Plants, Shows, and Skates

Shortly after returning from Boston, I took a trip to Garfield Park Conservatory. The conservatory hosts a number of rooms, each with a different theme – the front room is home to palms, the centre room to ferns, and another to aroids. The show room at the time of my visit was featuring the Spring Flower Show, “Hashtag No Filter”. Next up on the list is the Chicago Botanic Garden, hopefully, I’ll make it up there in time for their orchid show.

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Also towards the end of February, I saw a reading for a play called Eleanor Absolute, which is based on true events and tells the story of a journalist, Lorena Hickok, and her romantic relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt – whilst questioning who gets to decide on a person’s legacy. The play was written by someone I met earlier this year, Hannah Verdon.

In early March, I went to another show, this one with Molly, who drove up for the weekend. This show was called The Infinite Wrench and was by a group called the Neo-Futurists. The show is an hour long and the aim is to perform 30 short plays, with interrupting “wrenches” that add a new dimension or obstruction to the performance. Some plays were silly and short, others were longer and heartfelt, Molly was even chosen to dance in one of the shows. It was worth enduring the cold for as we queue to get in (we arrived far too early).

The following day, Diana and I made it down to Maggie Daley Park on the final day of ice-skating on their rink. Having not skated in years, and never being proficient at it anyway, I think I faired fairly well by simply not falling over. Diana pointed out that it was easier to skate with speed and, although far more nerve-wracking, she was right – we picked up a decent pace as we made a few loops around the ribbon. Our time on the rink was cut short by the Zamboni, but it was a nice day out and the park was nice to walk around.

I mentioned in a previous post about the Student Union elections that I was running for a part-time officer position. Sadly, I did not win the election, but the elected officer has a good team to work with and I’m sure the position is in capable hands. I did, however, win the Sandwich Placement award at Edge Hill University Careers Award Evening! Although I couldn’t make it to the Evening itself, my personal tutor, Paul Ashton, collected the award on my behalf and a video of the announcement was sent to me, very kindly, by the Careers Team.

Performing Arts Audition Days

Hello all!

It’s around this time of year when the University holds any interviews and auditions for courses. If you have applied for a course within the Performing Arts (click here to see my post on all things Performing Arts!), you will have been asked to attend an audition. I was in this position a year ago, so I thought I’d share my knowledge and experience of the audition days!

The auditions take place so that the teachers can see what skills you have as a performer before making any offers, since the courses are so practical. Although they are looking at skill, if you have never studied a Performing Arts course within your past educational establishments, don’t worry! They understand that people are coming from all sorts of backgrounds and they are mainly looking for people who are eager and participate in the auditions with enthusiasm.

One of the best things about the Performing Arts auditions is that they are very laid back. We all know that auditions and interviews can seem daunting in a place you’re not used to with teachers that you don’t know, and the teachers also know this, so they make sure to keep the pressure off you during the audition. This helps you ease into the audition so that you can do your thing and impress!

There are both current students and staff at the audition days to take you to and from your audition rooms so that you don’t have to worry about getting lost, and they are also there to ensure any questions you may have about the courses or the University itself are answered. If you haven’t managed to make it to an open day for any reason or just didn’t get the chance to do this at any events you’ve attended, there is also the offer of Accommodation, Arts Centre and Campus tours if you or your parents wish to see the facilities! I didn’t manage to make it to an open day because I was busy with college work and didn’t have transport there and back, so I used the audition as an opportunity to speak to current students about Ormskirk, the University and ask for an accommodation tour, which they were perfectly happy to help with.

The general vibe on the audition days is very positive, so once you arrive you can focus on your performance and your performance alone! Depending on which courses you have applied for, you will be sent information on what you need to bring to the audition, what to wear and if you need to learn any songs or monologues. As I was auditioning for the Performing Arts course, when I auditioned I did not have to prepare anything, as the audition was in the form of a workshop rather than everyone taking turn to carry out a monologue, something which I found less nerve-wracking! After my workshop, I was directed to a room where I did a small writing task- something which might sound daunting, but they don’t ask you questions that are hard to answer and they’re mostly just looking for your opinion on the subjects of the questions, so don’t stress about “getting the right answer”! The audition process and workshop for the BA (Hons) Performing Arts course might have changed slightly this year, but that is the kind of thing you can expect to be doing at your audition! If you are doing a course such as the BA (Hons) Musical Theatre course, you will probably have to prepare a song to sing and will be expected to take part in some form of dance workshop. Each course has a different method of auditioning, but whichever course you are doing, you’ll feel relaxed and laid back once you get there, just do the best you can and don’t be scared to take risks and join in with the activities set to you!

If you are attending a Performing Arts audition, I wish you luck!

I hope this blog post has helped you out with your expectations of what happens, and if you have any more questions, feel free to comment below! Good luck!

 

This is what Ellie Clarke had to say about the Performing Arts audition process:

Auditions – how do they work?

