The study abroad and the RADA people told us Nido was a 20-25 minute walk from our housing. I had been hoping that, like with Google Maps, we would be able to outpace the estimates. Unfortunately, Bridgette and I sprint-walked there this morning in just over 25 minutes. Ugh. It really isn't far at all, it is just good old London traffic and the fear of getting hit by cars that really slows us down.
Our day began with a warm-up with Nick Hutchison, our program director, and John Tucker, our voice teacher. Directly following that, we presented our monologues for several of our faculty members. While no one was quite expecting that, it wasn't a big deal. I was so glad to finally see everyone act!
We had clown class with Jeremy, who works for RADA and the BBC - you know, all the big British acronyms. He told us to only write down what we want to forget (meaning don't write down anything) because writing things down is arbitrary. That was really frustrating because he was a fount of great quotes and little shreds of wisdom. Basically, he made us do a lot of really weird, earthy-crunchy, theatre exercises. We didn't quite get to clowning, but we did start some work on learning how to trust our instincts and get over the fear of having physical contact with our classmates. It is so funny, because that is something I take for granted but is definitely not a normal part of most students' educations. Same with having teachers give physical, hands-on corrections/adjustments to posture and the like.
We had a lunch break. We are given free lunch in the "RADA Refectory" - new vocab word! We have the option of soup and a main course OR a main course and dessert. The food has been fine so far. Not much to say, but I figured y'all might be curious.
Lunch was followed by a voice class with John Tucker. We spent a lot of time on postural alignment, spinal curls, and speaking with our tongues dangling out of our moths. He is a very efficient teacher, and I could tell what he was saying was already making a difference in my body and voice.
Finally, we worked our monologues with Nick. Mostly, he spent his time telling us not to act, to remove the pretense and the performance and the presentational aspects from our work. Sometimes, it is good to hear that we need to try less! The really great part of the exercises with him was having a student sit in as the character opposite me in the monologue. It becomes very easy for a monologue to become very self-centered without actual eye contact with another human.
All in all, it was a really productive day. I am excited for what is yet to come!