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

A Little Catch Up

Lifestyle

I am the absolute worst for going AWOL and hibernating when I’m working on a particular project, completing ignoring everything else around me. What I mean by this is that I have been sat, staring at my laptop screen, for up to 8 hours a day over the past two weeks, attempting to type some words onto a page that will enable me to pass my degree…yep, you’ve got it…the dreaded deadline season. If I’m being completely honest, the last thing I wanted to do after an entire day of writing was to write some more…hence, my little blogging break. I thought, now that I’m assignment-free, it would be cute to catch up and fill you guys in on what I’ve been doing and how I’ve been (just about) surviving.

What I’ve Been Doing

In all honesty, the new year has seen many days of me wrapped up in my duvet, binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy and snacking excessively. I’ve been extremely lacking in productivity but have actually really enjoyed having some chilled time-off after what was an extremely emotionally turbulent semester at university. I’ve spent time catching up with my home-girls (not trying to sound cool, just unsure what to label my group of friends from home lol) which has been super nice. They know I’m one of the worst people when it comes to replying to group chat messages (orrrrr even texts that have been sent directly to me) but whenever I’m home it is as if nothing has changed. We celebrated my friend Harriet’s 20th birthday with food (yes) and cocktails (YES) which was a very cute night. I was also able to be reunited with my lovely friend Charl who abandoned me 3 years ago to live in Devon (still not ok!!!!) which again really was the best.

How I’ve Been Feeling

I’ve been feeling goooood. Life is currently at that stage where I have nothing going on for the next week so I can just chill, relax and spend time with my family before I start second semester. This break really has been needed (I mean…really needed). I was struggling a lot at uni before the Christmas break – I felt as if someone was standing with a gun pointed at me, but instead of bullets they were shooting big, SCARY, adult decisions at me that needed to be made quickly. Now, I am a pretty good decision-maker – if I may say so myself – but I like to have a lot of time to process what the consequences of each particular decision may be as change scares the ever-loving shit out of me (which you’ll know if you’ve read any of my previous lifestyle-y posts). So, when I was faced with 3 essays, 2 presentations, an 8-minute solo performance, auditions, co-directing a full-scale musical theatre showcase, rehearsals, homesickness, budgeting, meetings, housing decisions, placement decisions, course decisions, LIFE DECISIONS…yeah, my brain pretty much said no thanks Georgia, not today. I’m pretty sure (and this is going to be 100% a self-diagnosis) that I was – and potentially am still – having a quarter-life crisis (is this a thing????? Probs not). I’m turning 20 this year and I found myself thinking ‘What am I doiNGGG?!?!!?’ I was feeling unhappy more than I was feeling happy which has never happened to me before. This impacted everything I was doing: I didn’t want to go out with my friends but then I would be sad that I didn’t go out with my friends, I wanted to be at home all the time, I wasn’t enjoying my lectures, everything was just a little bit crazy. Now I’ve had time to step away from the situation I honestly think I was just putting too much pressure on myself – so much so, that I was sucking the enjoyment out of everything I normally enjoyed doing. Hence, the hibernation station I’ve had going on this holiday. Although I’m not jumping for joy at the prospect of returning to uni next week (however I am BLOODY EXCITED to see all my little angels aka friends) I feel a lot better about it than I did pre-holiday.

What I’ve Been Loving

Whilst I’ve been in my temporary state of hiding, I’ve had the time to try a few new products / watch new shows / listen to new music. With the lack of my December Faves, I have a few new things that I’ve been loving over the past 6 weeks or so.

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One of which being these No. 141 lashes from Eyelure. Whilst I do like Eyelure lashes, I tend to gravitate more towards Unicorn or Backstage Lashes as I find the quality tends to be slightly better meaning I can get more than one use out of them. However, over the mad sale period, these lashes were reduced to half price (I think I paid around £3.00 for them) and I liked their wispy vibes. I have quite small features so tend to favour a pair of lashes that fan out towards the end, compared to the rounded-look and this pair does exactly that. I have actually ended up being really pleased with this little purchase. I’ve managed to wear this pair twice already as they aren’t overly dramatic but also finish off a makeup look well.

The next thing I’ve been loving is Grey’s Anatomy (as mentioned above). Honestly, it’s embarrassing how quickly I’ve arrived at Season 8 Episode 10 but I really freaking love it. I love all of the characters and the plot-lines are so sad but so bloody good at the same time. I’m completely in love with Patrick Dempsey, Eric Dane and Jesse Williams whilst identifying on a scary level with Cristina. I don’t really know what I’m going to do once I’ve finished all 13 seasons. I’m worried it will be similar to my post-PLL and Gossip Girl phases where I felt very lost for around 3 days after the finales. But for now, it’s constantly on.

