Love Drama – I Don’t Want to Go. By Calum Johnston, 17.

I love this group, and if you are a parent and reading this thinking “would my child like this?” then book them on this course ASAP. Cause everyone in that group are wonderful, full of energy and welcoming.

Calum Johnston on the Love Drama Friday Classes in Musselburgh, East Lothian.

My last day was something that I will never forget. The people at Love Drama are the ones who made my dream become a reality. I may be milking it in and making myself more upset, but so many people went to so many measures to make my last day special. And that made me feel happy. Cause in truth no one has ever done that for me before. And for some it was just an ordinary day, even for me, cause it wasn’t anything like a birthday or Christmas or a “well done on failing your exams” day as I usually get. No. November 29th was the day I felt loved by people who I share the same passion as me. The day where “I didn’t want to go”.

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Well, first off I went into the building to go to the back room as I would do. However, I was greeted by the hands of Elliot who pushed me to the ground, shut the door and said “Calum….how was your day?”. This just made me laugh so much cause it was a great attempt to try and make sure I never entered the room. I was then forced back outside by Denise, knowing then they were clearly up to something. As I was freezing outside, I saw the spot that me, Josh and Sunny had done the the five minute theatre piece on Facebook and it made me think a lot. That in this small building, I had achieved so much. Because of what we did in this small room, I had performed in Glasgow and had a master class in my “favourite” city, Newcastle. It brought a smile to my face which I rarely lost that night. Rosie came out to talk to me and after a while, Kirsten dragged me in to help out with the younger class. It was a good start as now I will be helping out at camps and possibly younger classes (maybe even take the improv class one week *wink wink Kirsten). But it was great seeing the future of this organisation take to the stage and show what they have been learning. It also was sad to see “Mini Calum” James (he’s as crazy as me) saying goodbye to me. I told him I would be back, much to his excitement. Then the final 2 hours were here.

I was fortunate enough for Kirsten to allow me to take the warm-up, which was one of my most favourite games, Bang!. The whole group knew it as several things but we stuck to my way. Lois won the first round before there was a chorus of encores asking to do it again. So we were about to do it before everyone started cheering. And I turned round to see Josh with his traditional swagger, business looking jacket and the smell of cologne walk in. If no ones knows, me and Josh have been friends for around a decade and he used to be in the group until the summer. Myself and him were in a lot of scenes together and had our own part as the Extreme Social Service, so seeing him back to see me off was very nice. The second round was a tie between Lauren and Kate and we eventually moved on to teaching some of the newer people some of the older games which they haven’t be taught. I was part of the group who did Celebrity Cafe, which was a joy teaching and participating in. After a tea break, where we had tea, obviously, myself and Hannah, who was also leaving, were in for something special.

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We sat down on two chairs on the stage and waited……and waited……and waited before eventually half the group came out with two massive pieces of cards and gifts. It all first off came as a shock because of the effort they had went to to get these gifts and make the card. The second shock was what the gifts actually were. One was a hardhat signed by everyone e. The reason behind it being that because I fall over they don’t want me to hurt my head as much, which I was happy about. Then they had got me a box full of tea bags. 280 to be exact. The reason behind this being my addiction for tea when I had 7 cups on our trip to Glasgow and 2 cups on the Newcastle trip. Then I also got a massive card where everyone had wrote a message on, each one having the same, amazing value to me. I wanted to speak to everyone individually, but I never got the chance. Read on for that. We took pictures and we did speeches and got our t-shirts. Mine had CHAD on the front and on the back it said “CHAD SLAZENEGER, FALLING OVER SINCE 2007” which was awkward cause I killed off the character later that night during the final episode of The Chant, which eventually turned out to be a prank on Hamish from the new series of Punk’d hosted by Chad, who falls to the ground, suspected to be dead at the end, but we will never know. Then, it was getting close to the end, not before one more alphabet game with Hamish. This one was different as we started at A, went to Z, then back to A. We did mess up at points but finished it and bowed out to a standing ovation. The night was then over.

I hugged everyone and was getting ready to go before I was stuck watching the hit musical from Drama Camp 2010, “Grannies On The Run” performed by Rachel, Denise, Adam and Hannah. It was amazing and made me regret not going to camps when I was younger. Then, I spent an hour with Adam, Denise, Rosie and Lois after we were meant to have left just talking to each other and crying, well not me as much! But I did walk round the building one last time, fell over one last time and played that retched piano one last time. Denise, Rosie and Lois were crying a lot and as I was comforting them, it made me realise my role in the group a lot more and the responsibility I hold as the oldest. From what other people said, I’m guessing I was like the eldest brother of the group, which I took to heart a lot. Soon, I left the room, for the last time as a student, which finally made me cry a bit.

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Now for the sappy part, for which if you read an earlier blog I mocked Sunny for doing when he came back. I love this group, and if you are a parent and reading this thinking “would my child like this?” then book them on this course ASAP. Cause everyone in that group are wonderful, full of energy and welcoming. They claim the group won’t be the same, but that’s good. Because without change you can’t progress and further develop. I hope that my departure makes the group become stronger, better and even closer than before and that anyone who does join the class becomes immediately accept as one of us. I’ve seen how some people have just settled in so quickly having only joined not that long ago and it seems like they have been here for ages! That’s what happens I guess when you get old.

