I’ve just completed Term one as a full-time student in the Gaiety School of Acting and it’s been a thoroughly enjoyable experience so far. The training and guidance we have received in the relatively short period that we’ve been here, has helped me immensely. Every aspect of my life has changed. I think this is largely due to how your day is structured and after only a few weeks every part of your life becomes inextricably linked to what you’re doing within the school. There is a high level of intensity to the work we do but if you approach the work with a positive attitude it never becomes overbearing and the rewards are much more enjoyable.
The training is divided between different classes. Acting, Voice, Stage Combat, Text, Mime, Stagecraft, Movement, Dance/Tap, Improvisation, Singing and Manifesto. The methods used in each class obviously vary but the knowledge and technique they provide all complement each other perfectly.
Our acting classes are, for me, the focal point of the training. Every day through performance or observation you learn something new. And for me, acquiring these new elements regardless of how small they may seem is vital because there is great satisfaction in personal progression.
From a physical point of view, the improvement in my voice, coordination and posture has been excellent. The breathing exercises which we perform on a daily basis are hugely beneficial and allow to you to attain much more control on how you apply your voice. I really enjoy the physical aspect of our training particularly dance and stage combat. The stretching we do in dance class at times can be quite challenging and often uncomfortable but is very rewarding.
Our Manifesto classes are where we perform presentation pieces we have devised. We are usually given a basis for inspiration and its great seeing everybody’s interpretation and the performances they create. The level of the work that everyone creates is invariably high so you have to remain dedicated to what you’re doing. Each presentation provides us with something different from which we learn. Of course there can be times when the performance that you create doesn’t resonate with your audience. A performance of my own making being one of the most spectacular failures to date. But, there’s no progress without failure.
We’ve just began term two with a week under the tutorage of Raymond Keane. An experience unlike any other. Remarkable character and his guidance has given me a whole new philosophy on the idea of stage presence.
But it’s Saturday afternoon, I’m just home from work and I have a presidential speech by Ronald Reagan which needs memorizing. Just another week in the Gaiety School of Acting.