 

I’ve also been loving The Greatest Showman soundtrack (and the film, obvs). I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat ever since Rewrite The Stars was first released on Spotify. If you know me, you’ll know I’ve been planning my wedding to Zac Efron ever since HSM came out so of course I’m going to love anything he does. Add this to the fact that the songs were written and composed by Pasek and Paul (my FAV musical theatre songwriters) and you have a winning combo. My favourite songs have to be The Greatest Show, The Other Side, This Is Me and Rewrite The Stars. Yes yes yes yes.

So that brings us pretty much up to speed. It’s been a chilled few weeks but they were definitely deserved and I now feel recharged and ready to get back into the real world. I promise I’ll start sticking to a blogging schedule once I sort my life out (lol).

Lots of love,

G X

November Faves

beauty, Lifestyle

What I Wore: Velvet Purple Culottes / Faded Black Mom Jeans

This month I have two fashion favourites that I couldn’t decide between. The first are these GORGEOUS velvet culottes from Zara – to add to my ever-growing collection. I love culottes as I feel you can either dress them up and wear them for a night out or pair them with a cropped t-shirt and converse and you’re good to go for the day. I think they’re super festive and I know I’ll being getting a lot of wear out of them. Also, they retail for £19.99 in Zara which I think is amazing value!!

Another Zara purchase I’ve been living in throughout November has to be these black Mom jeans. I’ve ALWAYS been looking for the perfect pair of Mom jeans but I’ve never found any that look right. Because I’m so small, a lot of them swamp me and make me look shapeless but I think I have finally found what I’ve been searching for!! I paid around £30.00 for these jeans (don’t quote me) which I think is pretty reasonable. As you can see, I’ve teamed them with this cute D-ring striped belt from Missguided and a black cropped t-shirt from PLT.

What I Watched: Stranger Things

Although slightly predictable, Stranger Things was my obsession throughout early November. Granted, I finished the season over a two-day period but it still counts as being a November fave. I’d been waiting (for what felt like FOREVER) for season 2 to come out as I fell in love with the show from the very first episode. There is something so charming about each of the amazingly talented child actors that makes the slightly weird and creepy show so relatable. Season 2 did not disappoint plot-wise and I literally cannot wait for the third!!

What I Listened To: The Wedding Singer

This month has been filled with musical theatre for me, in relation to what I’ve been listening to. As I’ve mentioned, I directed a show which included a variety of songs from different musicals however I also found out that I’ll be playing the role of Julia in my university’s production of ‘The Wedding Singer’ in 2018. So, naturally, I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat. The music is super feel-good and I’m really excited to start rehearsals next week!! My favourite songs are ‘It’s Your Wedding Day’, ‘Not That Kind Of Thing’ and ‘All About The Green’.

What I Used: Soph X Makeup Revolution Highlighter Palette

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I’m not going to ramble on about this palette for too long as I’ve done a full-length review that you can read here. This has been my go-to product throughout November as pretty much all of the shades are (thankfully!!!) pale enough for me to wear so I can match my highlight to my eyeshadow – which makes me more excited than it probably should…

I’d definitely recommend getting your hands on this gorgeous palette if you can, it’s more than worth the £8.00 it retails for.

What I Did: 

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I hope your November has been amazing!!

Lots of love,

G X

Instagram: @geeheasel

October Faves

beauty, Faves, Lifestyle

What I Wore: Cropped Yellow Jumper with Bell Sleeves

I purchased this little Autumnal number from Topshop at the very end of September and it’s become a staple in my ‘it’s suddenly really cold now’ wardrobe. This jumper cost £29 (sans student discount) which I think is relatively reasonable for Topshop prices. It’s super soft and is made really well so you definitely get what you pay for. I’ve never owned any clothes this colour before but when I saw this jumper on the model I knew I had to try it on. I feel like it goes really well with an all-black outfit as it adds a pop of colour. I’ll deffo be taking another trip to Topshop soon to purchase some more Winter jumpers.

What I Watched: Confession Tapes

Confession Tapes was definitely my Netflix addiction during October. If you’ve read any of my Monthly Faves before, you’ll know I’m a big fan of crime dramas and documentaries so when I saw ‘Confession Tapes’ come onto Netflix, I was super excited. Essentially, each episode focuses on a different case in which a suspect is forced into making a confession for a crime they may not have committed. The show documents the history of the crime, followed by the police’s process to convicting a suspect. It’s so interesting – each episode had my friend Lucy and I hooked. If anything, I wanted the series to be longer as there were only 8 episodes but I’m hoping Netflix bring out some more in the near future. I’d definitely recommend this if you haven’t seen it!!

