Juilliard Drama | A Day in the Life

Juilliard Drama | A Day in the Life

September 1, 2019 26 By Stanley Isaacs


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[uplifting music] I, well, I’ve always been a class clown but it wasn’t until I came back to New York when I was 15, and I’ve seen a student-ran show at theater row on 42nd Street, I was in the audience just relaxing, and I’m like, “Oh man, this is what I need to be doing.” So I was like, “Why not? Let me take a risk.” I auditioned for Juilliard. I come to this place. New York’s your background. I love New York. And I felt healthy here. I felt the teachers cared. They were serious about their goal and inspiring the next generation of actors. It felt like a good match, you know? All things were pointed to Juilliard. A typical day at Juilliard? Well, we go from 9:00 to 10:00. It’s a long day. Moni’s class is a big wake up call. That’s one of the most physically demanding classes that I’ve ever been in. I mean, if that alarm doesn’t wake you up, he’s gonna wake you up, you know what I mean? So his class emphasizes getting out of your head and finding the energy around you and being in that moment. Then that parallels to being in a scene, being able to stay with your partner and being so open and wherever this goes, just trust that I got your back. Going into that class, I’m like, “Aw, man,” but I then always feel like a champion coming out. Masks class is a gateway into different parts of your personality. Everybody puts on a mask, and everybody gets up together. Whether you’re utilizing a neutral mask, or animal mask, or a character mask, it allows you to bring out parts of yourself you never knew were there. Through the mask, you…you find these things that ultimately help you to believe in your character more and believe in yourself more. Kate Wilson…so we’ll form, like, a circle and everybody’s in their own different play, but it’s all a big collective. Whoever wants to take center stage, you go and take center stage and you speak until somebody else comes in, takes it, and moves their play along. And you get to give-and-take, see what inspires you and when you have the impulse to go and take the baton, you go. “And you are Irina, the youngest.” I mean, we’re together from 9:00 to 10:00 every day, with the exception of, like, two or three breaks, so on my off time, I like to either go to the fourth or the fifth floor, admire New York City, listen to meditational music, send a few emails…so yeah, it’s a “me time.” I like to quiet my mind and to recharge myself for the next group of classes. Voice with Andrew Wade,
the first 7 or 10 minutes we get to warm up however you want and try to channel that breath support down to the diaphragm. And we get in a circle, we pass lines across, playing with the structure that Shakespeare has given you. [Class reciting together] So now you can let your own creativity come through, so you learn the rules and then you break them. In scene study with Becky Guy, you get to see how people come into the process and rehearse from a week-to-week basis. So you get to learn where people are coming from, the different processes. She, she tracks what you’re doing and seeing what moments may have not worked. You didn’t…you didn’t get to that moment. You can’t get to that moment thinking about getting to that moment. “The same moment, the moments are very similar.” Then I have singing class with Deb Lapidus. Before Juilliard, you know, I was a shower singer, you know what I mean? But now I’m confident to go up and hold a tune or hit a note. Singing class is just like acting class, you know, this piece of text…how do you interpret it? Put your own spin on it, and you make it work. The great thing about being in Juilliard is you get to develop these connections and be around so many inspiring, talented artists. In our off time, we just like to, you know, rehearse! While doing normal day things…I feel it’s important, being able to allow the environment wherever you are, whether I’m eating in in the lounge. You know, you try to find things or let things find you and just be in the moment and rehearse. Half of my class, we’re doing ‘Three Sisters.’ So rehearsal is a great time to just in a way, let go. You did like eight hours of classes, now you can just let go and just bring what you got.>>And on those little girls faces was a look of horror.>>Fear, anxiety. I don’t know what. It wrung my heart to see their faces.>Maybe it’s not so much about the little girls, but as much as like what you’re>>able to see in yourself in them.