCD or UCC (literally everything but DCU's prize!), but we reckon we can tackle this competition nicely next year.

One problem though...we're down at least five actors. Can only hope some first years join next year, and no one else leaves!
Following writing that, I did a head-count. If we exclude Carol and Deezie (because Carol wasn't in Bang Bang You're Dead and Deezie was a director this year), the Drama society is down six actors, at least. Myself, Eileen, Laura, Mark, Cabrina, Emma, Emma and Niamh are all that's left - Ronan might be in Malta in semester two next year, and Siobhan's told us she won't have time for Drama next year. Five actors from Bang Bang You're Dead are graduating this year, and so we're left with those named. And that's assuming all eight of us come back! One of the Emma's dropped out of Bang Bang You're Dead this semester, with ISDA right around the corner. No idea if she's coming back next year.
Which means we need first years next year to join. And Nigel, if he comes back, needs to be able to pick a play with roles for everyone, if he wants to continue his way of including everyone, but giving them roles specific to their ability to act. Like me and my principal role... I only learned to act in that role two days before the play at ISDA!
I have plans to help the society next year, if need be. Might be setting up a writing society in the college, and might get the two societies to work together - mini-plays or skit shows to raise money for the societies, based on who needs money. I don't reckon the writing one will need a lot of money - plans include getting an author to come in and discuss writing with us, based on the writing types of the members, and going on a fieldtrip to the Dublin Writers' Museum. Simples. Going to see some plays, and going to (and possibly organising..?) some poetry nights are also in there, and most of this stuff is free or cheap. Might even get two authors to come, at different times in the year! And possibly see if there's space in the budget for personalised notebooks... but that might be pushing it!
Anyway, the Idea is to get the writing society to actually write the skits, and get the actors to perform them. Short things that don't require much learning of lines, and can help get us revenue if need be... thoughts on it would be appreciated. And who knows, it might be something I try organise outside of college too! I'd just need actors and writers and BAM! We can raise money for charity! Hurray!

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