Anonymous said: Hi! I'm sorry to bother you, but I'm coming to Oxford in October and I was just wondering how difficult it is to get involved in the performing arts side of things (particularly acting and behind the scenes) if you have next to no previous experience?
I think it’s very easy, from what I’ve seen. You just have to go to auditions, maybe keep an eye on OUDS to see what’s happening. Make contacts; I’ve a mate, for instance, who does loads of production, and there’s a chap at my college who set up his own production company.
You just have to be proactive, keep on putting yourself up for stuff, keep on trying and having your ear to the ground for news.
My big tip would definitely be to get involved with Cuppers, the freshers intercollegiate drama competition in fifth week (I think) of Michaelmas. I wrote and directed my college’s entry, which was great fun, but also provided me with good insight into Oxford drama. They (OUDS) also run loads of follow up stuff afterwards about getting into drama, so definitely get involved there. Invaluable.
There’s always stuff going on, so there are tons of opportunities for you to get involved. Hope that helped, and best of luck for your first year!
I’ll add that getting involved in backstage tech is very easy, even with no previous experience. Joining the TAFF mailing list means that you’ll hear from nearly every show, large or small, when they’re recruiting - be it months in advance or in a last-minute rush. I’ve known people go from ASM (backstage dogsbody) to stage manager and eventually producing their own shows in less than two years. I personally got involved in sound tech through a friend and have covered 4-5 shows (including a Playhouse production) over the last year and a half.
This is how I read every single rowing email. Every single one. Because they’re all full of bullshit drama.
I wonder if men’s squads have this much drama.
Oh, CORC. Somehow I’m really glad I never covered enough outings to really experience this shit.
"We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories."
Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human (via wordsnquotes)
No one understands this, in relation to why i love being an actress
In the Science of Discworld books, it’s postulated, half-jokingly, that our proper species classification is not Homo sapiens (wise man) but Pan narrans (Storytelling chimp). It is not just our exploration of the world (and the consequences that exploration has brought) which has allowed mankind to develop, but also our ability to communicate our findings effectively to others. We tell stories about the world to try to educate each other through entertainment; plays and poems and songs. We developed metaphor, simile, analogy to relate situations to each other, allowing understanding of one thing to help us understand another.
As a result we collaborate, we help each other, we work together as a species to discover so much more about the world than any individual ever could. Precise, specialised common language is just about the most important single intellectual development in history, because it is the basis for almost every subsequent discovery or development since the discovery of fire.
New experiences today:
- The look of terror on two grown men’s faces when the thing propping up the ceiling they’re under just innocuously falls over.
- The sound of about 2 tonnes of slate flagstones making a bid for freedom directly above your head.
- What an upstairs room looks like when the floor drops 2ft but the walls stay where they were. It looks pretty strange, by the way.
- Lifting a ~5 tonne floor structure back into place with elbow grease and Acrow props. Took us about an hour, plus the time to stabilise after the initial collapse and remove the slate from one room (via the window).
Tomorrow, we will prop the beams properly before we dig. Because that was fucking terrifying.
Stuck in bed because there is a dog asleep on my chest and everytime I go to move him he wakes up and gives me disapproving looks. Hehe
That is literally the opposite of a problem.