This is the blog post I started writing on Sunday:
I left mild skies behind in London this afternoon, then three hours later I arrived in Paris to grey clouds and torrential rain. It's that nice summer rain though, the kind of rain I could have happily walked through for hours, if only I hadn't been wearing ballet slippers and carrying a heavy bag...
This weekend the Eurostar seemed quicker than usual. No queues at security, arriving with just enough time to buy a coffee before it's time to board and then sleeping through the tunnel on both journeys... waking up on the other side of the sea, trees flashing by and suddenly pulling into the destination city...
At that point I stopped blogging to go out and didn't come home until Monday night. I've felt a bit sinister ever since. Today I feel as if I could happily never go raving again. It's all fun and games until I wake up not knowing what day it is, wondering who that crackhead is in the mirror, wishing I was at my gran's house eating lemon slices and watching Cash in the Attic.
I'm not sure how to begin telling you about my auditions now... They seem like so long ago but I feel like I have to blog about my auditions for Continuity's Sake (I know I always say that when too much time has gone by for me to legitimately blog about something); and for the sake of any desperate drama school applicants out there who may be scanning the internet this very moment (or at some point in the future) for 'first-hand audition experiences'.
Two weekends ago was my LAMDA audition. They weren't as nice as they were at RADA: the students who took our names and sat with us outside the audition room were quite chatty (one of them was actually from Menilmontant in Paris); and the man on my audition panel was smiley enough, although he didn't speak to me; but the lady on my audition panel really threw me off- as soon as I walked in to the space (it was a small black box theatre with tiered seating) she asked me if I had a VISA to work in America, because on my application form it said I was auditioning for the one year post-grad course and this was aimed at American students...
Oops. I applied for LAMDA in a rush and had clearly missed the most important thing- that the one year course was designed for American drama students. The showcase at the end of the year is even held in New York.
The woman was quite old and spoke really slowly, taking breaks between words to blink. I had to concentrate really hard on what she was saying. As I was a bit flustered I said:
"No, but I live in Paris at the moment, perhaps they thought I was French?"
The woman just frowned at me and I could barely believe the words that had come out of my mouth. What was I talking about? (I think because Paris is so full of Americans I subconsciously associated 'American' with 'Paris' and spoke before questioning my reasoning.)
I shook my head- as if to shake my own stupidity off- and tried again:
"Actually I wanted to ask if I could audition for the two year course as well, I know you audition for all courses at the same time."
They said this was fine, then looked at me as if to say 'Get on with it then.'
I pulled a chair into the middle of the room and did my contemporary piece. It was quite a good space to audition in as I could look out at the empty chairs and pretend it was an audience. However, I couldn't help but flick my eyes down to the audition panel, because they were whispering and writing notes, pointing things out on my application form... It was really distracting but I think it happens a lot, I guess I was just lucky that it didn't happen at RADA.
They stopped whispering and looked up when I did my crying bit, then I went downstage to do my Shakespeare piece and they didn't whisper this time, perhaps because I was standing a lot closer. After the audition they told me to go and wait outside where another student would collect me and take me to my interview.
The interview was weird, it was deceptively informal and the woman who interviewed me- an ex-student who now works for the LAMDA admissions department- was quite cold. I don't think I made a very good impression. I'm normally quite confident in interviews, but at LAMDA they didn't ask direct questions, they prompted me gently, but so gently that I didn't take the bait and missed opportunities to sell myself . The next day I kept thinking of things I should have said. Damn it, Janet.
After my interview, I called my mum, who was still in hospital. I was surprised at how sick she sounded, she's never ill. I felt a bit snide being in England and not going to see her, but it just wasn't possible. I told my mum I'd call her when I got on the coach, then I met Beth at Euston (after shaking off a very chatty boy who had been at my audition and had suggested we get the tube together- I felt really mean because he was so young and was just being enthusiastic about life but he was quite posh and annoying) and we went to Lauren and Claire's for tea.
My coach wasn't until 9.30pm, so I had plenty of time to relax. We arrived at Lauren and Claire's at about 6pm and I didn't have to leave until 8.30pm. At first I wanted to leave at 7.30pm but everyone told me I was being ridiculous- Victoria Coach Station was only 25 minutes away and there was no need to check-in an hour early for the crummy coach...
Lauren had roasted a chicken that we ate with salads and lovely bread, then we had cheesecake and put candles on it for Claire's birthday... then all of a sudden it was half eight and I had to leave. I packed my stuff and said my goodbyes, then set off for the station with Beth, who was going to her hotel on the other side of London. I had a horrible feeling that I'd taken quite a long time saying goodbye to everyone, but I didn't want to know what time it was.
We got a bit lost on the way to the tube station, then I had to buy a ticket.
Panic started crawling up my throat, slowly, slowly, itchy red panic...
"It's 9pm." Beth told me when we got on the tube, "And my phone says it will take us twenty five minutes to get to Victoria."
Victoria Coach Station is quite a long walk from Victoria Tube Station.
I couldn't understand why I was in this mess, I was going to miss the coach. I was going to miss my fucking coach, for no reason.
I tried to calm down and think about my options, but it was too late to get the Eurostar and I had to be in the nursery at 9am the next day.
B had told me on the Friday how she'd missed her flight to England the week before and she'd had to splash out on a First Class Eurostar ticket- just listening to her story had made me feel as if I too was going to fuck up somehow. Now I was going to miss my coach, as punishment for exclaiming:
"I can't believe you missed your flight!"
We had to change tubes twice and we ran through both stations. Beth had a big bag with her and she told me to just run away from her when we got to Victoria. I felt sick. We were really lucky with tubes- one pulled in each time we arrived at the platform.
Finally we got to Victoria. I had no idea where I was going but remembered from last time there are signs for the coach station. I followed the signs out onto the street and down the road, then the signs disappeared. I saw a driver standing outside a coach that was parked up, so I asked him for directions and I ran. I was gagging because I was really thirsty and out of breath. I realised I'd left Beth behind but I just had to keep running, I had no idea what time it was.
I got to the coach station and saw that the Megabus going to Paris was still parked up. The bus was full but the driver was stood next to the door, thank you, thank you.
"Have you checked in?" he asked, looking worried.
I shook my head, unable to speak.
"Go and check in, quickly." he said.
Obviously there was a massive scrum of people trying to check in. The people at the desks were yelling out for people going to Paris at 9.30pm, but every time I tried to push in, French people swore at me and said they were on the same coach as me. I felt instantly relieved- if everyone was on the same coach as me, surely it couldn't leave without us?
Then I heard one of the girls on the desk arguing with people who were trying to check in- they were on a Eurolines coach and she was only checking in Megabus people. Thank God I heard her, otherwise I'd probably have waited in line, only to be told I was trying to check in on the wrong coach, idiot.
After quickly checking in, I pegged it back to the coach and ran smack bang into Beth, who had come to see if I'd made the coach. I gave her a quick hug and then ran to my bus. The driver was sitting in his seat, ready to set off. He told me I'd just made it.
Arghhh I'm never doing that again.
On the plus side, I was so happy to have made the coach that I didn't mind the nine hour journey. We arrived in Paris half an hour earlier than expected, meaning I had time to go home and have a shower before work. I felt a bit spaced out in the nursery because I hadn't been able to sleep for long on the coach. It didn't help that the nursery now has its own Snail Farm and the children were taking them out the box and putting the fat snails on their hands and arms. Ergh.
A few days later, I got an email from LAMDA... I wasn't successful.
Now I have to go, or I'll be late for my lesson.