Thursday, 20 September 2012

Teaching and Planning and Acting

It's not even 9.30am and I'm out of bed. Also, my room is tidy! I feel so accomplished and productive. Mainly it was panic that drove me from the warmth of my bed, I heard my phone go and unfortunately it was a text message from the au pair mum, telling me to come an hour early today, meaning I can't go to one of my new 'private tuition' jobs. I thought about telling the mum I can't, but part of the reason I get paid so well (well, I get paid alright) for for doing so little hours is on the understanding that I'm flexible. Seeing as I can't touch my toes, I suppose I better make myself more available.

Yesterday I had my first lesson with these two little girls I'm going to teach. It was terrifying, the mum is paying me 30 euros an hour and Annabelle has told her 'all about me' I suppose. I prepared loads of stuff to print off and then, obviously, I decided to go to the print shop on my way to the lesson, but the metro fucked up, meaning I had to go a different route. I decided to go straight to the lesson, because I had a funny feeling I'd get a little bit lost...

As it happens, I arrived half an hour early, so walked around the block a few times, thinking stupidly that there might be a print shop just waiting to reveal itself like the stable in the Navity Story. And... there was! I swear there was a beam of light shining directly onto the shop front. I ran in and asked if they let people print things from the internet- it looked like one of those shops that prints leaflets and flyers- and they did! But I had no cash and you couldn't pay by card. I walked around the block again, looking for a cash machine, thinking that surely it was Meant To Be and that I would find a cash machine... and then one appeared in the wall. Literally, appeared, I saw the bricks move around before my eyes, making a huge hole and behind was the entrance to a cobbled street... Hold on. No. I'm thinking of Harry Potter, aren't I?

Probably the cash machine had always been there, but it was use to me because it only gave out twenty euros notes and I have the fantastical sum of exactly fourteen euros in mine.

I went to the lesson empty-handed, with a hand-scrawled lesson plan and the children's book that Lauren and Claire got me for my birthday last year.

First I had the eight year old girl and her friend, I got them to make a family tree and to talk about themselves. The hardest part is giving them instructions, because I really I should talk to them in French, but my mind went completely blank and I couldn't think of one simple thing to say in French. The mum told me they were doing 'Body Parts'' at school, so we sang Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and I taught them the Okie Kokie.

Then I had the five year old sister for half an hour. We drew her face, her mum's and then her dad's (she stopped drawing the bodies because she saw that I'd only drawn the heads, because I always start with the heads and I couldn't explain that I was just getting all the heads down so she knew how many I wanted her to draw) and then I labelled them for her- Me, Mummy, Daddy. She repeated all the words after me.

"Great! Bravo!" I said.

Then there was an awkward pause, so I got out the children's book and read it to her. She must have had no idea what I was talking about, because it's quite long and the language is quite difficult, but I decided that if the mum asked me what I was doing, I'd tell her that it was just good for the five year old to hear English. I got her to point out 'mummy' 'daddy' and 'cat' though (it was about cats), so I don't think it looked completely random.

After my beautiful Dramatic Reading, we did Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and played a game where I said a body part and she had to touch it. The last few times we did the song, she was singing all the words herself. I think that's a good goal to have achieved... right?

Later I'm going to go and print off loads of worksheets and activities, so the next few lessons will be more structured.

I was quite looking forward to my lesson later on, but I told the mother and she said she understands. Hopefully next week will be fine. Eeek. I hope so.

Sometimes I wish this year I'd just sorted out a house share, so I was free at all times of the day for teaching jobs, but I don't think there's anyway I could afford to pay rent. I could fill my 'rooms' with books and tea sets, like Brian Roberts in Cabaret. Oh, but I don't want to be Brian. I want to be Liza Minnelli's character! I want to wear silk stockings and do jazz hands!

The pressure is on now to organise something for next year. I've decided to apply for drama school, which I know of my friends and family will think is mad because I already did a three-year Drama degree, but that was different. I want to be trained as an actor and I want to go to one of the best places to do it. RADA, Guildhall, Central or LAMDA.

I'm really not sure if I've got any chance of getting in, but I need to try. Recently I've learnt that you don't know how much time you've got, so why not spend your life doing exactly what you want to do? And if I do live to be one hundred years old, I don't want to regret not going to drama school and not giving the acting thing a go. I don't want to be bitter and miserable, wishing I'd tried. Wishing my life hadn't turned out the way it had.

On Saturday it was CC's birthday (who will hence forth will be known as Cece because I don't like having initials littered everywhere) and a lot of his friends who came over are actors. Talking to them about it convinced me even more that I should apply for drama school. The only problem is now that I have to do my C.V and Personal Statement and stuff.... blergh.

Anyway, I will tell you about Cece's birthday in another post. 'It was such fun, such fun!' Ah, now I really want to watch Miranda. Any American girls reading who like British humour, look for Miranda Hart on Youtube. In fact, why don't I just look for you now...

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