Confessions of a CDS Virgin: Hamlet2B is winding down for Christmas

Confessions... christmas

It’s Chrisssstmaaaaaasssssssss!

Well, actually, it’s not. But then again, I’m not Noddy Holder either, so let’s not split hairs.

Suffice it to say, we are officially ensconced in the “festive period” (TM) and there’s a definite sense of winding down; ironic given that this is actually one of the busiest weeks of term. Normal classes are over and I am currently enjoying(?) a week of intensive introduction to applying acting principles to text, the ground work for the bulk of my work next term. At the risk of sounding ungrateful… blah. It’s the holidays and I’m ready to go home.

My feelings are perhaps best expressed by my summary of the week: “Why is there acting?! I didn’t think there would be so much acting!”

Ignore me, I’m just a school Scrooge – and who can focus when the canteen is piping out cinnamon smells and non-stop plastic Christmas pop?

It’s been quite a year, all things considered. Taking stock this very morning in the manner of a Z-list celeb-filled Channel 4 review, I cast my mind back to last December, when I first set foot in the Unnamed Drama School of Dreams (N.B. not actual name, but feel free to Google should you so wish) to audition for the Acting programme. Life seems very different, now (probably because it is) and I almost feel a different person – not consciously, you understand, but apparently through a process of osmosis, whereby my surroundings and circumstances have changed and so have I. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about that. I suspect I’m ambivalent – it just IS and I’m neither happy nor unhappy, just resigned to the inevitable.

Phew. Some deep cleansing of the psyche there. Well, it’s that time of year.

But seriously, as the term officially ends – with a Christmas party, no less, spreading jollity, merriment and several mild strains of E. coli – it hits home: “This is what I do now”. And it doesn’t feel “special”.

Please don’t misunderstand, it’s wonderful of course and, without doubt, an honour. What I mean to say is, a year ago, it felt imposing and unassailable, but, like so many things, the day-to-day experience wears away the veneer and feelings of being privileged (though I firmly believe that I am indeed privileged to me here and am maybe more angry than I should be when others fail to appreciate it) and it just becomes “what I do” as opposed to “what I aspire to”. This is, I think, a good thing — being beholden to something, somewhere or someone, never really allows one to conquer and therefore prosper – in short, I need to get bored of the idea so I can be galvanised to work.

Make sense?! If so, please explain it to me.

Anyways. For those of you who follow my progress religiously (by which I mean regularly, not whilst wearing ceremonial robes or wielding a crucifix, although feel free should the mood take you), a quick update on the situation re: assessments as I mentioned last blog. In short: they’re done. I did… okay. No, I’m being unfair. I’ve had my follow-up tutorials and I’ve pretty much done as I expected, rather better in some areas than I dared to hope, actually, given that these are my ‘weaker’ areas. None of my tutors have really said anything I could dispute and I, the Bridget Jones of the Acting programme, have had no need to panic, glug wine and chain-smoke cigarettes (purely recreationally of course). There’s an interesting mental seesaw, whereby I’m caught between thinking “I’m older, I’ve worked as a pro, I should be better at this” and not wanting to express said feelings, because no one wants to be “that guy”. I’m getting better, though, at ignoring this and just getting on, I think. I hope.

Oh, and for those of you who follow with avid interest the Mills and Boon-esque twists and turns of my love life – and let’s face it, why wouldn’t you? – you’ll be happy to know that I am still ensconced in romantic bliss at present and, should I hashtag my words a la social networking, the tag would be “smug”.

That’s all for now. Happy holidays, everyone, wherever you are and whatever you celebrate. Have fun and I’ll see you in 2013.

Onwards and upwards (or outwards, should the need for festive indulgence prevail).

Peace, love and crackers.


Image by Jim, the Photographer


Hamlet2B is a working actor currently retraining at drama school. He enjoys lentils, the novels of Jane Austen and the colour green.