T-Minus Ten: My Final Days in the US

Chase Wheaton-Werle
September 3, 2013

As I write this, pouting over the difficulties of getting a ticket to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Richard II this late in the game, I have time to ponder the many firsts that this coming semester marks for me. Like the first time I’ve ever set foot outside of the country. And the first time I’ve flown on a plane by myself. And the first time I’ll be making all of my own meals (that’s right, I’m going to be getting very familiar with the nearby Tesco’s selection of microwave soups).

In fact, since schools in England tend to start so much later than in America, I have time to do a lot of things. Such as Google map walking tours or hunching over my Lonely Planet Travel Guide or  starting a packing list followed by a brief  stress-out nap. During the couple extra weeks of summer available to me, I’ve tried to use that generous amount of time responsibly to prep myself for going to London. Assembling my fat stack of papers for airport security, going over the arrival information and all that. And yet for all of the work I’ve put into getting myself prepared for going abroad, I don’t quite feel prepared mentally. Just like how it’s difficult for the mind to process the size of the universe, it’s difficult for mine to process that by this time two weeks from now I will be in the city I’ve dreamed of seeing since I was a child. And it probably won’t sink in until I’m zipping up my suitcase on the day of my flight. It may not even sink in until I’m on the plane itself! I’ll be reading the little plane brochure two hours into the flight and then I’ll suddenly flip out and turn to the unlucky person sitting next to me and say, “Oh my god! I’m going to London! I’m actually going to London!”

As a musical theatre major, I can’t think of any other place I’d rather study than the theatre capital of the world, and to  get a taste of the kind of training that has produced the many British actors I adore. And Mountview Academy of the Theatre Arts, as I understand it, is going to give me a veritable buffet of tastes. From 8:30 am to 7:30 pm I’ll be taking classes like Actor and Text, Dance and Movement, Ballet Barre, Music Theory, Jazz Dance, Tap, Voice Lessons, etc. Morning to evening, hardcore, leave-you-wiped-out-on-the-tube-ride-home training. Am I nervous? A little. Am I excited? A lot! Even if I’m still mentally processing the whole thing.

It doesn’t feel like ten days. Even as I puzzle over arranging my four or five dance shoes in my suitcase or as I fiddle with my fancy British pound notes or as I study the London tube map. All I can say is, I apologize in advance to the person sitting next to me on that flight.


Chase Wheaton-Werle

<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&#39;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&#39;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&#39;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>

2013 Fall
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