Sunday, 9 December 2012

Wow...Have I been busy...

Ok, first off, sorry for not blogging in a very longgg time...well actually I think a week maybe... I have been incredibly busy. I should probably explain what I've been up to...Obviously with being at university near christmas all your deadlines come in, and you have a lot to do. With my assessment for the empty space happening on Monday and Tuesday my rehearsals have been endless - but good news is we've finished our performance devising soooo stresses have gone down a little, but only a little, as the performance date is rearing its ugly head. Actually, stresses will probably rise by the end of the day, as I have a rehearsal at 4.30pm and we have to get everything looking perfect as it may be our last rehearsal...and I haven't learnt my lines yettt..ohh dear.
For those of you who have never heard of the empty space before, it is a module we do in the first semester of term 1, and it's basically all about the actors and the stage. There are no props, costumes, scenery...anything other than the actors and the stage. This assessment is about putting all the skills we've learnt in the first term into our performance. You get given a script which you will have to cut down depending on the length...and basically just get let out into the wild until the performance date. We were given a script of "The Gold Bug" by Edgar Allan Poe, and it was 25 pages long! It took us a couple of rehearsals, but we eventually got it down to 8 pages. Our performance is a really mixed up genre, it's incredibly dark but at the same time you won't be able to sit through it without laughing at least 10 times. I play the charcater of a Jamaican doll called Peter, and my brother Joe is played by my friend and group member Aizah. Together we make the comical pair of servants called Jupiter. Originally Jupiter was one characater however we decided to split it. This takes some time to rearrange all the lines and everything but I would really reccomend it as it sets your piece away from everyone elses. Like I said the performance is on Monday or Tuesday - I will see if I can get someone to film it and I will put it up for you guys to see :).
Also in my last blog, I mentioned another street dance performance. And I am proud to say it went a lot better than the last one :) so I am improving slowly but surely. Just a tip though - if you're going to aim your performance at someone...try to swap it about a bit during the performance to avoid a pair of creepy guys who will not smiling at you for the rest of the night. And you will have to leave abruptly..without food - which - we had to pay for by the way. What is up with that ?! It should have at least been free for the performers. That might just have been me being high maintenance, but come on... I havent actually seen the videos for either performances yet, as they seem to have disappeared of the planet, but as soon as I get hold of one I will put it up or give you guys the link :).
The other thing that has been keeping me busy is my first university essay. It is part of our theatre histories module which runs over semesters one and two. You get to choose what era you write about so I thought I would do the era where it all started - Greek Theatre. Now I work best under pressure so I tend to leave things like this a little too late, and was up till about 3 in the morning doing it. But you know what, it has been proven that people that do essays last minute actually get a higher grade to people who took ages to do it, as they ramble less and get straight to the point. Now - this is not me saying leave everything till the last minute as you will die under the pressure, but just something to keep in mind when it is three in the morning and all you want to do is fall asleep on your laptop keyboard. Fingers crossed that I prove this fact right... I will let you know how it goes. If anyone is actually doing an essay like this and would like any tips on the best books and websites to use, or how to reference just contact me and I'll be happy to help. I'll leave my email and twitter below. :)
On top of all this, I've had performances to go to which I will review and blog about in the near future, my street dance class, my addvantage module (which was sooo messed up and I had to contact the school and sort everything out), global leaders, third year play rehearsals, sorting out housing for next year, maintaining a social life and just living basically.
So sorry this was a bit of a boring blog, but I thought I did owe some sort of explanation as to what I've been doing this past week. I have a few things to catch up on so look out for my upcoming blogs.
See you soon
Byeee :) xxxx

