My Love Drama Leaving Blog by Calum Johnston, 17
The skills that I have learned throughout the terms and the people that I have met will stay with me and remain long in my memory till the day I die I would say.Calum Johnston on his time at Love Drama
Since I came to the Love Drama classes on a Friday, my life has changed for the better. The skills that I have learned throughout the terms and the people that I have met will stay with me and remain long in my memory till the day I die I would say. I have performed with a whole range of people with different interests; cyclists, rugby players, major doctor who fans, dancers, animators, cello players, literally the list is endless. But we all came to that one room on a Friday night, putting everything else aside, with the ambition to perform and make ourselves and the audiences we entertained laugh their heads off (figuratively). And I will say…….it worked instantly.
I have known Kirsten since 2007 when she was my drama teacher at the Brunton Youth Theatre, and I remember her adverts for her own independent drama camps during the holiday breaks. I was unable to attend any of them due to prior family commitments but as I had heard from the friends that went, they were very successful. Sadly Kirsten left in 2010 and I rarely spoke throughout 2011 to her. Then, in February 2012, my friend Sunny told me about this taster session that Kirsten was hosting on a Friday evening for free to try out an improvisation class. From the first minute I loved it. It gave me something that I rarely got to do at the Brunton and that was have more freedom in what I was doing. I have little memory of what we did on that day but it was great to see these people, most of whom I had never met before in my life, and work with them. Little did I know of some of he friendships I would gain to this day. The first term was a huge success and the show we did at the end of term was a massive achievement in where we had got from in February to the end of June, on a day surrounded by the lightning and thunder that happened in the afternoon.
With that came a huge task for most of us. The National Theatre of Scotland’s Five Minute Theatre. I was not featured in the first one that we did as a group as I had a Maths exam the following day which was upsetting for myself. Not for the rest of the group though as they completed a very impressive sketch that we made out of a game called “park bench”. To watch that video CLICK HERE. From what I saw, I could tell that this group were going places, clearly if we just went national on a live stream to the whole of Scotland. That was in May, and quickly in June there was another 5MT which I could take part in this time. So on a sunny June day, myself, Sunny and Josh made our piece called “Facebook: A Problem or Not” where we rambled on like old men, as Sunny put it, about Facebook for five minutes. This is where I forgot my lines, and for that one moment I had broke one of the rules of acting. Sunny made a very witty remark later on and we had made a very funny and persuasive clip, even I think changing a guys opinion at one point. To watch that video CLICK HERE!
But what was even more impressive was that later in July, we were asked to perform at the Truth About Youth event in Glasgow! My prediction was right and soon we were going to go on our first ever trip as a team! Sadly some people were unable to attend, including Sunny, so me and Josh made a two man edition of the Facebook sketch, which worked very well and was very popular when we were in Glasgow. The day itself was an enjoyable experience and I was falling in love with Love Drama even more, mainly as I managed to do more in seven months at LD than I did in 7 years at the Brunton! These events on the day led to a big event in June 2013, but that’s coming soon. To watch the group being interviewed about this experience CLICK HERE.
The next term went by, and soon Sunny left, leaving just me and Josh in our old group, but we included a third musketeer as to say in Hamish, whom I have grown a good friendship with which even expanded further as Josh left in June 2013. We learned more skills as the group went on and learned the magical art of the Improvised Soap in late 2012/early2013 even leading to a show on the game, which I had the honour of co-hosting with Lois and Rosie. The game itself is very hard so I was impressed that as a group we overcame this and made a very professional job of it. This then led to what was an unexpected event as we recorded a song called “The Truth About Youth” for YoungScot written by LD veteran Katie Fegan, who is a wonderful lyric writer and impressed me with her ability to write such a brilliant song. The song was very moving in my case as I know a lot about the whole problem that we as the youth of today get from the typical stereotypes set out by the media. The video was a good argument to show that we aren’t really like what they say. To watch this music video CLICK HERE. Knowing now that Katie had left and that had therefore left me as the oldest student in the group, it wasn’t a nice feeling knowing that I would be the next to leave.
For my final term, I wasn’t at the first lesson due to a Duke Of Edinburgh commitments. I came back to find fresh faces willing to make an impact, and all the usual old faces returning as well. In my opinion, this term (September to November 2013) has been my favourite. This was solely down to a trip to below the border as we went to the land of the Geordies and had an improv master class in Newcastle. This was a very enjoyable experience, apart for fear of my life as Hamish desperately wanted to join some drunk Scots at the station in singing Flower of Scotland. The teachers were incredibly knowledgeable and made us leave with a lot more skills and techniques to take back to Musselburgh with. My final term has also been filled up with a show that myself and Hamish, along with other members of the group, take part in called “The Chant”. It was such a silly idea that has just taken off and become a funny part of the night. Mostly, it has made this term more memorable.
Overall, my experience with the Love Drama Improv Academy has been one that I will never regret and never forget. Having been there since the start and seen the group develop in numbers and people, it has put a smile on my face through what has been a pretty horrible part of my life. The students in particular have made the group what it is, as without them, I have no idea what Kirsten would have done. Special thanks to Imogen, Darcy, Angus, Laurie, Noah, Lauren, Adam, Rosie, Lois, Rachel, Hannah, Gabriel, Elliot, Kate, Abbie, Emma M, Emma G, Denise, James, Ellie, Taildah and anyone who has been in the Love Drama Improv Academy for making me enjoy myself so much. Also, thanks to my Improv brothers; Sunny, Josh and Hamish for being an integral part of most of the sketches I have been involved in, like the infamous alphabet game. But, most importantly, massive thanks to Kirsten for setting up the group and being the backbone for anything that we have done, cause without her, I would not be sitting here writing my leaving blog. Thank you Kirsten!
It’s going to be weird leaving my home from home for the last time as a member. This isn’t a goodbye as I will be back, but very rarely. If you asked me if I could do it all over again, I’d say yes in a heartbeat.
And in the words of David Tennant from his last ever episode of Doctor Who ……… “I don’t want to go”.
Calum Johnston. AKA Chad Slazenger.