Some years ago I moved to London from Italy, my English was quite broken, so I start looking for ideas to improve it.
I could not stand the usual English classes, using the usual books for student filled with student-friendly articles.
Browsing the website meetup.com I found the Artman English group, the page said Learn English through theatre.
Wow, that's cool! I thought. So I went there and I really liked it. It was for me one of those rare Hell Yeah! moment.
I had the chance to practice a lot the language especially speaking and other skills related to drama. The environment was nice and friendly, perfect for learning and having fun.
Anyway because of other commitments I started going there only occasionally.
Last October Artman English started a new drama class. The goal was to create a brand new play that would be performed in June 2018.
This time I took it seriously, and was totally committed to attend as many classes as possible and take part of the final play.
The process that took us to create the story and the script was really inspiring.
The first classes were focused on improvising and playing around random ideas that popped up.
During the improvisation sessions, week by week, those ideas started to took shape, and the first characters were born.
Oliver, the coach and director and Jim a writer friend of him, expanded the ideas, better defined the characters and created the first version of the script.
Ten scenes, about 90 minutes in total to play with 5 very amateur actors.
Every week we used to meet at Stockwell Playhouse to do improvisation, to work out some scenes or to rehearse the script.
This experience really pushed me outside of my comfort zone, improvising and acting in English was something really new for me.
That's why it was so worthwhile!
That is a common pattern for me, when something was worthwhile, it most likely required to steps out my confort zone.
These are the benefits that I think you get attending dramma classes, in my case Artman English:
- You improve your conversation skills. You speak a lot, much more that the usual English classes
- It's very stimulating for your creativity. Improvising and creating crazy ideas and listen the other's ones is a great creativity boost. That's also because of the safe environment with nobody that judge you and your crazy ideas.
- It's good for your memory. Memorising a script with hundreds of words is not easy, and you'll have to rehearse many times to be fluent. And still the day of the play you'll forget sentences because of the pressure you'll feel watching the audience.
- You connect with other authentic people that are free to be themselves. This can sound weird, but there are more people acting in a corporate office than in a drama classes.
- It is fun. If you commit and keep going class after class, you'll see that magic things happen and you'll feel part of it. And it will be fun, really fun.
A big thank you to Oliver, Paloma and all the crew of the Artman English.