Acute Observations

I’m not wearing my glasses as I type this – I don’t even know what I’ve done with them, they’re somewhere in my room – so please excuse any spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.

I really don’t have anything to talk about today. I could have a semi-conscious ramble about something (I just woke up from quite a nice nap?) but I don’t have anything to ramble about. So I’m gonna… uhm… make it up? Like I usually do.

Today after school, Steph and I were running the Year 7 and 8’s Drama Club. As Sixth Formers (Ha! We are so cool!) my drama teacher had entrusted us with the special task of running it by ourselves. She usually runs it and we assist but today she couldn’t be there; so it was just us.

We didn’t have a plan.

Our plan was to wing it. My role is mostly to sound like I know what I’m doing; Steph’s role is to get everyone to like us, which I think she does a pretty good job of. Whereas I’m quite good at putting on the front of knowing what I’m talking about. Even though I never do.

Anyway. Our plan was to make it up as we went along. Our teacher had given us a booklet to work from but neither of us had read through it, so we were sorta like, “Ah stuff it, we’ll work from scratch.” She’d also asked us to pick out some particularly promising students to be involved with the school play; so there we were, wondering, “How on earth will we do that if we don’t even know what we’re going to do?” Dezza, Babs and Venus all slunk into the Drama studio behind us, anxious to watch what we were going to do. It kinda goes without saying, I suppose, that even Steph and I were anxious to watch what we were going to do. Because we literally had NO idea.

“Hi guys.” I told the bunch of wide-eyed Year 7 and 8 students, innocently sitting in a circle on the floor of the Drama studio. All whilst munching on an apple. I was LITERALLY munching on an apple whilst talking to them. “Today, it’s just me and Steph running the club. So it should be fun.” They tittered amongst themselves – honestly, I can’t STAND tittering – so I said, “Remember what we said last week. The more you want to get done, the less you need to talk. The more talking you guys do, the less fun we have.” And they all looked sorta terrified but satisfyingly pacified by my words. So I was happy. (I found my glasses by the way; I can’t bear to type any longer without them…)

“Today,” my words were unsure, my brain racing ahead of my mouth (for once), “we are going to do some Improvisation.” And then I felt like I’d hit upon a gold mine. The amount of improvisation games we played in Drama throughout my 6 years of the subject were LIMITLESS! Also, this would be a fantastic way to see who held most promise; improvisation is always fun – and can be funny, when done properly – because you just sort of through everyone into the deep end and see how well they fare. Let’s go along with this, I told myself, as I noticed Dezza’s face light up with amusement. I knew she’d be a great help to me – which she later proved to be. “Who knows what improv is?” I asked the eager young ‘uns, and their hands shot up into the air. I gave a short explanation before telling them that the ENTIRE club (I was working from my mind here, okay, let’s not hate!) today was going to be based around improvisation. They seemed content and blissfully unaware that I was just planning the whole thing on the spot.

“Let’s get to our feet and move around then guys.” So they followed my instructions while I anxiously and frantically racked my brain for a game to play to warm up. Then I glanced upon one that I had used in my AS Drama lesson two weeks ago and I was like YES FANTASTIC. So we did that for about ten minutes, which gave me enough time to figure out the activities for the ACTUAL club.

And Dezza became a useful aide. She rushed to my side to remind me about all those amazing games we played with improv; the park bench game, where you try and get the person on the bench OFF of it, and the game where you just make up random scenarios and characters and switch people in and out of the game.

The Park Bench game was good for a while, but the students quickly got bored, so we switched into the other game; the ‘Scene’ one.

That lasted LITERALLY about half an hour.

It was half an hour of PURE, unadulterated BANTER.

With Tey, Dezza, Babs and Venus as the assisting audience, we actually cried. The Year 7 and 8’s improvisation was actually so fantastic that some of them deserved medals… and others deserved Oscars.

For that half an hour, we laughed, we cried, we sympathised, we gasped; any possible emotional reaction you can imagine, those students evoked within us. Honestly, my stomach hurts so much. (Well, PARTIALLY because of their performances but…)

So, we imagined quite a few scenarios, but I think I shall list my favourite and most memorable ones:

  • A couple being counseled – In which the ‘counselor’ informed the couple that they need to “sort their issues out”, I was unsure if she remembered what her purpose was? Also, there was some innuendo banter going on and I was a bit surprised, for a bunch of 11 and 12 year-olds that they were even thinking of that!
  • A doctor giving some sad news to a family – In which she told the mother not to ‘get tears on the carpet’ and that they needed to ‘pull themselves together’
  • A teenager telling her parents that she was pregnant – I’m pretty sure we all expected something very dramatic, but instead we got something very deadpan, making it quite comedic “Mum. I’m pregnant.” And then later, when she was asked who the father was, she LITERALLY deadpanned again, “I have no idea.”

Of course, we had our favourite students and we thought a select few were absolutely fantastic; I tried to put them in a lot of the scenes, but obviously, I couldn’t look like I was favouring any over the others. But it was amazing. Then at the end, I put them into groups of 3 (intentionally, to see how well they worked in groups other than their friendships one; like, some were SO clingy, oh my goodness! I mean, I know they’re Year 7’s and 8’s but COME ON!) and gave them this instruction:

“You are going to create for me a 1-minute scene, where you have a mother, a daughter and a doctor. Go.”

They had five minutes.

After which, we watched all 6 performances, and I was almost rolling on the floor with laughter. (At some of them; honestly, it was slightly scary, quite frankly, what some of them produced. One performance was particularly morbid and I had to stop it before they kept going because it was just… WHOA.) But they were definitely laugh-worthy mostly, and I couldn’t stifle most of the laughter inside of me, as a result of their performances.

Honestly. If I could, I’d nominate them for Oscars. Clearly, Hollywood is looking in the wrong place.

You’ve got it all wrong, Hollywood. You need to be looking in West London for your next big stars, cos they’re right here.

Anyway, I think that’s enough from me.

Love to Squad and Lawly (look, a specific mention!) and I’m off guys.

Love Empress Rianna

Crown

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