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But now to the group themselves. In one word, how would I describe it? Unbelievable. Being with them and getting to know everyone was fantastic as you realise that we are all different but we are united by one love; drama. It’s such a special bond that we have and it makes every scene or trip that we do that extra bit special. Believe me, it’s been around 27 hours, at writing this, since I officially left, and I regret it. I regret leaving cause now I can’t do my usual of coming down and seeing all the cherry faces making up stuff as we go along. Even as I write this now, I’m struggling cause I just think of every great moment that has happened on the Fridays. So now, as I never got the opportunity to, I have some personal messages to everyone:

Imogen – great improviser. I know you are a dancer, so this is great for you if you chose to do either acting or dancing as a life, cause you have that advantage over everyone else for being able to do both. Thank you for being there for my time I wish you well for the future!

Darcy – at points quiet, but that’s all forgotten by the great talent you show when performing. Been a pleasure working with you and I hope for the best for you!

Angus – I will never forget your Celebrity Cafe when you were talking about the North Korean leader. I was in tears and stitches that night! It’s been great and I will see you round school.

Laurie – By far, the funniest young talent in the group. No one knows what is going to happen next when you are on stage! Such a great guy and I’ll see you round school as well.

Noah – Somehow most of your scenes involved death or violence. I remember we did a scene which involved a robbery in a hairdressers and I died somehow. Anyway, you’re a sound guy and you live down the road from me, so I’ll see you soon.

Lauren – You’ve made me laugh so many times and I’m glad I’ve met you. I know of your future plans, but stay on at school! You could be head girl! It’s been a pleasure to work with and good luck in your future endeavors.

Adam – I have known you since the days of M.A.M.A. Don’t know if you remember anything back then, cause I don’t! Always enjoy watching you perform and I’m glad you were in the group to share all the fun and joy.

Rosie – Rosie thank you so much for the tea bags. I’m working my way through them. You’ve been very supportive of me throughout my time here, and in return I have tried to do the same. I hope it has worked! Thanks for everything and I’ll see you soon!

Lois – it’s a shame we never did the part in the truth about youth video where we read the IKEA magazine. But at least we can say we liked those cupboards! Thanks for all the laughter you have give us, it’s been an honour.

Rachel – ah the last that remains of the old West Holmes Gardens group. One of my oldest friends, I’m glad that I was able to be performing with you and further our friendship which has lasted such a long time. Thanks for everything :)

Hannah – the fellow leaver. You have great talent and I hope you further in a profession you’re good at, cause you will steal the show! Enjoy retirement! Hopefully better than I’m taking it.

Gabriel – one of the whovians. I’m glad to have met you and had these great conversations about doctor who with. Stay in contact mate, cause I want to get to know you more, due to how short our time was.

Elliot – the other whovian. Same goes to you as your brother cause I never fully got to know you as well so please stay in touch, and I’ll speak more if I come back.

Kate – small but very strong. You gave me a fright on my last day cause I thought you had hurt yourself and you were acting. God it was creepy. Thanks for being here in such the small time we were both in the same group and I hope you become a prominent member of the team

Emma M – amazing singer. You have a bright future ahead of you. Well done in Edinburgh’s got talent and thanks for the joy you have brought to the group, it’s been an honour to be around the presence of what could be the next big star.

Emma G – it’s been fun to work with you cause you bring both professionalism and fun to your performance. It’s been great fun and I hope to see you around

James – the unsung hero of the group I think. Wonderful, humble guy you are and people underestimate you I think. You are an awesome guy and I’ve been glad to have worked with you during my time. Thank you for being such an wonderful man!

Ellie – I’ve not known you for long, but it’s great to see the enthusiasm that you bring and showing you want to make your mark. Hopefully your future in the group is very bright.

Taildah – not know you for as long as well but you look like an amazing girl with a bright mind and I’m pleased you are in the group. Hope for the best from you.

Denise – oh Denise. You remind me of a younger, female version of me. Passionate, loyal and above all else, a Juventus fan. I’m joking, it’s been truly wonderful performing with you, we have had great laughs and I hope we meet again soon, perhaps yourself, me, Lois and Sunny for a nice game of invisible tennis?

Hamish – my alphabet brother. You are such a lovely guy. The change from when you perform to when you don’t is unbelievable and some of the things you have said have had me in stitches and uncontrollable laughing fits. It’s been a treasure working with you and I hope we can do the alphabet game sometime soon.

Of course I can’t forget Kirsten. The mother of the group. Without her, this would have never been. Thank you for everything you have done for me Kirsten and I’m glad to have been part of the best improv group you can ever find.

I’ve rambled on for long enough. Leaving love drama has made me treasure the friendships I have with these people. Some more than others but all still at the same time thanks to two simple words. These words are Love Drama. And believe me I do. As William Hartnell aid, and as I have said before “One day I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxiety, just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.”

However remember this quote I just made up; I never say goodbye, because I see goodbye as I will never see you again. I will see you again, when? I don’t know. Where? I don’t know? But watch out for me. Because I never left. Because I don’t want to go.

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