As you read this blog, I must warn that you will find, honest thoughts, ambitions, and hopes from my mind.
I remember entering my Drama classroom on a cold September’s day and being seated in front of a large screen. A clip was shown to us, of strange people twirling on stools and a man twitching on agony. It was on YouTube, and I stared at the horror of a play called ‘Metamorphosis’ for the next 40 minutes, confused and terrified.
Fast forward 6 months, and I’m stood in a freezing cold changing room, getting into costume to perform ‘Metamorphosis’ for my Drama A Level. Oh, how time has flown since I was in that classroom! If anyone had told me that the frightening play I had watched back then would be the one that I would actually performing in 6 months time, I would have screamed and cried at how impossible it would be to perform in such an odd piece. Actually, my teacher did tell me exactly that on that day, and I did indeed scream and cry whilst sat amongst my equally shocked classmates. But, there I was, pulling on a tight black leotard for that very piece.
I hate leotards. I mean, I really hate them. Not only do they cling to every single lump and bump on your body, but they also give the illusion of being warm. You’d think all that tight Lycra material would insulate your body and make you rather toasty, maybe even uncomfortably hot. I can assure you that this is merely a false illusion, as my group and I quickly discovered when we rehearsed regularly in a theatre hall with terrible heating. I actually felt sick once whilst rehearsing due to the sudden temperature drop at taking my top layers off to be only in my leotard. The only things I liked about my leotard is that it’s incredibly comfortable (like a hug!) and you can be extremely flexible! When in my leotard, I literally roll around and just stretch about on the ground, acting like an Olympic gymnast – you have no restrictions in it! It’s awesome!
I love the makeup aspect of our piece. My ginger friend, who played Mrs Samsa, decided on what our makeup should be like – white faces with dark eyes. Simplistic, yet brilliantly terrifying against our plain black leotards. Berkoff despised ‘loud’ costumes, as he felt they distracted from the actual acting, so we made our costume and makeup very plain. One particular boy in our group – another ginger – who played Mr Samsa fell in love with having makeup on, and insisted we put it on for every rehearsal, which was odd considering his usual manly appearance, but rather hilarious. I have included photos at the bottom of this post of our makeup and leotards so you can judge for yourself how weird and scary we looked.
For those unfamiliar with this play, ‘Metamorphosis’ is about a boy called Gregor who is so pressurised by his family, the Samsas, to provide for them that one night, it all gets too much and he wakes up transformed into a gigantic dung beetle. It is very peculiar. I played the boy’s boss, Chief Clerk (I GOT TO WEAR A BOWLER HAT!!!!), and also 3 Lodgers all at once (I had a mask strapped to each hand and different voices for each lodger). My ginger friend (who has been mentioned many times before in this blog) played the boy’s mother, Mrs Samsa, and another ginger, this time a male and a rugby captain, played the boy’s father, Mr Samsa. A hench hockey player was the boy/bug, Gregor, and his sister, Greta, was played by a fellow alto singer from choir. Our group was certainly made up of people with different interests and passions, and despite initial disagreements, I am very happy to say that I certainly ended this experience able to call these people not just my fellow actors, but my friends as well, which I had not expected.
Unlike the others, I was not on the stage for the whole performance. This meant I spent a lot of time biting my fingernails nervously backstage waiting for my cue and quietly reciting my lines. Watching these people perform was phenomenal. They are all such good actors/actresses for different reasons. I watched Gregor twitch and grimaced as he demolished his food. I felt terrified as Mr Samsa went mental and began to throw apples at Gregor. Greta’s shout pierced through my ears. Mrs Samsa’s emotional monologue made a lump appear in my throat, and I wanted to run out and hug her. I felt safe in the knowledge that I was working amongst such amazing people and hoped that their brilliant acting had maybe brushed off on me.
My favourite part in the piece is my argument with Mr Samsa. Me and the ginger rugby captain beast had choreographed our argument to include the comical to-me-to-you aspect in it, such as seen in ‘Chuckle Vision’, and every time we performed that part, the more slick it got. I shoved my masks right into his face, and we really over exaggerated every movement, making it funnier every time. His horrified face as I threw a mask into his face as I shouted at him was brilliant, but it was so hard not to burst out laughing at him. That part of the piece is right before my exit, so I left the stage on a total high.
I am so happy for it all to be over now. The stress leading up to it was almost unbearable, and I was exhausted after every rehearsal, both physically and emotionally. I am rather sad to think that I will probably never spend so much time with the group again, and also that such a fantastic piece is now over and just there to be forgotten, but at least now I can sleep knowing I gave it my all. I hate that I have to wait until August to find out what I got from the examiner, but whatever I get, I know I did my best, and that’s all I could have hoped for. I cannot imagine how distraught I would be right now if it had gone terribly wrong. Luckily, it was an incredible performance, for all actors and actresses. Thank God for that.
Well, my dear readers, does ‘Metamorphosis’ sound like your type of play, or is it far too weird for you to handle? Comment below! On a side note, my blog hit 3,000 views today! Yay!!!! Thankyou all so much for your support! Much love to you all. Goodnight.