What’s it like at the Dorset School of Acting I hear you ask?
Well, let me give you a little insight into the crazy first few weeks of it!
In the first week and we were thrown into the deep end straight away with an induction project; a devised piece on whatever, as a group, we are collectively interested in. The intention of the project was to help a new group bond and relax in front of each other which was brilliant. I feel our group dynamic now is really strong because of this project as everyone had to go beyond their boundaries to help make our little show what it was.
Week two is when proper classes began! Our first class of the week was dance class. We did a cardio based warm up and then began work on two dance routines; Officer Krupkee ( musical theatre ) and Rise up ( lyrical). Half way through dance I had to go for my 121 with James and Laura. The 121s are a perfect way of finding which pathway is best suitable for you; whether you want to continue on training to go to drama school and being given the support to help find the right course for you, whether that be musical theatre, stage management or acting etc. They truly want you to succeed in whatever you decide to do.
For the rest of the day we worked on breaking down Shakespeare. We were told we have to make it as truthful as our own words; it must sound natural and forget it’s Shakespeare.
Firstly, we just said the vowels of the words and moved to how they sounded. Then the same for consonants. It felt so stupid at first but believe me, it truly does help. We then found the different thoughts in the sonnets, moving on each new thought and how it changed pace when we spoke it whilst walking. We then changed it into modern speech to add more meaning to the words which we can apply to all Shakespeare.
Tuesday is a wakeup call to those that think they’re fit and then truly find they’re not. Today we had ballet and body conditioning. Our teacher Isy, is lovely. For those that have never done ballet before, she makes it very simple and easy to understand, beginning with the basics and working it up each week. Fairly basic things, but having never been taught the basics properly myself, it was so nice to have it broken down. My thighs got a wakeup call; muscles I haven’t used for a while were used!
However much we may like Isy, all friendly feelings vanish when conditioning begins!
Wednesdays I feel are everyone’s favourite day with our teacher Jo! Her lessons are amazing! First class we had was movement class with Jo and quite honestly, I feel this may be my new favourite class! We just did relaxation, finding tension and releasing it. She is very spiritual and her classes are all about loving your body. I felt so relaxed and happy. We did mirroring as well, focusing on our body parts mostly. Then we just moved to music in a way like no one is watching; it really helps boost ones confidence. You don’t feel silly at all; you feel empowered and strong.
Every other week we have private singing lessons with Darren. I’ve never been taught techniques in singing to help reduce tension and, ten minutes into Darren’s lesson, I find the tension has gone. Honestly, the difference in how I then sang was amazing. I could suddenly sing without it hurting and the sound just came out of me; out and around not just straight forward.
Final class of the week is voice; this is where we learn to understand the instrument that is our voice, which in turn, helps us to understand the character we are playing. I find voice lessons absolutely fascinating; the technical side to it as well as the relaxation. I never knew there were so many different ways to produce energy in oneself.