Thursday, 14 May 2009

leaving uni

This project has made me realise how much I am not ready to leave university. Because it's been a project that we've had to do, we've all been focused and made it (i hope) a success. We have been made into a little community, one in which I see the same faces everyday. The project has more or less taken over my university life over the last few months and the idea of it ending is a strange one. I don't like endings. I have adapted to this new community now and I'm happy to keep going like this for a while. But I can't, the project and uni will soon be over; I will not see many if any of these faces very often; or be able to walk around the university grounds as a student any more. I am being thrown out into the big wide world with all of the other graduates (a huge community of us!) and will have to fight them all for a job. I am definitely not happy about leaving university, the loan, the atmosphere and the freedom and opportunities behind. I'll have to start a whole new life with new people and somehow I'm not excited about that. It's an effort and seems forced; I'm happy where I am thank you very much!


Can new people join communities? Or are they not really part of it because they haven't experienced the same things as everyone else?

We've had some first and second years join the cast for the show recently and they've been fantastic. They came to rehearsals not knowing the story and were either given a script or asked to improvise, they set the bar high with their originality and focus and put the rest of us to shame.

I think that they are just as much an important part of the show and the process as the rest of us, and although they were not involved from the beginning they have sent the project in a new and better direction.

Internet communities

I'm a big internet geek and I was thinking about how many different internet communities there are. There are fan sites, chat rooms, blogs, dealing with problems sites and loads of other random ones. It kind of baffles me, the idea of people becoming friends over the internet. They could live at opposite sides of the worlds to eachother and talk to eachother day. It can soon become a little world where a group of people rely on eachother and can't live life without one another's emails or wall posts. These are people that they will probably never meet, yet know everything about them. How bizarre is that! A person that you've never met knowing more about you than the people you see every day! Personally, I think that people become addicted this strange world that isn't quite reality. Or is it? For them, it is their everyday life. You can never be sure who you are really talking to or whether your strange relationship is built on lies or the truth. It seems to me a lazy kind of friendship. One that is easy, and full of acceptable excuses about computers breaking or being hacked. A place where you can be any one you want to be, without the added work of having to keep up the new identity a few times a week seeing that friend in public, but a friendship where you can pick and choose everything. It's like designer babies!

scary!! to me anyway..

I was on a district line train from Richmond the other day, I was on my own, feeling quite brave.. (my friends had only just left me after seeing me onto the train!) i was looking around the carriage - I like to make sure I've checked who is safe to me and who is not (I'm odd like that), I was just looking around when this man in sunglasses started shouting and swearing at me, asking why I was looking at him (I glanced..) I was terrified. Every possible way I was about to die crossed my mind. Luckily for me, a woman near me asked him if he was ok and then he started shouting and screaming at her instead. The train was still at the station but I was too afraid to move, sure I'd make it too obvious and he'd come after me! Then this woman in front of me, who could probably tell i'd stop breathing quite a while ago and was panicked, mouthed over to me 'breathe' a few times. I suddenly felt safe. Well, kind of. I've never experienced someone help or interrupt in a scary situation in public, and as I looked around, I realised that actually if anything was to happen to me at least a few of those people would have stepped in the way. For the rest of the journey (the man got off before the train left Richmond) as I looked around I was greeted with smiles from the other passengers. We had all experienced something together, and were for a few moments a little community (against the evil man in sunglasses!)

the show

The show is definitely all about community. The audience join forces with the main tribes people on a quest to save a land; they are involved in the show by helping to answer questions, helping to make musical instruments, writing the jokes for the end scene, and making a cocoon for Kenneth the caterpillar, not forgetting catching the tree tricksters and saving Hapu. The only way that they can save Kalku is by being a team and working together. I think it's an important lesson for eveyone not just the children coming to see the show - everybody needs help at some point. For example in the making of the community project, people have shared their workloads with others in the group because no one can do everything, and it's only in working together that we've managed to pull the show together.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

script writer

Emma and Rosie, the directors asked me to be the script writer for our drama in the community project. I wasn't sure at first, but accepted anyway. I really enjoyed working as part of the creative team, so writing a script couldn't be too difficult could it?!

I admit it was quite a slow start for me, I went to rehearsals and watched what was going on; i don't think it occured to me that I should be writing material, i like to live in my own little bubble sometimes! We had already divided scenes up between the creative team, and I had to write the Kenneth the Caterpillar scene. The others had all written drafts for the other scenes, and I think i just assumed that the writing of the script would be the same - shared out, especially since the cast were using the others scenes as starting points in rehearsals. Silly of me i know.

