By Aislinn De'Ath

By Aislinn De'Ath
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Monday, 21 February 2011

Essay Avoidance/Sensitive kid's not acting like a grown up...

Reader, I am so bored I feel like beating my brains out with my Norton's edition of the Complete Works of Shakespeare. Why, you ask? Well because one of the many joys of being a Drama School student is that you have to constantly reflect. All the time. On what you did, how you did it, what you did right, what you did wrong, what you decided to avoid doing completely, what your peers did wrong and which peers you just plain didn't like. You then have to write these great reflections on four sheets of computer processed paper. In a way that isn't bitchy, whiny or boastful. Now, initially, this was great. I actually even enjoyed it a bit. It made me feel important and like my Masters wasn't just a degree that was based on pretending to be baby sloths in movement classes. Now however, after around 15 of the damn things, they make me want to bang my head repeatedly into my Dell Inspiron [sic?]

The thing is, one of the reasons actors act is that they like being other people. They like stepping inside someone else's shoes rather than obsessing about being themselves (with the odd exception) and let's be honest, the great majority don't go into it because they're any great shakes at writing essays. I mean, I did an English Literature BA before this and even then I'd avoid writing as much as humanely possible. As I graduated I distinctly remember saying jubilantly to my mother 'No more bloody essays!'. How wrong I was. Also, you have to write about the experience of working with your peers. Now, if like me, once you've had a disagreement with someone you like to sweep it under the carpet and then start afresh with that person, reflective essays are not great. Because it's like going 'look, I know we made up, but I'm just going to write this thing about how much of a shit you are and how you ruined the blah blah blah we just did'. I don't find it useful, in fact, I sometimes think we only have to write it to keep the essays interesting. So that the tutors can go into the staff room and go, 'Oooh, you know who's having a right scuffle? Marley and Johnson. They're having a right bitch about each other in these essays I'm marking!' In fact, on my last essay, I got told off for not writing enough negative things about my peers. I tried to explain that actually we all rather liked each other and enjoyed the experience but that doesn't quite fill the criteria for a reflective essay sadly.

I might just make mine go 'I hated all of them, slept with half of them, had my money stolen by the director and went into business with my leading man, only for him to run away with the legal secretary to Malibu'. That ought to get me a first! Have just realised that so far I've written more for this blog than I have for my essay. Oh dear, that doesn't bode well does it? Of course, it doesn't help that I keep singing along to the essay soundtrack I made. Blondie is hard to resist. Even harder is Abba.

Right, I'm going to shoot off and BEAST THIS THING!


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