The time came when we would perform our safety piece to the rest of the year and it was located in a building that I had not really ever been in prior to the show. The group I had been in was a good one and we had worked hard at this performance, going through it again and again so many times as well as editing our video that we had filmed that showed the story in the background which was fun to make, difficult as hell but fun! So as for this, I felt like it went really well, the process of preparation was a strong one and not much went wrong along the way which is always a must to happen…I know it was only year 1 and you only needed a 40 to pass but that wasn’t enough for me, I always wanted to aim so much higher and do the best that I could at everything
We would be sat on chairs on the stage in front of the crowd and the video would be playing in the background, pausing at the times it needed to and then we would act out our piece for everyone. We would be University students and we would be at a party, prank calling the fire service with false fires and if you’ve ever heard of ‘The boy who cried wolf’ then you’ll probably know where this is going. We get into a real situation but can’t be rescued because the only fire service in the area was out on a false call…sending out the message that it’s extremely dangerous to falsely call the fire service as it can put lives on the line! we got applause for it and I felt like I did all of my bits well and on time…or I hoped so anyway, I bet I made a mistake somewhere!
I felt like that was one of the good times that I enjoyed working in a group! it was a fun, entertaining and educational experience…getting to go to a fire station and learn how people are rescued from damaged cars from accidents and how they pretty much crush them! great day out and it really helped our performance at the end of the day…mainly because the grade we received was a 1st! We must have been doing something correct so yeah, it was a great experience and I had fun doing it…for me, that’s progress…doesn’t mean I enjoy group work any more than I did before…like Superman’s kryptonite weakness, mine is working with other people! I don’t know why…maybe it’s to do with my Autism but other people scare me sometimes, it’s like I fear my opinion will mean jack shit to the ones they come up with so I stay quiet.
After this was done and dusted, it was just normal classes and essays for a while….same old really, not much to write home about. All of this would happen before we would begin work on something brand new, this was towards the end of the first year so it was like a goal mark achievement because it was coming to the end of a year.
We were going to do some work with a theatre company, although I can’t remember what they were called! and spend a week working on the pieces and the other week performing them throughout the Milton Building. As well as this, we would all also be in various groups and perform other pieces as well. I had to write a poem for one show which was fun…well to be honest on the day that we had to have one, I had forgotten to do it and well…quickly wrote it down on a piece of paper on the way into University!
I was afraid that would cost me or something but it was fine but weirdly…a girl…I can’t really remember who she was…asked me for a copy of the poem….and my autograph…so that’s what I gave her! Part of me still can’t quite understand just why she asked me for it at all but I felt quite big-headed afterwards….I had never given my autograph to anyone before, it was awesome, especially since I just kind of just winged it with the poem and spent about 2 minutes on it, same with the story I had in a writing competition…2 things I spent little time on and people really liked them…I wonder what would happen If I spent a lot of time on something?
I remember one moment that I think I will always remember, it was when we were all doing some group activities and were having a lunch break, I was sat with some people eating my lunch when one person randomly tried to guess how old I was, they guessed 18 but when I told them that I was in fact 21, they seemed taken aback by it…like they couldn’t believe it or something…it felt like it was an issue for them or something…perhaps I got the wrong end of the stick or something, it just felt strange to me how they made it out to be a big deal that I looked younger than I actually was…Oh well, you can’t please everyone, can you?
As well as doing that…we would also need to create a character to wander about the building once we were not performing and I had no idea what to go for…a butler perhaps I thought at first, it seemed like it would be a good idea at the time because well, I could just talk in a posh voice and hold doors open for people or something along those lines…as long as I sounded polite and all that then everything would be fine people! I was a first year and had many ideas running through my head at the time. Pretty much, it was going from one performance to another all night long really and it was happening all over the building so it was like all one giant show for people to watch, you probably couldn’t go anywhere without seeing something going on.
However the main performance one was where we split into groups (yey) and took over a part of the building and perform a piece in that area for a certain amount of time so ok, that sounded cool and I was able to get into a group (thank god) man I really hate to do that, I’d rather eat a raw onion and I HATE ONIONS! worst food on the planet for me! the idea for us was to act out being homeless…or at least I think that’s what it was…it was a few years ago!
I do remember sleeping bags for us to sleep in, laying down on the ground on the kind of hard floor, it wasn’t that bad but after a long while, you’d had a sore back and from time to time interacting with one another, say for example, we had an area where we might look for food with our pretend bins or something like that and we would make random noises from time to time and keep doing that over and over again before we would go back to our original positions and start all over. It sounded fun to me and I guess it was easy to remain focused on just your part of the building, even though we had another performance in the classroom next to our corridor where people would be going, they would have to come through our corridor to get to that performance. The decorations made the corridor look really good and I think we even had a trolley to use as well to make if feel more authentic! Every now and then, we would have to leave the area to go and be in another show in one of the studios or be our characters around the building for a while and help out visitors find their way about but a problem was knowing when to return to the corridor and resume the show…not only that but would everyone else make it back in time as well.
It was like a scene that would come alive like a clip of a television show on repeat! when people entered the room or even when no one was there, we would still do it…but one problem that I encountered during this was the heat and I’ll tell you why….we had decorated the corridor to make it look run down and…well it looked like one of those dark alleyways that you’d avoid at all costs…like the one Batman’s parents was shot in! we had bin bags up all over the walls to make it look darker but the problem with that was, it made it that much hotter and when you had sleeping bags and covers to sleep on, it got even hotter so staying in there for a very long time was unbearable at points…I think one of the cast members passed out for a few minutes and I had to shake him awake because he missed his queue to get up, I was quite concerned actually because I had never seen anyone pass out before, I was relieved when he woke up but he acted like nothing had happened but I was hoping that the performances would all go well and that the first year would end on a high!