Twitter: @LisaNicole2012

Sunday, 2 December 2012

First Street Dance Performance

Well hey everyone! As I said yesterday, I will be blogging about my first street dance performance today..yay :).
But first...
I am unfortunately going to rant a little bit, so if you do not want to hear me moan just skip this little paragraph. So last night... I got ill. It sucks. I mean my first street dance performance ever, and I'm ill for it. Brilliant. And its the whole shebang - throat ears head nose voice stomach...I think maybe even eyes at some point. Literally everything it could effect it has. So naturally I couldn't sleep. I could  not stop coughing, my eyes were watering, I was lurching ... oh wow.. I sound soo attractive right now. So I am feeling very fragile, I'm missing home.. and I really just want a cuddle. And there is no one to cuddle me. *cry*
Anyway moving on to the better part of my day, the street dance team and I had our first proper performance of the year today. Now, over the past couple of months we have been learning various choreos from all the teachers, and we...well they...have finally put them together and made a performance :). I will put a link below to our youtube channel as most of the choreo is on there. We basically performed at half time of a football tournament. I don't really have much information on what that was, or how it went... the only thing I really cared about was performing so sorry if you wanted to know more about that. I think it was possibly the recreational football teams of the uni...or something like that..all coming together for a tournament. .Unfortunately we got there at 11, and were expecting some place to rehearse but there wasn't one, so we just sat around for about an hour (It was quite amusing to see the ex president of street dance in goal..we did all stand at the door laughing at him for a while) until we got the hall to rehearse in, while the footballers showered, ate...did whatever they needed to do really. We went through it twice, I think (sorry my mind is foggy from this stupid cold) and then we got on to performing. What was really nice was that at the last minute the teachers actually joined us in their choreo - I think they should be able to perform it as it's all their hard work and they bring it justice more than we do. Not all of the teachers were there unfortunately,but the ones that were there joined in.
How do you think it went? I hear you ask. As a group evaluation I would say everyone did very very well. The choreo was performed with the most energy I've seen and we got a very good response from the audience. Even when the music cut out, not just once, but twice (!) no one panicked and everyone carried on with a level of professionalism. And we did get some lovely praise from our President which is always a good sign. We also got offered free food tonight at a restaurant as a thankyou..and I think everyone is there now as I write this. I couldn't go because I am feeling way too rough to eat..and i am gutted because its not often we all hang out together, and it was Indian, which I absolutely love, so I am a little down about that :(. But hopefully we'll do it again soon. Anyway-

My performance... I didn't go wrong on the choreo which is good :), but as for performing I know I can improve. When I say performing I do not mean performing the actual moves, I mean facial expression, attitude and that so called swag that seems to come soo easy to all our teachers. Until I can perform like them I will not be happy.The thing is, because I have been a cheerleader so long, I feel like the happy, smiley, cheekiness is drummed into me as how to perform. But..if I did that performing a street dance choreo I would just look like a crazy person. I would get noticed..but for all the wrong reasons. I am glad I have improvements to make though, as I feel people who think they know everything and are perfect at something are incredibly ignorant. You can always learn something new, and you can always improve. As for my improvements, I'm going to try my hardest and will keep you posted with a brutally honest account of how I feel I'm doing. We have another performance on Thursday in front of a much bigger audience, and hopefully everyone will be able to make it. So, I will be doing a blog on how it went and I feel I made any performing improvements.

There were quite a few people taking videos so as soon as one goes up I will post a link in my blog of the day, so you can all see it :).
And my little piece of advice today would be... always take some university work with you wherever you go. I wish I had taken one of my study books to read as I was sat there for an hour as then it would have been time spent wisely, and not time wasted. I have way too much to do right now, to sit around not doing anything. So learn from my mistakes :).
I am now off to make soup, as I feel that is an appropriate thing to eat when your ill, and then I am going to snuggle up in a big hoodie and feel sorry for myself. I might do some more of my theatre history essay, if I feel like it...but I probably won't.

Bye for now

Saturday, 1 December 2012

What I do at University

Ok, so I've literally just got back from a street dance rehearsal as we are performing tomorrow and I am just a little tired...and I have a whole essay to write, so I am going to try and do this quickly. Hope it makes sense.
I'm basically going to fill you guys in on what I actually do at university, as there is sooo much you can do. Everyone should take all the opportunities they can, and they will have the most fun. I absolutely love university! I'm never bored and I've met so many amazing people.
This may be boring, but it is definitely a good blog to look at if you are planning on going to uni, as it will give you an idea of whats out there for you to take advantage of. I've colour coded the different sections so you can skip around to whats relevant and things, so enjoy :P.
Anyway on to what I do...