Here’s a little bit of information on Applicant Visit Days for if you have applied for a course that isn’t within the Performing Arts written by Ellie Clarke:

What is an applicant visit day?

The Life of a Performing Arts Student!

Hello all, hope you had a wonderful and Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays for those who celebrate other or no other festivals. As it nears the end of December and 2016, I am moving into Semester 2 of my BA (Hons) Performing Arts course at the University, and I can’t wait to be back.

If you’re looking at Performing Arts courses as a way of extending your skills and abilities, creating and performing, studying the theory behind performance or even writing your own scripts, the courses that Edge Hill offer are perfect for you! Below I have included a list of the courses which are hyperlinked so that you can check out the ones you are interested in;

As you can see there’s a course for every type of performer and creative. As I like to perform and devise performances as well as expand my skill set as a performer, I chose to enrol on the Performing Arts course.

This is the beautiful Arts Centre- where I have my lessons!

One of the best things about the Performing Arts course is the range of modules it covers. I did the BTEC Diploma in Performing Arts at my college, which I loved, however, I did not expect to cover such a big range of skills and genres of performance as I have done and will continue to do for the next 5 months. So, here is an overview of my Performing Arts life over the past 4 months!

Fresher’s Tasks and Introductions

In the very first week of the course, I didn’t know my way around so much and I didn’t know many people. However, the staff ensured that they gave me the information I needed to get more used to life at Uni and the course itself. There were a few talks carried out in the Arts Centre’s main theatre – the Rose Theatre – that gave me all the information I needed to know about the course heading into it and the University and it’s resources itself.

The Rose Theatre

In my first lesson, I was introduced to my main lecturer and form tutor- Barnaby King. The lesson was quite informal, which allowed everyone to feel more at ease than we did before entering it. There are 12 people in my class, including me, and it was nice to be able to finally meet everyone and get to know each other. Everyone came from such different backgrounds which was interesting to discover, and although we were quiet to begin with, being in a class with such lovely people is amazing and we all became friends quickly! Barnaby set us a small task based on our journey to the University to ease us into the course, which was great as it was our first opportunity to work with and around the people that we are going to be working with for the next three years of our educational careers.

The Introduction to Performance Module

As performers, it’s always great to be up on our feet and creating- I know that personally, when I enter a performance space, I’m itching to get up and produce something! However, as a performer it’s also important to know where performance came from and what performance itself is. This is where this module comes in. I have this module on Monday afternoons, and I’ll either attend a lecture or a workshop where we can discuss ideas surrounding the course and anything that we might not have completely got to grips with yet- one of the best things about these workshops is the level of support it offers you in your studies! The idea of sitting in a lecture might put performers such as yourselves off, however, Barnaby and the other lecturers ensure that it’s not just you sat listening bored! We often listen to songs related to ideas discussed in the lectures and watch videos from practitioners and researchers that are a nice change from powerpoints. In my classes this year we’ve even mentioned Hamilton the Musical and watched something about the background of the musical, so don’t let the word ‘lecture’ put you off! This module runs for an entire year, rather than one semester.

Performance Skills Workshop

This module was one of the two optional modules I had to choose from- the other module was Introduction to Technical Theatre. On Mondays I also attend a lesson for this unit. This unit is all about developing your skills as a performer, and so far I have tried my hands at all sorts of things from mask work to juggling in workshops.

Maskwork is something fun you might explore in this class!

For this lesson we have a teacher called Olly Crick, who always keeps lessons lively and fun whilst teaching you so much about different performance genres. For the past 4 months, Olly has run workshops with us to show us what techniques and genres there are within theatre and performance, and as we progress into the second semester we get to narrow what we are studying to particular techniques we want to pursue further- which is great if you really want to have time to master a technique or begin your path to mastering it! This module runs for an entire year, rather than one semester.

Physical Theatres

If you studied Performing Arts at college or are just a regular theatre goer, you’ve probably come across Physical Theatres of the likes of DV8 or Frantic Assembly, just to name a couple of companies. For the last 4 months I have been having lessons for this module on a Wednesday morning; something that might sound daunting, as Physical Theatre in the morning can be a very exhausting task. But the best thing about these lessons is that Barnaby did a small yoga warm up before each lesson he led, which warmed the body and mind up perfectly and also helped bring our awareness of what was occurring in lessons and of each other as performers to a level that aided us in performance and devising. At the end of the unit, we had devised a half hour performance on love, hate and the situation in America with Donald Trump, which we performed to an audience of our friends and which was followed by a Viva Voce- a spoken assessment. The great thing about Vivas is that it’s like having a chat with your teachers about something your passionate about (Performing and your performance!) but it helps with your grade! If the idea of being assessed on speaking worries you, don’t let it! It’s so much less nerving when you’re in the room just speaking. This module runs for one semester, rather than a whole year.

