Zebra Tales
2018-19
Julien '19

Summer of Drama

This summer I did a four-week drama program at NYU Tisch, where I studied the Meisner technique of acting. It was one of the most rigorous, inspiring, and rewarding experiences of my life. We had class every weekday, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., except on Tuesdays and Thursdays when we would go until 9:30 p.m. My very first class on Monday morning was in Suzuki, an intense form of movement. We were all a little nervous for this class in particular, as one of our TAs had told us that when she did it with her class for the first time, one student threw up and passed out. Welcome to drama school.
As it turned out, Suzuki was one of the most interesting classes to me. It taught me to use my body in completely new ways. Other classes we took were Voice/Speech, Clown/Comedy, and Williamson (another form of movement that involved twenty-minute ab workouts! Ah sports!) Every afternoon, however, we had three hours of acting with our main teacher. Now, I had heard many horror stories about acting conservatories. Teachers were known to be bitter, scary, and mean. This was not the case for my queen, Karen.

Our first day of acting class we all sat in the room full of anticipation, excitement, and a lot of sweat. When Karen walked in, there were no introductions. She simply started with the famous Meisner repetition technique, in which you continuously repeat what your partner says but listening and responding. Don’t worry, unlike some of my peers, I didn’t get it either. Needless to say, we were terrified. She soon broke the ice, however, and by the end of the four weeks our group was like a family. That was perhaps, as cliché as it sounds, the best part of the program: the people. From the faculty to the students, everyone I met was incredibly talented, dedicated, intelligent, and caring. I feel really lucky to have met such wonderful human beings.

One of the best parts of the program was being in New York. There is always something to do (unfortunately, for my homework). We lived in the heart of Greenwich Village, just off Washington Square Park. One of my best friends at Groton, Karla, also did the program with me, though she was studying film. I can’t tell you how many times she and I just looked at each other and marveled at the fact that we were in New York doing exactly what we loved. Perhaps my favorite memory was on our first night. Karla’s program kept her very busy, so one of the only nights off that we both had was the very first. We decided that we would head to Brooklyn to see our other friend, Sandra! We had been dreaming of going for a long time, thanks to TV shows and foodie Instagrams. Boy oh boy, was it amazing. We got some fancy burgers and then walked around eating artisan ice cream. It was like a Pinterest board come to life.

It was wonderful getting to explore and fully enjoy the city. Of course, a month isn’t enough to really do everything, but I’m not going to lieI did a lot. I went to the MET, walked around Central Park, saw eleven (!) Broadway shows (my favorite being Once on this Island)went in the Washington Square fountain, and even met a few celebrities. Not to name any names but one of them rhymes with Pen Shtiller. It was really an amazing experience. I am now home in France with my family, winding down before we start senior year!
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