I’m still living in London, but my two-week Euro trip is complete. My mom and I traveled trough Paris, Venice, Florence, Rome, Milan and London. It’s crazy to think how close and inexpensive it is to get around from London. When I think of taking a trip abroad it seems to cost thousands of dollars in some way, shape or form. In addition, I don’t have thousands of dollars to blow when I have student bills to pay after graduation. So for my mom and me to take this trip, it’s unbelievable. My mom has never been out of the country, except to the Bahamas on a cruise, and saw cites that she never thought she would see. In addition, being able to experience a whole new culture was mind blowing. Basically, we attempted to get around using the bare minimal of the language. I attempted to take a crash course via the guidebooks and our hotel concierge. Interestingly enough, we did pretty well to the point where people would ask us for directions.
One place that surprised me was Paris. I loved it but originally i didn’t want to go. Still fresh bake croissants, fun friendly people and beautiful sights what more can you ask for. A plus was that our hotel room was next to the Eiffel Tower, which was beautiful. We didn’t get to walk up it but we did go under it. A friend of my moms told us to lie under the center Eiffel Tower, however there were so many people that it didn’t seem right. Another attraction that we saw was Napoleons tomb. It’s crazy how people were buried back then. To spend so much money on a tomb made of marble and/or limestone. Then to put the body in such a large casket that to me appears as though it could house a family. Still it was incredible. We also saw Notre Dame. I kept asking myself how did they build these things, especially since nowadays it takes us so long to build houses that can’t even withstand hurricanes and fires. Once again I was in awe!
When we arrived in Venice, once again, we couldn’t believe that people rely strictly on boats for everything. This includes mail, fire and rescue, transportation, and ect. In addition, some of the richest people on the island were the boats men. They even have an island purely for agricultural purposes. I don’t know if I could do it, but then again if that is all someone has grown up knowing it couldn’t be that bad. Luckily, the weather wasn’t hot because we didn’t have to deal with the sewage smell that we were told about. Still, it would have been nice to have warmer weather because i really wanted to go to the beach. Anyways, the funny thing that happened while we were in Venice was that I got swept off my feet and ballroom danced into a gorgeous restaurant. My mom and I proceed to be waited on hand and foot. When we started to order the waitress told us about a delicious dish where we could split a lobster, shrimp, and fish. Now the deal was that it was all for 8.50 euros. That led me to believe that it was a small appetizer. So I proceeded to get a bruchetta and my mom ordered a strange looking crab that tasted really good. When the platter came out it was on this huge silver plate. The waitress then continued to deboned the fish and split everything onto two separate plates. The presentation was beautiful and the food was to die for. However, at the end of the meal we got the bill and what was suppose to be 8,50 euros turned out to be 133 euros. You should have seen my mom’s face. We realized that something had been lost in translation. Then again we should have known when they brought us the live lobster and fish to make sure it was okay. Still, all I could do was laugh because I have never eaten a more expensive dish in my life. The total bill came to about 230 euros and luckily was needed to break a big bill. Needless to say, we ate like queens and that will probably never happen again: unless I become rich enough that money is no object. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening anytime soon especially with student loans. Afterwards, we still enjoyed ourselves and took a lovely gondola ride.
When it came to Italy my mom drove through the beautiful mountains. At first my mother scared me to death because she was driving a stick shift, which she hadn’t drove in years. She kept forgetting to put the break down and for some reason the car would stop and stall. I thought we were going to get in an accident. We didn’t thankfully. On another note, I couldn’t believe how many beautiful mountains there were. A part of me wanted to stay awake but my eyes kept closing. When we went to Rome we didn’t realize how close everything was and how many sights there was to see! We kept figuring out where we were by means of one building that just so happened to stick out above the other buildings. A treat was that we were there on Easter when the Pope comes out to wave. Unfortunately, we had booked a tour of the coliseum at the same time so we didn’t see him. Once again it was a MASSIVE structure I found it strange how some parts of the coliseum had been taken to build other structures such as the Vatican step. Then I found out that this had happened to a lot of monuments. Still, Rome was beautiful, Italy was beautiful and I could probably talk about it for days. We ended the trip in London by going to see Big Ben, The London Eye, Buckingham Palace and finally Matilda the Musical, which was hilarious. I highly recommend it! The food, the culture, the relaxation…I still wish I was on vacation!
