A Little Catch Up #2

Lifestyle

Helloooooo lovely people!!!

What’s this? A blog post??? An actual, fully published blog post? I know, I’m as shocked as you are. I have returned (again)!! I think it’s pretty safe to say at this point that I simply cannot uni and blog at the same time. I thought I was a great multi-tasker (and don’t get me wrong, I still tell everybody I am) buuuuuut that’s evidently not the case. I think a little life update is welllllll over-due as I owe you an explanation for my complete lack of blogging over the past few months (I’m the absolute worst).

Where have I been?!?!

So uni is hard. I can’t lie to you, second year has hit me like a tonne of bricks. Through many a late night in the library and emotional breakdown, I have finally seen the light at the end of tunnel in the form of my summer holiday.  I have had the CRAZIEST final semester of second year, which, realistically, I only have myself to blame for. Something inside of me thought auditioning for a musical, co-directing an MT showcase whilst having two performance exams within the space of two weeks was a fab idea???? Ok honey pie, nice one. Looking back now, I don’t regret a single second but, if you’d have asked me at the time how I was feeling, I may have burst into tears as a result of the stress (lol). So many of my friends would come up to me and say “I really don’t know how you’re doing it all” and my response was NEITHER DO I. That being said, I thought it would be cute to give you a little insight into what I’ve been up to uni-wise in 2018.

The Wedding Singer

One of the biggest parts of my year so far has to be the university musical. This year I was fortunate enough to have been cast as Julia in our production of The Wedding Singer (you’ve probs seen the film. A baby-faced Drew Barrymore wearing a hideous selection of 80’s clothing and Adam Sandler being…well, Adam Sandler). The rehearsals for this show took up SO MUCH of my time, I practically disappeared for a while. Luckily, most of my friends were also involved in the production so it didn’t mean that I was missing out on spending time with them – we were all just being little hermits together. All in all, it was an amazing experience and I loved every part of it. Post-show blues are still in full force.

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The Last Five Years

As soon as The Wedding Singer ended, I hopped straight into rehearsals for The Last Five Years, where I was lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to play Cathy, a character on my musical theatre bucket-list (who, realistically, I never thought I’d get the chance to play)!! This was a really special production for me because this show has always been one of my all-time faves so getting to be a part of it was honestly incredible. It also allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and work with a group of brand spanking new people who turned out to be a bunch of absolute angels. Whilst this show came about at an incredibly stressful time for me, it was the release I needed to stay SANE so I’m super thankful for that.

Socialisin’ (Well, trying)

I like to think that I’m quite the social butterfly, especially when it comes to uni. BUT I’ve most definitely been in hibernation over the past ten weeks or so which makes me sad. That being said, there were a few events/birthdays/REQUIRED FRIEND TIME situations I could not say no to. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the people I have met at university are honest-to-God some of the best people I know. Whenever I’m stressing (which is a lot I cannot lie to you) or upset, they genuinely lift me up so much. Sooooo of course, a night out or two is necessary every once in a while (or twice in a while, or three times in a while…).

 

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Exams, Exams, Exams

This semester I really had to wise up and realise that however much I liked being sociable or however much my course could frustrate me at times, I, in actual fact, enrolled at university to get a degree and getting a degree required taking EXAMS (*noise of someone vomming*).  As I study Theatre, as well as essay-writing for coursework, we also have performance exams (as you’d expect) which require, you guessed it, MORE rehearsals. Here’s a little sneak-peek into the average conversation of mine:

Friend 1: Hey G, we’re going for drinks at 7. Do you wanna come?

Me: Ohhhh I totally would but I have rehearsals.

Friend 2: Hiiiiii, you going out later?

Me: I wanted to but I’ve got rehearsals!

Friend 3: Shopping tomorrow?

Me: REHEARSALS.

You get the idea. I’m honestly a broken record of “sorry I can’t, I’ve got rehearsals” and this semester was no exception. I was rehearsing for 4 different performances at the same time. ARE THERE EVEN THAT MANY DAYS IN THE WEEK?!?!?! (Overdramatic moment. Can confirm my awareness that there are in fact seven days in a week). I had an experimental theatre performance, a dance performance, The Last Five Years and the musical theatre Summer Showcase allllll going on at once. Honestly am amazed I made it out alive. Chin bloody chin to me.

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Shindiggin’

And fiiiiiinally, I attended the end of year celebration for my course, which we call Shindig. This is where everybody studying for a Theatre degree, across all the years, gets together and – to put it bluntly – have a massive piss-up. It’s always a looooovely affair, with everyone dressing up and making an effort (which is rare for my jeans and trainer-lovin’ self). This year there was major stress around dress shopping, not only for me but some of my friends too. Admittedly, going into town THE DAY BEFORE the event with no backup options is not the smartest of moves (which I found out mid-meltdown in the Topshop dressing rooms) buuuut eventually I settled on this little gold number from Topshop. It retails at £26 (which my student budget was thankful for) and I have linked it for you because I am an angel. Although it wouldn’t have been my first choice in an ideal world for this particular event, I ended up being a pretty happy gal and having a fab night. Shindig also involved a very great moment for me when I won the “most likely to always have a glass of wine in their hand” award. Proud.