Visual Theatres

Visual theatres is something I had never studied before, so this was an interesting module for me! If I had to summarise what this genre is and what I studied in this module, I would summarise it using these three techniques; Object Manipulation, Puppetry and Mask Work. Throughout the module we were given the opportunity to explore the use of these techniques and even create our own 3ft puppets and masks, which was frustrating at times but definitely worth it once we got to put them to use in our final performance! For this module, there is another performance, which we again showed to friends and our assessors, and a small written piece. As someone who loves Arts and Crafts, this module was a challenge but one that I welcomed with open arms! This module runs for one semester, rather than a whole year.

So that’s what I’ve spent my time at Edge Hill doing so far! You might have a different experience with what you cover in classes and especially if you choose a different first year optional module to me, but I hope this has given you a better idea of what Edge Hill’s Performing Arts course is like and I hope you make the choice to audition over the coming months! In my second semester, I will be studying the Devising Performance and Multimedia Performance modules in the replacement of the two semester-long modules I’ve done so far, which I can’t wait to explore. In the second and third year of the course, you have a lot more optional modules, from things like Popular Musicals to Prosthetic Makeup. This course is so different to the one I was on at college in all the right ways- I’ve always wanted to stretch myself as a performer and learn new skills, and with the aid of the teachers on the course this has proven to be an accessible goal!

If you have any questions, I’m very happy to answer them, just pop them in the comments!

I hope you have a great end to 2016 🙂

Here is the link to the Arts Centre’s page for more info on the theatres themselves and the shows that the Uni organise for staff, students and the people of Ormskirk;

The Arts Centre

Free Film Friday

Hello everyone. I hope you have all had a great week with what ever you have been doing. Assignments and exam preparation is beginning to pick up, from drama to politics I hope everything isn’t stressing you out too much. Well, I am posting this blog a little late than usual due to the BRITAwards2016 being on last night. As a true BRIT it is an exciting time in the pop culture calendar. Can we just mention how amazing Lorde’s tribute was to David Bowie? The Zealander has some amazing pipes and her stage presentation was perfect. Adele. There is nothing more to say unless I say everything. She is a beacon of happiness and for all those watching and for you students coming to university studying music and drama or a creative subject she is an inspiration. I wish you all the success you are setting out to achieve.

The great thing about Edge Hill University is the facilities it has for adventurous, creative students. From recording studios to whole stage productions, dance productions, the possibilities are endless. I myself am a business student and apart from the suits and business plans and essays on the policies of monopolistic business in the modern age I am a big fan of music, film and theatre. Every Friday there is a free film shown in the arts centre. Literally just like a cinema and how can anyone turn down a free film.

A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance.
-Dario Fo

If anyone is interested in theatre, musical performance, of any other creative course at Edge Hill, from what I have heard from my friends studying these subjects, you won’t be disappointed. I have provided a direct link to the website if you want to have a look at the course options and what is available to you.

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/

here is some information from YouTube about dance and drama degrees here at Edge Hill

J.x

The Arts Centre

Hello everyone! I hope you have all had an amazing week. It’s coming towards the end of February now and that means one more month closer to September. That means its one more month closer to fresher’s week (mark it on your calendars). As prospective university students or you’re a student who missed fresher’s this academic year I can honestly say it was one of the best weeks in regard to nightlife on campus.  From specialised theme nights to paint parties to foam parties or even a silent disco (I had never heard of one before uni), it is definitely a week worth attending.

Something in which people see university as is a drunken mess of hungover students topping up their systems with more alcohol day in and day out, perhaps making pizza at 3 am and powering through those 9am lectures. For many people, myself included, there are nights where i’d just like to do something different. Something fun and perhaps something out of the box.

One of the great things about campus is the arts centre. It holds a free film showing in the on campus cinema every Friday. I even got to watch Jurassic World again in full cinematic view which I can honestly say was epic. Not only that they also have open mic night. A night where people can showcase their talents and perform by singing, dancing or playing an instrument. Not only that they also have dramatic shows run by the drama society.

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/artscentre/

If you yourself are interested in anything at the art centre, just follow the link above to find out whats on and when.

There are so many things in which people can attend to break up that week of lectures and late nights. I say, and I can honestly say it is one of the best decisions you can possible choose from time to time is by attending different things to ensure you get the true university experience.

Have a great week guys

J.x

Joey’s Blog – Preparations

Hello all,

As you can see, this week sees the launch of our brand new blog, Inside Edge. Whilst in previous years, all of the bloggers operated independently, they now all contribute solely to this one blog, in order to provide a better all-round presentation of the University. I recommend reading posts from all of the bloggers, but for those who want to focus on my own posts, you can do so by clicking this link: http://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/category/joey/

This week has been one of evil intent, as my time is being evenly split between rehearsals for my upcoming show ‘The Capeman’ which will be staged at The Arts Centre next month, and finalising everything for the upcoming event ‘Once Upon A Crime’, an interactive Murder Mystery that I’ve written, which is being performed Friday 19th October. My next blog will most likely follow it, so be prepared for an excited recount of mayhem, murder and fancy dress, complete with photos!

Yours maliciously,
Joey x