Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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My London Theatre Experience

The Lift Part 1The Lift Part 2The Lift Part 3 When I was abroad in London during the fall I went to an intensive drama school. I am a shy, reserved guy so the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)tested my comfort zone and brought me out of my shell more. One of the big challenges of theatre is learning to trust your fellow actors and this photo sums that up. I was practicing clowning skits with friends and one of my friends mentioned that he can do “the lift” from the film “Dirty Dancing.” Multiple people took turns being lifted by my friend, Zack Purdy. I normally would have shied away but I felt confident about “the lift.” Nervous but confident. As shown here, it took three tries to fully trust my partner and correctly accomplish the lift. Even though “the lift” experience wasn’t an official LAMDA classroom activity, it sums up my LAMDA experience in that I was always being challenged to bring more to the table in terms of performance, effort, and trusting my fellow actors.

I knew that this photo was taken but I didn’t know it was going to be posted on Facebook. At the time the photo was taken I felt  nervous and disoriented since I was higher off the ground than I wanted to be. After Zack lowered me down onto the ground I felt thrilled and way better about myself than if I had just given up and not attempted “the lift.”

When I go back to look at these photos I will always remember how much I learned about myself while abroad. I went to London to not just experience life in a new culture but to also put myself out there. If I had not gone to a tough drama school like LAMDA I wouldn’t have had the nerve to be lifted by someone else. I wouldn’t have had enough confidence in myself or the other person to lift me up but my London trip helped me become less shy and approach new, difficult opportunities. I currently really struggle with confidence and taking risks but LAMDA helped me realize that to accomplish a hard task, you need that “just go for it” mentality. My inspiration for this picture was to show that anything can be done if you just set your mind to it. That was something else I learned about myself while in London which is also the context for these photos. I have a long way to go but my teachers at LAMDA emphasized relaxing when approaching a new task. If you have a goal you want to accomplish, tensing up and letting your fear get to you will make that fear worse. When you relax and get out of your head, you’ll have an easier time working at it. Relaxing and letting loose are big challenges for me but my trip helped me become more aware of my tension and being in my head too much.

Special shout-out to my friend and fellow Willamette LAMDA attender, Karina Fathi, for posting the above pictures on Facebook.

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