Week two

Any hope I had of maintaining a decent frequency of tediously detailed writing about my LISPA acting course vanished this week. There’s not enough time to go to class, write notes, work on web stuff, see friends, post stuff here, and spend any time with Mary while we’re both awake. So, a quick end-of-week-two catch-up…

Each week we’re in small groups and have 4½ hours to prepare a short piece on a given theme. On Monday we gave our first presentations — to the rest of the class, some of the afternoon/evening class, and five teachers. The latter had many useful notes to give afterwards, none of them praise. There’s also no discussion — you listen to the comments and we move on to the next presentation. I think this is pretty standard for drama schools but after City Lit’s more discursive approach, where there’s always something positive and encouraging to say, it did feel a little bleak.

We’ve now had all our time preparing the next presentations for this coming Monday, knowing that whatever happens we’ll do things “wrong”. But making mistakes is what it’s all about. I can see working on these scenes getting harder over time — we’re already trying to incorporate what we’ve learned in classes this week, so each week there will be more and more ideas to think about.

We have several teachers during the week — each of our four improvisation classes is taken by a different person for example. I wondered how this would all fit together but they’ve done a good job of making everything feel like a single consistent package, rather than bitty and contradictory. It’s only week two but it’s a good start. The teachers know what’s been happening in the other classes and the ideas all seem complementary. Having said that, it is a little frustrating that the whole class is so big — 34 people — as we’re lucky if everyone gets a single chance to take part in something in each session.

This week I slipped further behind in Acrobatics, but through no fault of my own. The previous afternoon I’d bounced the right-hand side of my body off a moving car, leaving my thigh and ribs painfully bruised (well, they feel bruised but there’s no visual evidence yet). Long story, but my bike was fine, the black car that hit me was fine (stopping a couple of inches short of a brick wall) and the red car whose fault it all was made a clean getaway. Bastard. It was an unpleasant shock, and it was annoying, but I was a split second from colliding with the black car head on and flying down the road, so I’m feeling pretty lucky. Hopefully I’ll also be feeling more mobile next week and ready to get stuck in a little more.


  • Hello,

    I'm in the Advanced Course at Lispa and just found your blog. It's so interesting to hear you describe the things we did a year ago! I'd almost forgotten the expensive house exercise. Did we meet on the first day? Can't remember.
    Anyway, I'm sure we'll meet soon. Good luck with acrobatics - I'm pretty much the worst in the year, but keep getting up every time you fall down and Ken starts to have a grudging respect for you.

    Emily x

  • Hi there!
    Wow, i've just read your blog, and it's great to read! I've been looking for some more information about LISPA because I'm planning to apply to the school, so this has been an insightful help! I'm also looking at The School of Physical Theatre, and am a bit stuck with choosing which is 'the best' place!
    So was wondering if you had heard about that one, it's reputation etc. Would love to get some advice if you have any...and about how to finance it all!!!
    I'm comming to Lispa on the 4th of Dec. so maybe I'll see you around!
    Keep on writing!


  • Emily -- we may well have met on the first day, but I couldn't remember anyone's names after meeting so many people so quickly!

    Nadine -- I don't know anything about the School of Physical Theatre I'm afraid, so I can't help with your decision. Financing is another problem entirely... I was already working freelance before going to LISPA and I'm trying to keep that going outside classes. Other people who don't have existing work they can keep going are working at bars, theatres, etc when they can.

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