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Taking a Study Break-What Do I Study?

April 3, 2012

Spring break! That time of year when college students flock somewhere sunny and alcoholic and when I drive seven hours back home for a few days. Although I’ll admit I’m enjoying the break from studying, classes and rehearsals and for once, I didn’t bring much work with me to get done. Usually I have scripts to memorize, paperwork to do, jobs to search for but this week is strictly relaxation, sleeping in and practicing my black eye for Makeup class. As a theatre major, I do get really cool classes like Stage Makeup but it’s not always as much fun as creating wounds with a bottle of fake blood and not all my classes are acting oriented either. As I’m reaching the halfway point of my studies, I have so far taken:

  • Theatre Majors Seminar
  • Theatre Practice
  • Introduction to Performing Arts
  • Script Analysis
  • Technical Theatre
  • Acting
  • Scene Study
  • Acting Lab (Directing class)
  • Intro to Dance
  • Modern Dance
  • Voice and Movement
  • Dance Improv
  • Makeup

I’m not counting my required courses like Geology and my writing minor but the classes I’m taking offered by the department of theatre and dance. I took the basic requirements like Script Analysis my first year and so I get to focus more on my interests now that I’m in my second year now, and I am taking Voice and Movement, Modern Dance, Dance Improv, Acting Lab, Scene Study, Makeup and Theatre Practice:

I took the first level of Modern Dance last fall. I’m no dancer but I love to dance and according to my evaluation, I did pick up a little technique so far. I couldn’t fit Modern Dance again in for this semester, but I did get into the Dance Improv class and I’m acting away in Scene Study class. We’re working on our second scene already, where I’m Babe from Crimes of the Heart. We’re supposed to perform it when we get back from break and I’m excited, especially since I’m mostly sitting and eating chocolate for the scene.

What I’m most excited to be doing this year though, is Voice and Movement. It’s the sophomore Acting/Musical Theatre BFA class to develop their physical and vocal abilities. We’re learning Tai Chi and exercises in movement theatre and right now, we are slowly working our way up to putting together a performance for our final. This is the class where all my Star Wars references come from: the class where I feel like Luke Skywalker learning to be a Jedi. My professor has something of Yoda in him too, so my class jokes. The funny thing about this class is that I’m not even supposed to be in it—my school offers BFA majors and the BA. I’ll keep this short and say that as a BA, I wasn’t supposed to be taking a BFA class but I asked if I could join the class. What is BFA? What does BA stand for? Respectively, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts. A BFA is usually more strictly focused on Acting, Dance, Technical Theatre while a BA studies more liberal arts. Every school is different but that’s a general observation. All I know is that I jumped through hoops to get the paperwork in to everyone’s satisfaction to take V+M, but it was worth it.

What else is there? Theatre Practice is what we call our show assignments. Every theatre major is either cast or assigned work on a show every semester, be it the leading role or painting scenery. Freshmen have to work one semester in the Scene Shop, learning how to build sets and then the second semester in the Costume Shop making costumes. I did my time building and sewing and now, I’m doing my Theatre Practice as the Assistant Stage Manager for an upcoming production of Stage Door. It’s directed by the same professor I have for Acting Lab. It’s not really a class for acting but it’s the directing class. Seniors take Directing and a lot of the class is directing scenes with a group of volunteer actors. When I heard there was an opening in Acting Lab for more students, I heard “acting” and volunteered and since freshman year, I’ve been in Acting Lab every semester. I love it, it’s where I really first got to know the upperclassmen and people started to know my name (my real name. My first semester, I was frequently confused for another freshman until she changed her major). I like my acting classes, where the focus is on the actors, but it was Acting Lab where I really started to learn to act beyond what I figured out for myself.

I’m not finished with my major yet though. I still have to at least take Directing, Theatre History, Theatre Management and I want to take the Stage Combat courses. Of course, there is still more acting and dance I can do, plus I have a minor to work on and it’s been suggested we might get a playwriting class, my fingers are crossed. In the meantime, I’m going to finish up this semester and then, I’m taking one more very special class hosted by the English department that’s held in New York City, reading plays and then seeing them performed!

Reading this over again, I realized I kept saying I love all these classes but it’s true. You know you picked the right major when you’re excited to go to class or in my case, you can’t wait to go back. In the meantime, enjoy these photos of my practicing a black eye with my stage makeup for class.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. The College Theatre Dork permalink
    April 3, 2012 9:36 am

    I passed that makeup test! My sister’s camera quality doesn’t show off how good it looked 🙂

    But ahem…I’m a BA Theatre major who happens to be taking a BFA class. Future post, discussing the differences in the BA from the BFA?

  2. April 9, 2012 9:18 am

    Oh, ‘Crimes of the Heart.’ That takes me back.

    • The College Theatre Dork permalink
      April 9, 2012 11:24 pm

      I love Crimes of the Heart! Babe was a wonderful character, maybe again in a few years?

      • April 11, 2012 9:58 am

        You’re free to your opinion. But I wouldn’t mind if that play was never produced/enacted in an Acting 101 class ever again. Not a fan myself.

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