Up, down, up, down

My previous perpetual dithering over whether to continue the LISPA course next year was mainly sitting on the fence, occasionally swinging my legs from one side to the other. This week, first day of this year’s final term, I began nowhere near the fence and have ended up back in the leg-swinging position again. Grr.

I wasn’t looking forward to starting term. I wasn’t enthused about the things I knew we’d be covering and the thought of another year of all the things I didn’t like was a real weight on me. I realised that not only did I not want to do the second year, but I couldn’t see any point in finishing this one. Two more months of all this nonsense was two months too much and if I’d felt the same by the end of the week I’d have asked for a meeting with Thomas (who runs the school) to make my excuses and leave. I was really, really fed up with it all.

But, almost annoyingly, it hasn’t been a bad week. Creation group has been interesting, with a good bunch of collaborators, and that always, for me, sets the tone for the week. Even acrobatics was fun, as we started some basic martial arts routines, a simple kind of choreography that I wasn’t completely hopeless at.

So now, I’m thinking that not only must I finish this term — it’d be silly to step out now, particularly when we’re doing some rewarding work (this week, anyway) — but maybe next year could be good too. I’m still wary of spending too much longer in classes, rather than doing some proper acting work, and all my other concerns but it could be both good for me and enjoyable…


  • Whenever I'm dithering between two choices like this, I try to work out which one I think I would most regret having made in a year's time, then I pick the other one.

  • Hello, it's me again with my bi-monthly pieces of encouragement.
    All I would say this time is that I felt exactly the same about watching the advanced course when I was in the initiation - in fact I thought their end of year groups presentation was totally horrific and I had almost decided not to stay. I brought my husband and had to apologise to him. I made the decision in the end to do one term till Christmas and see how it went.
    With Lispa it really is not about what you come up with in groups, under pressure. (Interestingly creation tensions in our year have all but disappeared this year, perhaps because everyone has a clearer idea of what they want to achieve.) It's about the classes, which are truly brilliant. I have learned SO MUCH and I have seen amazing teaching. At the end of term I've performed in things that I didn't really believe much in, and would never have performed out of school. I certainly wouldn't stand by the quality of what is performed in them. But I would say that it in no way reflects the phenomenal teaching of the second year, or the work that our year will go on to create in the future when they're out of college. Might sound weird, but that's the way it is. Creation just does that to people. And part of the learning curve is having to create work under pressure and defend it whole-heartedly. If you can do that when you're not sure about it, imagine the energy there'll be behind it when you are!

  • Thanks for the encouragement Emily!

    I've been trying to tell myself not to judge solely based on the performances (I doubt I'd think much of ours if I wasn't involved, and I know I've been involved in several that I knew were bad). I saw one of last year's Advanced course performances and most of it was, at best, OK. If I'd seen more performances it might have put me off going to LISPA in the first place!

    But it's good to know you're getting a lot out of the teaching this year, and that gives me hope for next year...

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