I guess, given how I’m now firmly entrenched in my third year in Southampton and student life, I should no longer be surprised by just how busy things can seemingly get. But then weeks like the past few come along, and it’s difficult to know where to begin!
As I’ve written about previously, recent events have very much seen me performing a juggling act of my (some might say excessive!) love of all the activities and opportunities that the Students’ Union’s Performing Arts department throws at me, in juxtaposition with the knowledge that the Third Year Project (Computer Science equivalent of a dissertation) deadline, formerly ever distant, now lies but two months away. And with plenty left to do, as well. Panic stations!
And yet somehow, as always, things seem to have come together, worked themselves out and, although the sleeping pattern seems to have taken a recent hit (in extremely stereotypical student fashion!), I’ve had an absolute blast.
Things kicked off with intense rehearsals for the Showstoppers’ (the musical theatre society) production of the classic musical Guys and Dolls, which took place at the on-campus Annex Theatre last week – and given its proximity to the last show the society put on, they certainly needed to be intense (although, as ever, fun)!
And although we were worried that it might be difficult to attract student audiences given the presence of mass election fever on campus, we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by full houses on both Friday and Saturday nights – a far cry from what we might’ve expected, and a nice surprise at that! The show itself went very well indeed, receiving a couple of favourable reviews in student and local media, and as ever was a brilliant opportunity to meet, work and have a laugh with a lot of fresh talented members of the society whom I can only hope will go on to do plenty more – crikey, all of a sudden I feel very old!
I loved being involved with Guys and Dolls from the off, and got to meet plenty of wonderful people along the way – thanks to all who granted us the opportunity! (Credit: Oli Crump)
Also in the same week were the aforementioned elections, during which I got behind a fair number of my friends running as candidates – some more seriously than others, it must be said!
It was generally though the usual brilliant showcase of imagination, hilarity, a little bit of controversy along the way to spice things up and, to top it all off, a great night at the Union for Results Night Live, covered with their customary professionalism by the wonderful SUSU Media teams, with SUSUtv (the television station) even providing two simultaneous streams for viewers to flick between – an incredible achievement for any station, let alone an entirely student-based one! Congratulations to all involved.
Once again, Results Night Live was an incredible, professional standard show – just look at the set-up!
But the torrent of events didn’t stop there, as this week saw the beginning – and will see the end – of “TBC”, the Theatre Group’s mysteriously-titled 2014 edition of the annual “Show in a Week” project. With three (or possibly four, as sales are going so well!) performances all taking place on Saturday, and with all proceeds going to the YoungMinds UK charity, a small group of us have been meeting every night this week to hash out a fully-fledged show in just seven days, with lines, cues, costumes and all sorts flying everywhere in the meantime.
It’s been one of the most fun experiences I can recall so far, with my character, codenamed “the Brain” (fingers crossed not overly typecast!), being an absolute joy to play, and the rest of the group consisting of hilarious and welcoming folk who’ve formed a strong team unit. I’ve a good feeling it’ll pull itself together and be entertaining to watch for the audience members who can make it along – well, if we ever somehow manage to learn an hour’s worth of lines between us, anyhow!
Kicking off the same day that Guys and Dolls ended, TBC has certainly filled the potential performance-based hole in my life!
Yet, somehow, all of the above has seemed to, despite initial reservations, balance quite nicely with working towards completing a degree in Software Engineering – against all odds!
The project seems to be making a steady headway towards completion, although Easter may be a busy spell (as previously suspected anyhow!), and I’ve started to feel more confident about the prospect of the hand-in date, despite the ‘to-do’ list seemingly growing every time I go to tick something off.
But best of all, the past few weeks have seen me wake up with a spring in my step every day, with each day offering something new, be it an objective to be accomplished, a rehearsal to be attended, or an assignment to be handed in (probably sooner than I’d like!). Things have been a breath of fresh air, and even some lectures have featured a couple of unexpected courses of events – like asking project groups to determine a ‘random’ limitation in a management simulation game by throwing at a dartboard the lecturer had brought along!
An unorthodox method of teaching perhaps, but it certainly made a point, and we had a great time to boot!
So despite having a packed schedule as ever, and regularly fretting academically (and extra-curricularly!) about the hoards of things that likely need to be done, I know that I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now, to prepare for tomorrow’s list…