What I Listened To: Lewis Capaldi / Havana / 21 Chump Street

 

Lewis Capaldi honestly has one of my favourite voices ever. I love his songs and have them on constant repeat. He’s only released 4 songs so far so I’m hoping for an album soon. If I had to pick my actual song of the month though, it would have to be Havana by Camila Cabello.

MT-wise, I’ve been obsessing over 21 Chump Street, a mini-musical written by Lin Manuel Miranda. If you read my September Faves, you’ll know that last month I was loving Hamilton (and still am) but then I discovered 21 Chump Street. The music is trademark Lin, which is why I love it. My fave song has to be, “What The Heck I Gotta Do”.

What I Used: Nivea Express Hydration Primer

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The change of the seasons sadly means the reoccurrence of my dry skin, especially on my face. This month I’ve been using the Nivea Express Hydration Primer which I picked up from Superdrug for only £2.39 (like, what!??!!!). The name honestly does not lie – this primer is the most hydrating I’ve ever tried. It’s a very thin, wet consistency and applies a clear sheen to the face. It helps my foundation sit nicely, avoiding the cling to any dry patches (which nobody wants). I’d 100000% recommend this product for anyone who has normal to dry skin.

What I Did: 

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I hope you’ve had an amazing October!! I’m super excited for November because it means I can start counting down to Christmas and no-one can be frustrated by it hahaha. I just quickly want to apologise for the inconsistency in blog posts; moving back to university has been so much busier and more stressful than I thought it would be so unfortunately my little blog had to take a back-seat for a couple of weeks. However, I’ve got some super exciting posts planned so hopefully you will enjoy those!!

G X

Instagram: @geeheasel 

September Faves

Faves, Lifestyle

What I Wore: Black Cropped Wide Leg Trousers

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Throughout September, I’ve been loving wearing my black wide-legged trousers from Miss Selfridge. I’m pretty sure these were around the £25.00 mark which I thought was amazing for trousers of such good quality. They’re super comfy but also look smart so you’re basically winning at life when wearing them. You can wear them dressed-up (as pictured) or can throw on a cute cropped t-shirt and converse for a more day-to-day outfit. I definitely think these trousers were an investment piece that I can always come back to and rely on if I’m in need of a quick, super cute outfit. Yaaaaaaas to these.

What I Watched: RuPaul’s Drag Race (for the second time)

I’ve always been a big fan of Drag Race, having watched every season religiously on Netflix. However, I’ve recently rediscovered my love for the show and have been re-watching every single season. I’m currently on season 8. Some of my fave Queens from all of the seasons are Raja, Alaska, Alyssa Edwards, Adore, Pearl, Violet Chachki and Naomi Smalls.  It’s such an easy show to watch when I’m just chilling in my room or to have on in the background when I’m getting ready. Loooooove it.

What I Listened To: Dua Lipa / Hamilton

This past month I’ve become completely obsessed with Dua Lipa. Whenever I’m listening to music, it will be her album I’m playing. My faves are IDGAF and No Goodbyes. She’s also so gorg I actually cannot cope and her acoustic covers are INSANE.

From an MT perspective, I’ve been loving Hamilton. I know I’m very late to the party but I honestly couldn’t make myself love it when it was first around (and I tried so hard!!!). But NOW, I am actually too in love with the soundtrack. My fave songs at the moment have to be Satisfied, Burn and Say No To This.

What I Read: Colleen Hoover

During September, I went on two holidays to Portugal meaning I had loaaaaaads of time to read again (which made me very happy). I’ve read a few books by Colleen Hoover before and knew I enjoyed them so wanted to get my hands on some of her other novels. The two I particularly enjoyed were ‘Maybe Someday’ and ‘Confess’.

What I Used: Backstage Lashes

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This month I purchased some falsies from the brand ‘Backstage Lashes’ for the first time. I wasn’t too sure what to expect as the products retail at £6.00 a pair but I’d heard lots of good things. I bought the pairs Chelsea and Soho and I was very pleasantly surprised. Both lashes lasted the entire night on a night out without having to be re-glued and the band is thin so, not only are they easy to apply, they look like they could actually be your lashes. For £6.00 each I would 100% recommend this brand – I will most definitely be purchasing some more.

What I Did:

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I hope you’ve all had a lovely September – mine has been pretty crazy as always!! I just want to apologise for the lack of posts recently (I’m the actual worst) – I’ve moved back to uni now so they should be coming more regularly again. I have some exciting Autumnal-themed posts planned so keep an eye out!!

G X

Instagram: @geeheasel

Email: georgheaselgrave@btinternet.com