My final day of classes ended last Friday. It was a profound, bittersweet moment. Don’t get me wrong, though, there’s still work to be done. We have a performance project to rehearse and put up this coming Friday, and then a Christmas concert on the 13th to rehearse for. But no more classes, no more tap dance, no more voice lessons, no more acting class… if I keep going, I’ll start getting emotional.
But reflecting on my time at Mountview, I think I’ve gained a good idea of what it takes to be a student here (at least, I should hope so after three months of it). And on the extremely slim chance that somewhere among the few people who read this, one or two may be theatre students also considering studying abroad at Mountview, this entry will lay out the important things to know.
First off, where a lot of universities have classes twice or three times a week, Mountview classes happen just once a week. One Jazz Dance a week, one Acting Through Song class a week, every single class once a week. So unless you have a memory to rival your own iPad, get used to writing stuff down. A lot. Because you’ll have to retain things that were taught a week ago in order to make any kind of progress in class.
On that note, in one term, there are four weeks of class leading to a two week “reading period.” Followed by another four weeks and another two week “reading period.” And then you’re done. Meaning there are just eight of each class total! Eight Music Theory classes, eight Actor and Text classes… You get the idea. So with that in mind, and considering the money you’re paying to go to here… even thinking about skipping out on a single day of classes is at the top of the list of stupid things to do, right next to discussing American politics in a pub, or thinking that “England” and “the UK” are interchangeable terms. Just go to class, seriously, even if you’re sick. You’ll gain far more from a day in class than from any day off.
When packing, don’t bother bringing many clothes. Five days out of seven, you’ll be wearing all blacks. And the rest of your clothes will be sitting in your closet till the weekend. Honestly, save the suitcase space for souvenirs.
Written work is extremely minimal. You’re graded almost entirely out of your performance in class and your progress throughout the term. And reports aren’t written until the end. So without that feedback, it’s admittedly difficult to determine where you stand grade-wise in the middle of the term. But there’s no reason any teacher wouldn’t tell you what to improve on if you genuinely ask for feedback.
That being said, you can also expect a great time working talented students and brilliant teachers every day. So take advantage of all classes and the eight times you have them.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Chase Wheaton-Werle. I'm a musical theatre major from the University of Tulsa. Outside of my major, I enjoy creative writing and poetry. In the fall of 2013 I'm attending Mountview Academy for the Theatre Arts. This will be my first experience out of the country, and as someone with a passion for theatre and British culture, I couldn't ask for a better destination. I hope this blog can provide not only some insight to the intensive curriculum of an actor in the theatre center of the world, but also some good chuckles.</span></p>