The End Of An Era
I experienced an odd feeling today. A numb feeling; lost even. I suddenly was very aware that nothing is certain anymore.
As I walked into the dressing room at the end of our final graduating Showcase at the Criterion Theatre, today, I couldn’t help but feel a loss. A loss for the last three years of my life. My three years in the drama school that I had dreamed about going to as a young teenager. The three years of my life that have built me and destroyed me, that have had many a wonderful moment and many a bittersweet, the place where I had the chance to enjoy three years of training with like-minded, ambitious, talented people. Those three years, that I couldn’t see life past, are now over. Three years gone in the blink of an eye.
I can ask myself ‘where did it go?’ but I know where it went. It went in laughter, in tears, in success, in loss, in holidays, in essays, in stress, in relief, in bruises, in aches from the ‘first day back’, in friends, in family, in hard truths and in unwavering determination (not to mention in five hundred-twenty five thousand-six hundred minutes…had to be done). And that’s across the board of the year group. Everybody has been on a rocky journey that has led us to where we are today.
Today we finished our final Showcase, which means we have finished our course (except the few who have written dissertations). We now have no more rehearsals and performances to work towards. The next time we will all perform together is on our Graduation day in September.
When we perform at Graduation we will all be different. We will have had a few months away, some people will have gone straight into professional work, some will have moved home and some (like myself) will be working temp jobs to keep us afloat in London between auditions. We will all be slightly different people with different worries and be official professional actors, rather than the fresh-faced newbies that stood on the Criterion stage this afternoon. I couldn’t help but feel teary as we sung our final song from ‘Candide’ in million-part harmony and stood as a unit in our purest form; not moving but standing together, side by side and declaring the journey we are about to embark on.
I have no doubts that the people I have been fortunate to train with are all going to be successful. My hope for the future is that we all remain the optimistic, hopeful, kind, thoughtful, friendly, hard working individuals that have gone through three years together. I hope that no matter how successful anyone becomes we will all remain modest, never get ‘too big for our boots’ and always remember where we came from. These past three years have shaped us all and it would be a crying shame to forget all we have learnt along the way.
Now that my three years are up I will admit I am scared. Whilst there is a plan whilst in training and education, once out in the world there is no plan. There are no guarantees and I am nervous as to where the rest of my life will lead, but life is an adventure and we have to embrace it while we can. No regrets, class of 2014. Let’s have no regrets.
It seems fitting that I should be sat in my sick bed writing this whilst the rest of my year are out celebrating. I spent my first week of GSA ill I may as well let it come full circle and be ill on my last week too (I say, as I sip hot Beechams from my ‘FML’ mug).
It’s been a pleasure Class of 2014 – here’s to a bright future!
“We’re neither pure, nor wise, nor good, we’ll do the best we know. We’ll build our house and chop our wood and make our garden grow.”