Right in university I obviously study my degree which is Theatre and Professional Practice. This will take up most of your time. I'm in four days a week at the moment, however your timetable changes every semester, which in university you have 3 of. With no half terms, which sounds terrible but believe me you don't even realise that you were meant to have one. The time has gone so fast and I literally can't believe I'm almost at the end of my first term! In another blog I will discuss what I do on my degree in a lot more detail, and settle the debate that drama school is better than university. Your valid to your own opinion but it may not be fact, just saying ;).
Along side our degrees, we do an add-vantage module.This is a new thing that Coventry University is trying so you may not neccessarily do this at your university. It is basically something extra that will make you unique to everyone else with the same sort of degree as you. You can do anything from learning to be a pilot, to a language, to creative writing. The idea is you do something that is in a completely different genre to your degree so you cover a wider field. You do a different module each year, and they run over one or two out of three semesters. For my module this year I am taking Volunteering in Primary Schools. Now compared to many other modules this is very spaced out, and you not in every week of a semester, however it does run over two. The idea is that at the end you will do 10 hours of guided reading with a child at a chosen primary school. Before this you have to sort out all the important things like your CRB check and your placement at a school ect. I have my induction at my school on the 10th and I start my 10 hours in the new year, so I will keep you updated. The reason I took this module is because, in the future, I would like to be a teacher alongside obviously acting and dancing. Now, even though I would like to teach children at a much older age, I thought this would be a good experience to see whether I am actually heading in the right direction. As even though I think I'll make a pretty damn good teacher...I could be wrong. So we will see in 2013 how it goes :).
The other course I do is called The Global Leaders Project. Now, I get to take this course free with my academic excellence scholarship, but it is normally £100. But, since it is free to me, why would I miss this opportunity? This course is based on making you more employable globally, and helping you to become a leader. Now this course is very highly looked at by employers and you learn some very good skills, so if you get the opportunity to do it - take it! I am going to try and not bore you so if you would like more information on this course please go to this link -
Right, now we've come to the good bit. Alongside everything that you study, and take part in, your university will have societies. Now, it will take you a longgg time to pick which one you actually want to do as you really wont have time for more. In the first week youll have two fayres - The Freshers Fayre and The Societies Fair. At the society fayre you will sign up for every society that interests you, then you'll have a taster session. I had soo many I wanted to do including winter sports, athlectics, cheerleading, latin dance, musical theatre society...and then there was street dance. I tried everyone, and you would think because I am already a cheerleader, I would have chosen that. BUT.. to anyone to does cheerleading will know that from being a level 5 then become a level 2, is just a massive no. So that went out the window. Street dance was actually the last one I tried but it kicked all the others arses..I am not even kidding. There will be one that does this for you, you just have to find it :). Now my first night of street dance was a social in a night club..and you should have seen them dance! They are the kind of people you want to look like in a club but just kind of fail at it :P. So after that I went to the taster session and just fell in love with it. We now train every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and we all do flash mobs in clubs every Monday. So societies do take up a lot of time, but they are so worth it, and you meet some really awesome people. Like everyone on street dance is amazing and we all get on really well. Its very different to other dance I've done and I'm still that little bit too elegant but I am getting there. If you would to see some choreo you can look on the Coventry Street Dance youtube page, however I have put a link below to some of the choreo I've been in. Our first performance is tomorrow (ahhh) so a video will be going up, and I will be blogging about how it all goes, so wish me luck ;). - I am the one in like a teal green :)

Now, there are a few more things that I will be doing in the future which I am sure to blog about. Like being in three of our third year plays next year. I am the part in one and minor parts in the others, so thats all exciting. And I also want to volunteer as a cybermentor which is basically counselling over the internet for students who are being bullied or having other problems. So I will be keeping you up to date with those too :).

So there you have it really... what I'm getting up to. Everyone says that these are the best years of our lives, so don't let them pass you by. My biggest piece of advice in this blog is to just do everything you can and want to (whilst keeping up on your work obviously). Yes, I am exhausted, but I will catch up on sleep in the breaks. This is the only time I will ever use this this terrible saying - YOLO...and for those of you who dont know what that means - you only live once.

So do everything you can and never regret anything.

Bye for now