“It was one of the most life-changing experiences ever, not just developing my skills as an actor but making me an overall better individual.”
On the 12th of July the SGCNZ YSC 2013 (Young Shakespeare Company) headed to England in the hopes of achieving what most high school students never think of achieving. Twenty four young actors selected from all over New Zealand were to attend workshops, lectures and then finally rehearse and perform on the golden Globe Theatre Stage alongside the Thames.
Arriving in London, everyone felt slight jetlag – which was understandable, after having travelled for more than 24 hours. Nevertheless, excitement and focus pulled us all through a very long way. The first couple of days involved orientation and introduction to the Globe Theatre. We also attended some humorous, mind-ravishing and alluring workshops, which overall focused on acting out Shakespeare’s works.
The Movement workshop was personally my favorite; Glynn Macdonald, director of Movement at the Globe, had the most charming, direct and adamant personality. She swore at us every time we “Screwed” up and I still remember her saying, “ You are all actors, we will treat you like actors not like students, so sort your s***t out”, which had to be one of the most influential and memorable quotes from the trip. Director of Globe education Patrick Spottiswood also made us look at Shakespeare in a way we never had before, and changed my perspective on him completely. The rest of the time was spent rehearsing ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ which would be performed on the actual stage later.
Another very memorable event was when we visited the New Zealand High Commission; it was an extremely proud and emotional moment, as representatives of New Zealand. We performed a haka and a waiata for Sir Lockwood Smith and his colleagues and it definitely felt amazing.
Then on the 25th of July, the time for us twenty four kiwis to go on the big stage and perform like we had never before performed finally arrived. Surprisingly, we had a crowd of about 300 watching us, and their support was channeled well through our performance. Standing on the that stage and looking out at the audience who were also part of the whole performance boosted my adrenaline and made the whole journey all the more worth it. I cannot describe in words how honored I felt acting on that stage. It felt like the beginning, the beginning of something very special between performing and me – a beautiful connection of sorts.
After the tedious auditioning process to be a part of the YSC 2013, I sensed a change in me and the other 23 beautiful souls who experienced the journey with me. I am so thankful and grateful to SGCNZ and to Macleans College and everyone who supported me. I am so thankful to have been chosen for this; I will never forget this experience and will share the knowledge that I have gained about William Shakespeare and his stage to the rest of the world.
Article By Idam Sondhi. Edited by SuYoung Lee.