1: NTI Fall 2007 | Risk. Fail. Risk Again.
2: In September of 2007, after reading tons of plays I had never heard of, I was off to the National Theatre Institute. For so long I had wanted this- an intensive environment to study theatre. Maybe I didn't know it until I actually stumbled upon their website, but once I arrived, I knew it was what my soul had been longing for.
4: NTI was a wake up call. To be around people who did what they felt, who worked so hard because it was their passion to do so, and who were okay with admitting their flaws and their struggles- this was real living. Real life. And it was scary and exhilarating all at the same time. The environment was so intense, so challenging- it was almost like we were the cast of LOST having to survive on an island far removed from anything we once knew. All we had was each other, the ocean, and the stories that we had come to tell. Someone, it might have been Michael, said at the beginning of our semester that it wouldn't be until years after that we would really start unpacking all that we had learned. It's true. Now, seven years later, I am beginning to see that this time in my life, these 3 months, was the beginning of my journey towards authenticity. "Risk. Fail. Risk again" was NTI's motto, and it was there that I was challenged to go full out- to not be ashamed of myself or my work, but instead to be boldly unaware of anything but the story I needed to tell- both in plays and in my life.
5: Crystal, and her sass | Amanda, and her quirky | Hillary, and her kindness
6: Selby, and her squeal | Parker, and his "ooh" and gluten
7: Donna, and her hand over her face during playwriting | Diana, and her passion and Lush | David, and his deadpan | Lauren, and her calm
8: Melissa, and her awesome crazy
9: We went in November. And it was in England that it hit me that this was real, all of this training was going somewhere- I was sure I wanted to be an actor. | England | Smann, and her "Diaaam" Diet Coke | Anwen, and her fashion | Josh, and his beard | T, and her power
10: London | Caroline, and her french romance | Ethan, and his charm
11: Alice, and her sexy | Teff, and her hippie | Caitlin, and her sweet
12: our hostel, where my phone and someone's camera were stolen. We were sure it was the maid... | William, and his Byron Brasington | one of my favorite days was when Jen and I walked to a little cafe to get hot chocolate. We sat outside and talked about how one day, we'd live in England. | Dominique, and her European | Anika, and her zeal
13: Jenna, and her musicals | England's carrots are amazing. I bought them from a little stand by our hostel. | Savvy, and her freedom
14: Courtney, and her eyes | the street near the public library where I checked my e-mail, and also the long alley sandwich shop | My second home...
15: Anne Hathaway's home. Same street as the pub where we ate upstairs with the uneven floors, the restaurant I met the RSC actors in, and the Marks and Spencers where I bought my first Braeburn apple | the Black Swan (or the 'Dirty Duck') Pub where all the RSC actors came after the show. We joined them and hung out on the heated porch | Our hostel- a woman's home converted into a bed and breakfast. Every morning we'd eat together before class | Stratford | Allison, and her verve | Meg, and her ghetto cupcakes
16: Bath | Bath at night was the most magical place. I remember sitting in the square and listening to a nearby musician play Christmas Carols on chimes. | Jen, and her song
17: Avebury | The lesser known Stonehenge. Jen and I broke off from the group and took a walk along a dirt road.
18: There was no recovery once we got back from England-- it was straight into our final project and Playwright's week. | And they thought a trip to the Dragon's Egg would help get our creative juices flowing. It did. | The Dragon's Egg
19: "Tales From Ovid"
20: Michael, and his orange
22: But how in the world would we explain these past 3 months to our family, to anyone that who didn't experience it with us? These months were years to us, almost like a time machine, stepping out into a world that seemed the same as when we left it, but we were so different. Forever changed. | And then, all of sudden, it was over. The last day and we didn't have any more lines to memorize and didn't have to wake up at 7:00-- we were elated. So relieved, our bodies began to shut down and prepare for the months of sleep catch-up.
23: Dothan, and his laugh | Charles, and his suave | Jen, and her loveliness | Emily, and her understanding