The Truth About Youth: ‘ONE DAY’ Event – Glasgow by Katie Fegan, 15

“That day was honestly one of the best days of my life and I was so happy to be a part of it!”

Katie Fegan, member of the Love Drama Improv Academy, Musselburgh

On the 4th of August 2012, the Love Drama Improv Academy had the privilege of going into the city of Glasgow to showcase some previous five minute theatre performances, run a workshop and stage some live improv to a group of young adults. We spent the previous day rehearsing and then travelled into Glasgow to show what we were truly capable of.

Day 1- The Rehearsal

The group met in the Scottish Youth Parliament in Edinburgh to brush up our previously rehearsed pieces and come up with ideas to fill our extra time slots. We started by working on our “Youth” five minute theatre entries. For my group this wasn’t a massive challenge since everyone was present, yet one member of my group, Rosie, walked into a wall (which was bloomin’ hilarious) and I invented the word “hitted”. Other groups were a man down, or even 3 men down! One group had to devise a new piece in the space of half an hour, and I take my hat off to them since the standard was still fantastic!

We then revisited our “Protest” themed piece. We spent a little more time on this than we should have, since new members had to be added in and other parts were cut out due to absences. Also, for reasons that I’m not quite sure of, we did spend a lot of time saying almost every line in an Irish accent! There was also talk of one of our members, Calum, falling out of a stolen bag, which meant everyone was laughing almost uncontrollably. Kirsten even remarked at one point that she “almost cried, choked and wet herself at the same time”. That would have certainly silenced the laughter…

The group spent the last hour on different aspects of the performance. Two groups were working on improvisation pieces to fill up another two time slots. I never got to see this. All I know is that someone spilt coffee on Kirsten’s notebook. Two members were working on their five minute theatre entry since, like I said, they had made it up in about half an hour. I on the other hand worked on teaching skills with another girl, Abbie. We had been asked to lead the workshop. I knew she’d take to the task well since she has had previous teaching experience and is going on to study drama at college very soon. I however had had virtually no experience, so I was incredibly nervous about what awaited me the next day. We spent some time listing possible games and drama exercises we could lead, and then agreed who should lead each one. Abbie and the group’s second chaperone, Stephen Hawkins, offered me brilliant advice and settled my nerves…slightly! There was still a voice in my head saying “Don’t screw this up!”

At the end of the rehearsal we were all given Love Drama hoodies, which are awesome! There was a part of me that was slightly emotional during this portion of the day. I just felt so happy to be part of something special, and knowing that everyone in the room had come together because of their love of drama was somewhat heart-warming. Also, they’re so cosy!

Day 2- The Performance

The day started with me getting up at 6am, and then moaning about the fact I was up at 6am for the next four hours. Everyone congregated at Edinburgh Waverly station, and we were off! To pass the time on the train we all played “Who am I?” which is a game that involves writing a famous person’s name on a piece of paper, sticking it to your face and guessing who you are. Unfortunately we got told off by a rather grim looking attendant for leaving post-its, yet when we offered to help clean it up he rather sarcastically said “just leave it”.  I guess he was just having a bad morning.

When we arrived at the Royal Concert Hall we were briefly shown around the area we were working in, and then we were pretty much left to our own devices. The first piece we performed was our “Protest” piece, which had a mixed reaction. It wasn’t until Emma said I looked liked I hanged about on street corners that we had everyone’s attention. Never the less it still went well.

I was very eager to discover what a “Human Library” was, so I took a trip to see what it involved. Basically its different people sharing experiences that are quite difficult to talk about and the readers can ask questions to improve their knowledge on the subject. I spent half an hour talking to a transgender, who weirdly enough was also called Katie! It is very rare that I am ever speechless, and even rarer that I get so emotional that I start to cry, yet talking to Katie made me do both! Her story was absolutely unbelievable! The bullying she’s had to deal with all her life made me feel physically sick, and the way she overcame it all was truly inspiring. There was a part of me that wished I could keep in contact with Katie, since she is currently in the process of going through her operations and I’d love to see how she gets on. If you can read this Katie, I wish you the best of luck; you deserve the best life possible!

Whilst I was talking to Katie I missed the Facebook performance by Calum and Josh. I did however get to see an amazing performance by a young gymnastic group, whose flexibility and agility made me wish I tried harder in P.E. I even got to have a go myself! I was taught how to do a perfect forward roll and spent a lot of time jumping off a spring board. The highlight of the gymnastics workshop was watching Stephen attempt a cartwheel. It wasn’t as impressive as the gymnasts.

Me and Abbie then led the workshop. Before it even started I messed up, since I told everyone it would be starting in a few minutes, so of course everybody left. Oops! I redeemed myself slightly by walking into the room with a megaphone and yelling for them to come over. Abbie started it all off, which was tricky since I doubt anyone was really paying attention at the start. However, as the game continued everyone got more into it and had fun. Then it was my turn to lead an old favourite, whoosh. I felt that I was acting pretty confident (apparently looks can be deceiving!). Everyone seemed to be very relaxed and enjoying the experience. One young man made the whole thing more interesting my yelling “HOLLER!” and putting a hand near his head, which isn’t one of the commands in the game. It should be though.

I also missed the performance of the piece on rumours, but after that me and three others performed our piece, Through the Ages. We got a very good response and the crowd were certainly more engaged. Overall I was happy with it.

Throughout the day the group took 163 photographs on my Nikon 1, and they’re all pretty awesome! One of which featured the group with a man we called Bongo Terry. Bongo Terry was a street performer who played bongo drums (well done captain obvious!). We saw him twice on our visit; once on the way in and once on the way out. Both times Abbie got a shot of playing whilst he exclaimed “ABBIE LIKE DA BONGOS!” It’s been a long time since I laughed as hard as I did during the Abbie/Terry duet.

That day was honestly one of the best days of my life and I was so happy to be a part of it! Hopefully we get more chances to do similar events in the future.

Katie Fegan, 15