Monday, September 28, 2009

Practical Exam

I have missed blogging. It's fun.

The story begins all the way back a few weeks ago. Perhaps two? I don't remember. The drama class (of 8) was in the rehearsal room having our early revision class when the teacher asks me to come up to the front. I was understandably confused, what had brought this on? What was going on? To make things more confusing he then asked me to recieve a hug. "Uhhh........ what?" "Come on." OK now take that out of context and you get one random sick teacher. But no, he's really cool and I probably should've taken that hug...

...because he handed me a piece of paper and asked the next person to come up and get a hug and paper. I looked at the paper and on it was a date... for my drama practical exam.

And it was not very far away. It was quite soon. I hadn't even finished writing my OSP (Original Solo Production of 5-7 minutes) let alone even STARTED working on my scripted monologue (which had to be taken from a play). OK if any one out there doesn't do drama, let me tell you this: having two weeks to prepare two monologues with completely different characters is kinda dificult if you've got other things to do. Agh, agh, agh, agh? Agh! (Indeed)

Well it was time to get serious with this drama stuff. I wrote my entire OSP just about... four or five days before it was to be marked in class (yeah, get marked on it for class then have to improve it for exams.) and I did surprisingly well! Still didn't have my scripted monologue and the exam was in exactly a week. A week! Three days into the holidays (and a week BEFORE my mocks) I have a practical exam! That's just plain unfair that I would have to have an exam when TEE just starts! And guess what else really sucks?

I FINALLY got round to finding a scripted monologue on thursday... late afternoon. I basically started on friday afternoon after school. I had the weekend basically to get ready for an exam I had in the morning on Monday. Oh goodie!

But here the tone switchs from hopeless and complaining... to smug and superior.

Because I totally own. Bam baby! Here is what I did: I got my scripted, recorded it on my iriver (woo! Lorna ftw! Thank you for it for Christmas it's the best present ever) and listened to it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over....

*5 minute later*

...over and over and over and over and over again. This way, whenever I wasn't practicing it it was still being bored into my brain so I remembered my lines. I did the same with my OSP. I have never walked into an assessment as confident and sure of myself before! (With the OSP that is for the class marking. I walked OUT going "aagghhhh that was terrible!" but I walked IN going "OK I can do this!" - which I did perfectly -in the sense that I said everything without screwing up, not me being the world's perfect actor but still reasonable good- but then the improv and the questions were abismal and I freaked, failed, crashed and burned.) The second most confident I've ever been was this practical exam. An EXAM was when I was at one of my calmest? Yes well I owe it to spending my ENTIRE Sunday going through the scripted again and again and again until I had got it perfect.

I wasn't calm before I walked into the room though. I arrived at St John's XXVIII, got out of the car and heart rate went up. I had never been to this place before, I didn't know where I was, where to go, what was going to happen, who would be there, how well I would do... But I had over half an hour to sit down in a room of other people waiting for their exams to calm myself down. Instead of talking to anyone around me like everyone else was I just sat there... staring at the wall or floor or ceiling or posters on the walls. Yeah, I was some random loner not talking to anyone. Great huh? All I did was sit... and try to regulate my breathing, get my heart rate down and relax. In the end I was guided to outside the door of the room I would be entering in 5 minutes for marking and had nearly succeded in becoming perfectly calm. Which was a lot better than previous school asessments that go "Do I have to go now?.... uurrghh... OK...".

Entered room. Set up in the minute given, and went through my OSP, then scripted then was given an improv to do. I was a 6 year old boy playing football with my brother and I break a window and I know my Dad isn't going to like it. My 30 seconds preparation involved swearing, thinking how bad it was going to be, then one simple plot point: trying to clean it up and getting cut. Yeah, it went alright up until that.... 20 seconds in. At that point I kinda froze and couldn't think of something next so it was over really really quickly. Not good. Oh well. I think I did SLIGHTLY better in the questions. Which was good because in the practice run through of how the exam would be held at school we did questions and I just couldn't answer them very well I just... failed. But in the exam I answered them! With minimal "Uhh..." "Um"s and only one "I would uhh... words... uhh.... you know? OK that sentence was poorly constructed let me try again." Which you'd think would make me disapointed about the whole ordeal but the fact is: I said SOMETHING BESIDES those things! So that was good! I like good!

It actually wasn't that bad. Sure improv failed, could've been slightly more emotive for my scripted in the end and wasn't absolutely perfect answering the questions but it didn't go immensely terrible so I am happy :) It only took abouty 15 minutes and I was FREE! The markers were cool too, they smiled. I thought they'd be kinda soulless unemotional looking people but no.

Now I have a week to study for mocks and then I keep studying until November 12 when I have my final exam. And guess which exam that is?

Drama written exam.

Last exam is the same as the first? Awesome.

Have a nice day.


Anonymous said...

Your story makes me nervous - seeing as I do drama and have my pracs in a few short months. I'm scared for the improv the most.. Any advice?

Bilby P. Dalgyte said...

Very late reply: None at all. I fail at improv entirely :)