The Whole Universe in The Garage

Piano with "The Whole Universe is Within You" written on it
The Whole Universe is Within You - Thanks to under Creative Commons License ShareAlike 4.0.

This year has been awesome!  Yes, I know we've only just said goodbye to the back end of February. But 2015 has a lot going for it after 2014 received a nomination for ‘Lame Ass Year Award’.

Thankfully, I have a catlike propensity for failing forwards.  After redundancy in December I invested some of my last salary payment to fun.  Job hunting isn't usually much in the way of fun.  As I didn't know whether I would be looking for work for hours, days or weeks. I ensured that I would have adequate fun cover in place for the duration, and to keep my bouncy optimism levels at their peak.  I’d usually just run, or get out on the bike but, ya know,….winter!

It came down to a choice between continuing with my Mandarin Chinese or going back to drama, which I hadn't done since before uni. Drama won out because I was getting more fun for much less money and I could see it might also have practical uses for interviews and presentations (yawn!,...or more excitingly for becoming a Bond-like spy).  So I signed up for classes at The Garage, in Norwich and it has turned out to be the best money I have spent in a long time.

Even the first class or two blew me away.  I am naturally quite easily distracted and excitable.  A side effect of this is that I am rubbish at remembering names. So I was astounded to discover, that after only a few chats, games and introductions in class, I already knew the names of everyone in the room.  All twenty something of us.   

Me! The same person who, when previously given a “name people as a fruit” icebreaker, some years ago, spent the entire weekend remembering people by their fruit and associated fruit-impression, rather than by their actual name. Now I can remember a room full of people?  What magical drama voodoo is this?

It’s been an exciting adventure and I've learnt a lot about myself and fellow drama classmates.  We are such a diverse group of characters from the self-confessed, socially awkward to the boldly exuberant, and everything in-between.  

Ghost finishing for a star

    Ghost. Thanks to under 
In a roller-coaster of fun, expression and emotion, I have laughed, got in giggle-fits, cried, and been bloody livid.  
I've begged, been nervous, confused, sad and just so.   I can’t say it’s been easy.  We spend so much time in life fitting in and holding back, that if feels a bit surreal to be given permission to just let it go and be anything that you want to be.

We have worked on improvisation and games.  We’ve been using techniques based on the work of Konstantin Stanislavski, especially in regards to emotion and objectives.  Improvisation gives my ping pong ball of a brain, too many options.  Given the choice of infinite possibility, my mind goes into meltdown as my brain squirrels go scurrying off in every imaginable direction.  So being given objectives felt so much more liberating as I could focus on one little hazelnut at a time.    

It fleetingly crossed my mind that it would have been interesting to have kept a record of all the things we did and what I learnt throughout the course.  If you happened upon my ramblings because you were thinking of taking the adult drama class at The Garage yourself, then I am glad that I didn't. 

Mostly because, aint nobody got time for that.  But secondly, and more importantly, all you need to know is that it’s fun, liberating and you are limited only by your own imagination.  For me it was definitely money and time well spent and I would sign up for it again in a heartbeat.

I'm a little sad that next week will be the last class.  It’s been good to build a bridge back to the little, creative person that I left behind.  I had forgotten how much I loved her and I don’t want to let her go.


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