Back in March I completed both my Studio Photography Class, and my Acting I class. I had entered the photography class with excitement and the Acting with trepidation – so can you guess which one I enjoyed the most and was thoroughly saddened about coming to an end? That’s right, ACTING class.
On the last day of the Studio class the teacher brought out a Hasselblad H3D, a camera so spendy that a used one will set you back about £7K. I really should have geeked out and stayed to play, but truthfully I felt disinterest and preferred to take my ass home early.
Six weeks later I went back to pickup my portfolio, and there weren’t any comments or anything on it. Throughout the class I’d felt I would have been pissed had I paid tuition, but seeing as it was free I really couldn’t (shouldn’t) complain too much. I do feel that a structured curriculum would have been better, but at the end of the day I did learn and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing in the studio.
Conversely, the last day of Acting class was spent performing our monologues. I was the last to go and though I stumbled a bit on one line, for days after the damn thing kept running through my mind. Heh. The teacher asked everyone else to redo their monologue a different way, trying it this way and that, but when it came to mine she said “Great. You don’t have to do it again. Unless you want to.” I was afraid to ask if that meant it was good or bad.
[Recently I received my homework packet back with my grade and teacher assessment. She wrote: Gertie was such a pleasure to have in class. Her work in her Crucible scene and her monologue were especially strong and demonstrated her intuitiveness, sensitivity and intelligence as an actor, and a person in general. Her observations in discussions in class wer always insightful and appreciated.
How awesome is that!?]
Most of us went to the pub afterwards, and my classmates told me I was good. They were all taking Acting 2 and I said I would see if I could get into the class with them. I was so sad to leave, but the subway was closing and I wasn’t up to facing a long cold walk home alone in the dark so I had to go.
I did find out that because I was unemployed, I would only have to pay £24 to get into the class (damn, I could have been taking classes this whole time!) but unfortunately my finances are extremely dire and there was absolutely no way I could come up with that money. And, well, combining that disappointment with not getting that job I had REALLY wanted nor the one I didn’t want either, friends disappearing and all but two people forgetting my birthday, plus a few more life things happening at the same time and I finally stopped fighting and allowed myself to sink into the oblivion of depression.
I’ve been pretty much confined to bed up until a couple weeks ago when I started to try and recover(?), I guess. I attended a couple of CBT sessions offered by the work programme and we pretty much determined there wasn’t a goddamn thing I could do as my situation was predicated on me not having a job.
Not working means no money. No money means no food (I get one meal a day). No food means I can’t exercise. No exercise means flagging health and mood. My depressed state and feelings of shame and hopelessness didn’t make me very good company, so I pretty much disengaged from everyone and everything. To say my self-esteem has taken a beating is putting it mildly.
I went to the first session, intent on discussing things rationally, then felt like an idiot as instead I found myself sitting there with hot tears uncontrollably pouring down my face. For a woman who’s not a therapist, she did a good job of not freaking out on me and just waited until I was ready to set about looking at my situation.
Identifying the areas that I COULD control has helped. I’ve since gone out a couple times to meet friends, started back volunteering at the women’s centre, skyped with my sisters, cut my hair, started going to bookclub again, cleaned the flat, and even (finally) took the camera out for the first time since March.
It’s a start.