Saturday was our last full day in Yorkshire. It was a normal morning, I woke up with about an hour to get ready, grabbed a water bottle, and made my way out the door and onto the bus. Rehearsal was exciting, you could feel the nervous energy buzzing around the room. We did some games/exercises to wake up and prepare for the show. After we had all woken up a bit, we ran the show a few times. We fixed anything that needed to be fixed, went over language, and made sure everything was ready to go. It was a full tech rehearsal so we had lighting and sound.
After rehearsal was over we were released into Richmond until the time of the performance. During this break we went around shopping, looking in all the stores one last time, buying last minute souvenirs. After an hour or so some of us walked down to the river. The river was nearby the main part of town, it was different from the last time we had seen it. The tide had come in, so more of the rocks were covered with water. The river was a fun place to hang out, it made me think about how nice it would be to live in Yorkshire. Throughout the trip I kept thinking about how amazing it would be to live there, to just walk around Richmond with these people whenever, to casually go eat lunch on the wall surrounding York.
The river was beautiful, the water was clear, the weather was nice. We climbed around on the rocks, climbed trees, and just took in the greatness of it all. We all had a lot of energy and it was just a really amazing and fun time for all of us.
Eventually we went back to the theatre to prepare for the performance. We did the show and had a great time with it. All the American students went out to eat afterwards, some of the British students came along as well. We all sat down, and talked, and ate, and enjoyed ourselves. It was a lovely time to just sit down and take everything in for the last time.
Although the day was fun, it seemed to have this ever present, melancholy type of feeling to it. It was hard to notice it at times, showing up randomly when the discussion of our leaving would come up, or when we rehearsed the last scene of Oliver Twist, and both American and British students, became teary eyed. It was a sort of bittersweet moment when we had to say goodbye to everyone. We hugged and got everyone's contact information and, inevitably, we had to leave to go back to Kiplin Hall. The rest of the night was spent packing and getting ready for the long day ahead of us.
My day consisted of finishing the blocking of the show, which of course would be a sad, sad day. People were crying, upset, etc., now realizing that this show will be coming to an end pretty soon and we wouldn't see our new international friends for quite some time. Not me though, NO SIR-EY. Me, being the brilliant person I am pushed all of the heart ache and crying to the inside of my heart for rehearsal, so people could really see how much of a macho man I am. Little do they know I'm crying as I write my blog entry. Today was only my second day working with the british kids as I missed the first day of rehearsal due to health struggles. I felt that today I bonded the most with my new actors as today I really put myself out there and started to talk to people I hadn't talked to in the previous days. This made me feel closer to my fellow peers and more comfortable to take risks around them without the fear of being judged in a negative way. Including this, I think I found some friendships that will last over time online. I personally think that this experience has changed my life because I am getting the chance to see things from a different perspective from different people from a different country. This has really expanded my horizons and I feel will expand my personality in a positive direction. I have taken a lot of time to think about perspective now. It is INSANELY weird to think that I am on a different continent in a different country right now. That is extremely interesting for me to think about because it really makes you think how big the world really is. I have barely explored any part of England and yet it feels like I have been everywhere there is to really explore. I am already dreading the plane flights that are to come as I 1) hate planes and 2) know I will be extremely jet lagged. I know I am supposed to add 2 pictures but I really can't figure out how and it seems no one else knows how to either.
So far, my returning to England has been very satisfactory. For those who don’t know, I have lived in Rome, Italy for three and a half years. While I lived there, I have gone to many European places. One of my favorite places to go was England. Before this trip I had only visited London. I was very excited to see other parts of this wonderful country.
Richmond most certainly doesn’t disappoint. Its just a gorgeous place. The grass is bright and green and the British culture is very interesting. York reminded me of London. I felt like I was in London while I was there. Personally I prefer York over Richmond. Both are still beautiful places.
We are staying in Kiplin Hall, an old hospital that was used in World War II. After researching the area on the internet, I saw that it had a reputation for being haunted. Spirits include and woman in the drawing room, a ominous figure that roams the stairways, and airman that haunts the kitchen, and a blue woman that haunts Kiplin’s beautiful lake. I have roamed the premises for any signs of paranormal activity. I think I have seen an anomaly in the window, but then again, it could be my imagination. I have searched the lake twice and have found nothing. I guess I won’t be seeing anything anytime soon.
