Being An Actor for a Week

Exactly a week ago, I concluded what was a glorious few months full of rehearsals for my school’s senior Drama production, a revue of the best of Charles Dickens’s works, titled What the Dickens?

It was great fun, and I got to make a load of new friends from the other grades’ Drama students.

For those that don’t know, apart from being a passionate writer and techno-fanatic, I love the theatre and from a young age have enjoyed participating in small plays put on by my school. In 2006, the final year at my preparatory school, I played the role of Jughead in an adaptation of the Archie comics.

At the beginning of last year, I took up the subject of Dramatic Arts as one of my four subjects for FET (a South African equivalent — sort of — of the A-levels). Whenever I tell most people that this is one of my four choice subjects, they always regard me with a puzzled look and begin a rant about why I’d even think of taking up a subject like this, or they might curiously question this seemingly strange decision.

As my Drama teacher constantly says, and what I also strongly believe in, is that Drama is an essential subject — an integral life skill — the benefits of which impact hugely in the success of one’s life in the long-run.

You see, Drama is not just about getting up on stage and acting, similarly to how karate (another art that I practice) is not just about kicking and punching. It involves a state of mind, a quest for attaining complete concentration. It’s about learning a vast amount of theory based on acting, and about immersing yourself in rich cultures and fascinating social histories. It’s about learning to become confident and bold. About having fun.

But enough of that rant about the subject; for an entire seven days last week (Saturday to Friday), I got to immerse myself in the world of Drama as the cast of this show tirelessly agonised over intricate details to pull-off three amazing nights of awesome performances on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. In case you’re wondering, I played the convict Magwitch from Great Expectations, and performed the opening scene with Pip (“The Convict Frightens Me”).

But alas, after seven days of living in the fantastic, I return to the mundaneness of daily life. It’s brutal of me to say that, but this past week has been exhausting to say the least. And as I approach half-year exams, my writing and blogging time is becoming increasingly shortened. I yearn for an ounce of free time just to read my own novel for leisure, but find that I’m too tired to even concentrate on it (I’m currently reading Area 7 by Matthew Reilly; great novel, by the way). In the meantime, I hope to clear a block of time on weekends to catch up on my blogging; let’s hope my mind won’t be fried by the information-bombarding I’m beginning to get from my revision!

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