I’ve been going to school for 6 months now, and in that time I’ve pretty much seen EVERYTHING. Tears, boobs, tantrums, sex scenes and mental breakdowns. I’ve also witnessed most of my classmates having to get naked for a particular scene, but so far, I’ve managed to avoid it.
In my Greek scene this week, I had to go sans clothes. And it was the most distressing and awkward twenty minutes of my life.
Right, I’m getting a bit intellectual here, go with me; I’m doing a scene from The Bacchae by Euripides, and like most Greek tragedies it’s absolutely mental. The story ends with my Mother, (in the play) ripping my head off after she mistakes me for a bear, (as you do).
In the actual excerpt I’m doing, my character, Pentheus, has to be “seduced” by Dionysus into putting on a dress. (There’s more to it than that, but if you really feel inspired by this, then Google it or something.)
Anyway…halfway through the scene, Dionysus has to remove Pentheus’ toga, and put him in a Greek dress. In our case, my scene partner was taking off my bed sheet toga, and putting me in a slightly different bed sheet toga.
A bed sheet that doubles up as a toga. Handy.
To my horror, I realised pretty early on that in between the removal of my bed sheet toga and the putting on of the other bed sheet toga, I’d be naked. In front of the ENTIRE CLASS.
Panic. Nobody is ready to see what’s under my colourful t-shirts.
And then I find out that Greeks didn’t wear underwear like we have. FURTHER PANIC.
I can’t be showing my Martha to my peers. School doesn’t provide therapy sessions to deal with the aftermath.
So I pulled together all my creative skills and fashioned a loin cloth, (yes, a bloody loin cloth) out of a scarf. GENIUS. At least some of my dignity could be saved now.
My scene partner and I rehearsed at home, practicing the removal of said togas, and I began to get more comfortable with being in the nuddie. Maybe it wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
The day finally came. The day my class was going to see me in an entirely different light. Hold me in pants couldn’t save me now.
The scene began, and I could feel my heart going crazy in my chest. It didn’t help that I’d made a big thing about getting naked to ALL my class, so they were probably all metaphorically bricking it for me as well. The moment came, and my scene partner untied my toga, and it fell to the ground. And there I stood. In my River Island grey scarf/makeshift loincloth. It was short. Like, you could almost see a ball if you were a dwarf, short.
I got dressed up in the new toga, and besides it being so tight that I couldn’t move my arm, it hadn’t been so bad. The ordeal was over. Well, so I thought…
How I think I look in a toga. How I really look in a toga.
Next thing I know, I’m having my tit fondled by my scene partner, under the instruction of my teacher, (I had to feel uncomfortable in the scene, and this was method stuff you see. It’s drama school, accept it). I’m all for fondling usually, but something about the idea of my entire class watching my being forcefully touched up, suddenly got to me. I had this little image flash in my head, that I was in some weird voyeuristic porno. And I started to cry. What a baby.
The tit rubbing had the desired affect though. We did the scene again, and the emotion was much more where it should be, and it almost had an electric feel to it. Yay for pretend rape!
The moral of this long winded story is, drama school is crazy. But at the same time, it’s absolutely thrilling how much you can achieve in a twenty minute session, and how a scene can take on a completely different route to anything you expected. It also made me realise how lucky I am to be amongst a group of people who don’t judge, and let me feel comfortable (enough) to show them all my flabby bits. There isn’t many people that I could do that in front of, in fact, I can think of hardly any. Every day they let me try out new stuff, and make a complete prawn of myself, without telling me not to bother again. And thanks to them, I can learn what works and what doesn’t.
Apparently, boob grabbing works.