The Acting Journey Begins

Today marks the official first day of European Theatre Arts Training and boy was it a long one. 9:30 start where Thomas (one of our instructors) spent 30 minutes directing us in silence using only mime. This was then followed by a sequence of games and activities involved in showing us how to use the space, such as pushing and pulling eachother, walking in poses, filling spaces etc. For 3 hours. This was then followed by a 2 hour voice session mainly concerning relaxing and speaking about our main concerns in our voices. Admitting to my insecurities was quite liberating as I was definitely not alone, so many people felt uncomfortable with their voice and yet we all supported eachother in proper ETA fashion.

I feel so comfortable with the group I’m in, it’s almost unreal. Before sessions my body tenses in anticipation about ‘what if I fail?’ Or ‘what if I look stupid in front of everyone?’ Yet that all melts away. In the rehearsal room I don’t think during activities, I concentrate on my body purely. I never thought that would be possible when most of the time I’m concerned about everything, like how I am in social situations, how people perceive me etc etc. This year is for my failure and learning because how can you learn if you don’t mess up? Already my grammar school mind is changing and adapting and I love it.

Only a week on and I feel like a different person, someone who can do a full course and live independently. Only 4 years ago all I thought about was my life ending, of hopelessness and no future. Now I feel the present and love the moment, I have a long way to go and a lot of demons to piss on but I also have time. Luckily this course also offers a lot of reflective thinking which I think is key for me. Learning isn’t taking notes and listening, it’s feeling and observing, it’s taking action. I might not be ready to let go of my medication yet (or handle the withdrawal) but I am starting to feel a sense of belonging here, no matter what mental disorder I have. And that’s beautiful.

Have a good day all,




My name is Gabby McLean and I am currently studying European Theatre Arts at the Rose Bruford School of Performance. Throughout my life I have struggled with anxiety and depression which is something many of us actors have, but in making this blog I want to entertain and serve to people regardless of your mental illness you can follow your dreams.

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