My roommates are great. I feel like all the men are bonding. I have never really talked to these people before now. I feel like everyone on this trip has great chemistry. We are all getting along well.
I am not performing in “Oliver Twist”. I am actually a film major. Right now I am making a documentary about the creative process of these students. So far I have edited five minutes of the documentary. I am still a bit on the edge on whether or not the documentary is good. I have gotten many beautiful shots of the theater, the land and the students, but I have never really gotten to interview the students.
Overall the trip has been a great learning experience. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
York is a city with personality, with old charm whilst still keeping a foot in the modern world. It's interesting to see an old building with weathered brown bricks and ivy devouring its side and advertising cell phone services.
The ladies had difficulty getting up this morning, mainly due to the night spent talking with the whole group about ghost stories and real stories that are more terrifying, and also because I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep. My bad. Austin woke us up, dressed and fed, and informed us we had about 15 minutes to get ready, which for me, is not enough time to put on make up, eat a full breakfast, get dressed, tidy my things, and make sure the kitchen is ok.
I love this bus rental service that we've been using because the bus drivers (three different men). Today we had a pleasant man named Roy who enthusiastically talked about his wife, children and adventures to other countries. The ride took almost two hours so most of the students drooled on their shoulders or the seat next to them. I attempted to remain awake, but sleep overtook me like an evil yet comforting blanket.
We arrived at a cute little train station and began to walk around the city. The thing I've noticed about the people there compared to the people in Richmond is that the people of York are more varied in their appearance and there are packs of threatening young people wandering about. York is a lot bigger than Richmond and so there were more shops. Tea shops, souvenir shops, clothing shops, book/comic shops and more. Our day consisted mainly of going from shop to shop, running through shelves and aisles, trying to conserve our limited money supplies. Yesterday, I didn't buy much but today, I went a tad crazy. There are gifts for a majority of my loved ones.
After eating at a traditional British pub (Golden Lion), we wandered into The York Minster. That church is gorgeous and huge, with giant expansive stained glass windows and realistic statues of saints and patrons of the church. It was impossible to not feel in awe of the huge ceilings and chorus practice going on in the background. Ms. Brady had managed to get us into a lovely tea room, with kind waitresses, tiny tables and utensils and lacy tablecloths. I managed to have a table with Abby, Kat and Kyle, who all ordered tea and a sweet, and chatted about anything and everything.
After the tea room, most of the stores were beginning to close. Even though it was Sunday, stores here tend to close earlier than the ones at home overall. Zara was determined to find this particular store she had read about, and led a death march through the winding narrow streets. The store was closed.
Once we managed to get back to the train station where we were supposed to be picked up, we bought snacks and tried "pasties" which are fancy hot pockets. Roy picked us up again and drove us back to Kiplin Hall. In an almost poetic cycle, most of the students drooled all over themselves as we fell asleep.
This day has been a blast and I have seen so many things and people that I never would have been able to do. The people in England and the people I am staying with are simply amazing.
When I woke up this morning the first thing I noticed was the sound of pen on paper. The second thing I noticed was that it was 5:30am. Four of us girls woke up and went to go get breakfast. We all thought maybe this time difference thing wasn't so bad after all... we were very wrong. Today we got to explore the beautiful town of Richmond! Some of us decided to go on a walk to the Easby Abbey but on the way we got a bit distracted by a massive hill that was just calling for us to climb it. The climb was difficult but once we got up the view was great. I had to keep reminding myself that there are many great picture opportunities waiting to happen. After taking many "candid" pictures of each other we made the trek back down the hill (which was a lot easier than going up). The walk on the way to the Abbey took a lot longer than the one on the way back because we took pictures of EVERYTHING. We then ate a nice relaxed lunch at a place called The Station before continuing our journey and heading to The Richmond Castle. Around the castle ruins you can take the most breath taking photos ever, we were trying to take pictures of everything in every angle. I had a mini heart attack when some people decided to climb on the edge of walls but they made it out perfectly fine. The group of us decided to relax by a waterfall. The weather was gorgeous! Which means all the british people were out swimming. All the shops were closed by the time we got back but do not fear, the adventure does not end there. We tried all the fish and chips in town! (Castle fisheries was the best). So far England is the best place ever, I'm going to live here someday and I love the people I'm with even more now.