 

 

So there you have all my excuses for being a terrible blogger. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me (lol) and hopefully you’ll love all the content I’m planning on uploading over this summer. I’m really wanting to get more into the beauty blogging realm, posting makeup looks so do let me know if that’s something you’d want to see/read. However, I am going to Portugal on a girly trip with my lovely Mom next week so keep your eyes peeled for some (fingers crossed) pretty, scenic pics on the old Instagram (follow me: @geeblogs) and potentially a post on here too.

Have a lush week & I hope to be back very soon (look at me being all non-committal and not making promises that I’ll break…I’m learning!!!!).

G X

Instagram: @geeblogs

Twitter: @geeheasel

The “Theatre Degree” Stigma

Lifestyle

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A few things have happened recently that have awoken the little voice inside my head that likes to come out and rant every now and then. The constant threat of funding cuts to the arts and the disappearance of subjects such as Music and Drama from GCSE option boxes across the country are just two of the reasons why I wanted to write this post. Recently, my friend Sophie performed an autobiographical piece about the injustice that undercurrents the education system, in terms of the prejudice that surrounds Theatre as both a subject and a potential career path. Her ‘political rant’ resonated a lot with me, making me think about the many times I’ve been made to feel slightly (I hate to say it but) ashamed of my choice to study Theatre at university.

When it came to choosing my degree subject almost 3 years ago now (oh my gaaaad, where has the time gone?!) there was an obvious winner in my mind from the outset. Yes, I attended Law talks at Warwick and even a Psychology open day at Cambridge, but my heart always led me back to Theatre. Anyone who knows me will understand how important a role the theatre has played in my life and these are the people who have never once questioned my decision to further my education in this field. That being said, there is definitely a prominent stigma around studying for a Theatre degree or particularly around the people who study for a Theatre degree and that is something I have always found ridiculous.

Historically, the subject of Theatre Studies has been branded as “fluffy” and has yet to be viewed on the same level in terms of difficulty as other more traditional subjects, such as Geography or Maths. Therefore, the assumption that the people studying for a Theatre degree are “less academic” and “less able” has been cemented amongst the minds of the majority. However, the stereotype that someone who enjoys learning about the theatre industry is less intelligent than someone who enjoys studying continental drift or trigonometry is honestly absurd to me. If I had a pound for the amount of times I’ve received a patronising “oh, how nice” or “oh, so do you want to be like an actress or something?” after revealing that I study Theatre at university, I would be a veeeeery rich gal.

People don’t seem to understand that my course is academic (trust me, at times it is too academic!!!). I’m still submitting essays at the end of every module, reading ridiiiiiiculous amounts of academic writing each week and attending seminars and workshops. On top of this, I am rehearsingBeing a theatre student, you are not only assessed theoretically but also practically which comes with the assumption that you will carry out a set number of hours as ‘rehearsal time’. Quite honestly, I think I spend 90% of my life rehearsing for something or other (and that is not me being an overdramatic drama student, I promise). I would absolutely loooove to invite the people who have this preconception of Theatre as a subject to sit in on one of my seminars and give their opinion on how phenomenology affects an audience’s experience or how romanticism conformed to or subverted the avant-garde movement towards postmodernism (literally just throwing all the big words that I know at you now lol).

It really does sadden me that I feel as if I have to justify my decision to study a subject that I love to other people who are too quick to judge. Theatre makes me happy. Theatre interests me. Theatre makes me want to learn. So, why shouldn’t I study for a degree in it? Because it’s not ‘academic’? Because I’m ‘never going to get a real job’? Or because I’ll ‘never have a stable income’? My response to these questions is one of self-fulfilment in the sense that I know for a fact that whatever job I do end up doing, in whichever part of the industry I decide to go into, I’ll be doing it because I love it, not because I have to be doing it. Whilst this may be an unpopular opinion of the minority, I would much rather live a life where I’m potentially not always in a constant flow of work, but when I am working it’s doing something that I’m passionate about, rather than being stuck in a 9-5 office job that I absolutely despise. I find it so disheartening when I hear people say “you’re not supposed to love your job…that’s why it’s called work,” because, honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to enjoy what you do.

Another thing that really makes me laugh is that the people who undermine Theatre as a career choice will have a favourite film, or a favourite book, or will enjoy going to watch the pantomime at Christmas, or a musical on Broadway, or will watch every ITV drama under the sun. What they don’t seem to understand is that THEATRE PEOPLE HAVE MADE THESE THINGS HAPPEN!! The industry is one that brings constant enjoyment to the lives of (may be generalising here but I’m going to roll with it) everyone, or has done at least once in their lifetime. That’s why it makes me so sad that as theatre students, it feels like we’re fighting this constant battle to defend our subject to those so quick to undermine it.

I feel as if I have fully just word-vommed onto the page but I thought it was important to fight my little corner about a subject I’m super passionate about and love with allllll ma heart.

(Also just want to take a few words to defend all my fellow Theatre guys and gals. The people that I study with and others that I know who study elsewhere are honestly some of the best, most intelligent people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Their creativity is OFF THE SCALE and their knowledge literally pours out of them every time they speak. All the love ever).

G X