One thing that is unreal is that soon I’ll be returning state side. Over break I had to pick my classes, and my room. I feel as though I’ll blink and everything will be over. I worry that I’m not ready as in I need to work more. I feel like I need to keep up my training and as difficult and mind-blowing as this experience has been it has challenged me in ways I could never ask for. By expanding my global perspective, as well as my skill set this has made me a well-rounded citizen. I thought I couldn’t be apart of this Mountview family since i was stepping into their second year that they’ve worked so hard for. However, the students and faculty have made the environment welcoming and like another home. I know it’s not over haha but the reality is setting in. So I will stop with the heavy for stuff for now, back to the workload.
I have finally finished my Actors Working Notebook, and Voice essay. But my work is still not done. On a side note, our Musical Director works on music as a conductor and pianist for Sweeny Todd! I’m going to try to go see the show this weekend. The first week and a half of Company rehearsals have put my mind on information overload. The music is very complex and we had to be off book after three days of rehearsal. If only the stress didn’t end there. I also found out that I sing alot of the high harmonies as well as the introduction to Not Getting Married. I cannot lie, this is going to be a challenge and a part of me wishes that someone else had it. Speaking of challenges, our choreographer decided to press on even though we weren’t off book with music. Actually, we had just learned the song that same day and were expected to sing it while learning the dance. This tactic was good for the reason that it help us memorize certain parts of the song but then again you could tell when we didn’t know another part of the song. Add this to the three-hour long monologue evening, performance for head of singing, and traditional long 11 or more hour days. My brain wanted to explode! I know that this is going to prepare me for the industry because I will be able to memorize and perform a show within four weeks. Mentally and physically I should be able to handle anything after this, but as of right now this term feels even more exhausting than the last.
This term is solely based on shows and audition technique. Now every dance class is structured around us learning an audition routine. I learned West Side Story I want to be in America, the Hand Jive from Grease and a tap routine for 42nd Street! Needless to say it was a lot of fun. This process is mainly to help us pick up steps quickly and focus on performance from the moment we start. This week I also had to bring a song that I thought would get a “the job.” So I took an old faithful Waiting for Life from Once on this Island. My Acting Through Song teacher thought that it was a great choice for me. Now I have to bring another song that would be my second choice. I’m at a loss!
One class that is going to be interesting is Acting for camera. Last week we had to go on camera and speak 4 basic lines which are as follows: hello, hello, been waiting long, ages. Wow I know that is difficult haha. We had to create a scene with a conflict around these four lines. My partner and I decided to have a casting call. I was a terrible theatrical actress who thought I should be in character the moment I came into the room. Thus, when he said hello I thought I should respond as my character would. The whole thing turned out to be well structured and everyone had a good laugh. All of the scenes where creative and taught us how subtle looks have a huge impact. It made everything feel real as if we were looking into someone’s life. Rather than the heightened reality that we are use to in musical theatre. Since the lines were general and the scene was in our control our reactions to each other became way more truthful. As if everything was a natural response. I find this to be easier than acting for stage because subtext and the business becomes honest. Maybe I find it easier to be natural and honest when on camera. Still TV and film are my favorite for performance and for those of you who don’t know I started doing TV/Film before I got into theatre. So I’m glad that we get this opportunity. Our next task is to memorize a script for this week. My character is named Charlotte and from the looks of it she is the main characters girlfriend and his family thinks she’s on drugs. She claims to be on anti depressants. Anyway it’ll be fun!
Until next time