I soon realised my role within the group, and started writing. At first I was just writing down and typing up what came out of improvisations in the rehearsals but I soon started adding my own writing too. The first time some of my work was read out was in a rehearsal for the character Kenneth the Caterpillar. The cast read my scene aloud before they tried it out. It was a terrifying experience and I honestly thought that people were laughing in a mean way because the scene was rubbish. However, I soon realised they weren't laughing in a mean way and that they actually enjoyed my scene. I am trying to learn to be more confident in my work as well as learning to have more faith in my classmates and friends to give me constructive criticism.

The more of my work that I bring to rehearsals the more confidence I am gaining in my own ability as a writer. I am learning to not take criticism to heart and to let go of the unnecessary parts that just fit with the show. I think these are very important lesson anyway, and it's about time i learn them!!

magical lands

As the creative team, myself, emma, rosie and hardeep have tried to create a magical land. Having looked at Chiswick Park, we realised that there was potential to create a human land and a mythical, magical land with a lake seperating them. This idea also came about when we saw the big bridge. It is beautiful and we all immediately wanted to have a character who lived under the bridge. We came up with the idea of someone who guarded the land, and this developed into a magician.

Looking at the development of Milky the Magician, he has gone from being a magician who guards the land, to a clumsy magician, to an old magician, to a forgetful magician and finally to a magician who can't do spells (with a little mixture of all of the rest). I've found it really difficult to not get emotionally attached to the work we have been doing, something that I am constantly told off for doing in our creative team meetings! I find it difficult to forget an idea, but i'm trying really hard to move on!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Alexandra Jr School 'University'

I went to Alexandra Jr School every friday afternoon for five weeks to help run the 'university' workshops. I had six children in my group, and we were the Water Nymph group. Working with the same children every week was amazing because I got to see them progress and gain confidence in sharing their ideas. They also were always able to make my day better because they were excited to see me and carry on the project, wanting to tell me the ideas they had come up with over the week. We shared little jokes within the group and also all had a naturally competitive side, meaning the children were almost always focused on the task we were doing and wanted to make everything as good as they could.

I tried and think I was successful in making the children feel comfortable enough to want to share their ideas or stories with me. I always told them what I was going to do before I did it, for example if I was going to write down what they were saying, or keep what they were drawing so that they felt they had options as well as control over their ideas. I learnt from these workshops that the more you recognise that the children are contributing ideas and recognise that they belong to them (I put their names on their work) then the more they are encouraged to say.

I made sure to keep mentioning that they were part of something big. That the work they were doing was contributing to a big project. They knew that most of their ideas would not clearly be part of the performance but that they were helping to make the play what it is going to be. They understood this and wanted to make the water nymph tribe the best tribe. They were all always full of ideas, and at times I felt it was best to give them all a piece of paper and ask them to put down their idea in as many ways as they could. They drew pictures and notes off them, wrote key words down, wrote short descriptions and put down the key colours. They would be completely engrossed in what they were doing and often I could see that they had so many ideas going through their heads that it was a rush to get all the information down before they forgot it. Seeing this was inspiring and encouraging to me because it was clear that they were enjoying what they were doing and it filled me with ideas to take back to the creative team.

Thursday, 12 February 2009


We just had our second big group meeting, and there was a lot of talk about fundraising.
My brother works on the advertising for o2 and so I did a little research..I found this site:

Basically it's a community fund between o2 and The Conservation Foundation called 'It's your Community' and they give grants for up to £1000. I'm not completely sure whether we are eligible for it but I think it's worth a try. So, Fundraising team, I'll email you with the information too.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Chiswick House

Today the creative team had our first meeting. We discussed a starting point and all felt that going to visit Chiswick House would be the first step. We need to see the location we are working with and hope that on our walk round the gardens tomorrow we will be inspired. I have been looking on the website, and the first pictures I saw looked absolutely beautiful and I'm excited to go and start working there. An added bonus being that The Beatles filmed two music videos there, I will definitely try and find some of the places where they filmed and take lots of pictures like a geek. I hope that tomorrow is sunny, because I can see it being the perfect, uplifting day.

We thought it would be a good idea if we looked around first because then we could share some of our ideas with the rest of the group when we walk round together.

We also decided to do some research on the structure of children's stories, and see if we can find any common sucessful links. Although the structure and writing of the play is quite far in the future we also discussed contacting Jacqueline Wilson, who lives locally, as well as other children's authors and directors of children's shows. This would be to get as much advice possible to make our project sucessful aswell as invaluable experience.