We’re two weeks through the program, and I feel like it’s about time I give you the rundown of my classes:
The only class we have every day a week is acting, and we have that for 2.5 hours. We begin every class with a group etude. An etude is essentially a scene that’s a slice of life where something happens to change all of the characters in the scene. Because we’re 24 people, our teacher, Sergei, divides us into four groups of 6, so we begin every class with four group etudes. After the group etudes, we typically do some attention/coordination exercises, and then we do individual etudes, where so far, we’ve been animals and human animals. I love acting class but it can really make or break my day. If Sergei likes my work on a given day, I usually feel great, and if he doesn’t sometimes it can be hard to persevere and keep my spirit high. I’m learning to take criticism in a way that is productive and healthy.
Every weekday, we have two morning classes which can be any of the following: Russian Language (3 times per week), Movement (2 times per week), Singing (2 times per week), Ballet (2 times per week), and Stage Combat (1 time per week). On Saturdays, we have a 3 hour Russian Cinema history class in the morning. On Mondays and Fridays, we have theater history and design classes respectively.
I have been enjoying Russian Language class because it’s a time where I can not think about acting and what my body is doing. It’s more of a traditional language class that’s geared more towards “survival Russian” as our teacher likes to say.
Movement is whack. We do a lot of jumping and crawling across the floor. We also do a lot of isolation movement, where we’ll move just our hips or just our chest, etc. I’m sure I’ll mention this class again as time goes on. It makes me sore.
Singing is really fun. We’re gonna learn an actual 4 part song eventually, but so far we’ve just been warming up and then working individually with the teacher on our respective songs. I’m singing Empty Chairs at Empty tables.
Ballet is geared towards extreme beginners. I am just about as beginner as you can get, so it has been really good for me. I think some of the actual dancers in the class are not thrilled by the slow pacing, but it has been perfect for me at least.
Stage combat, so far, has been playing a lot of games based on balance and also learning some kicks. We don’t have this class that frequently, but I’ve really enjoyed the two classes we’ve had so far.
Theater history has mostly been review for me so far because the teacher talked a lot about things that were in My Life in Art by Stanislavski, which was part of our reading list, but I look forward to learning more in the future.
Design has been humbling. The designers work so hard, and the design students do some incredibly impressive things from a composition/engineering standpoint. I foresee I’ll talk more about design in the future.
Finally, cinema history has been a little boring for me just cause I have trouble staying focused during a 3 hour lecture. I can acknowledge that a lot of the info is interesting, but it hasn’t quite clicked with me. The films we’ve watched have been pretty weird though.
Anyhow, that’s all my classes.