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Drama Workhouse

Drama Workhouse

“To be or not to be?”, now that really is a question, do I want to be, or not, an actor? Do I want to try it, taste it, experience it, find out if acting is something I want, like, and of course have any talent for, that was a question I found myself asking, and to be honest, asking over and over again. In my more recent quest for experience in things more creative, I have found myself thinking of the stage. However as in most things in my life, actually doing something about it, actually doing something beyond researching online, was possible about as far as I would go with this one.

Those who have read other pages on PaulKavanagh.com will be aware that I have, since the death of my Mother, been far more open and curious about life’s more creative past times, painting and photography are two that have entered my life, however they are very much private pleasures, individual things, whereas the stage requires more people, social interaction, opening my emotions, giving myself and perhaps my feelings, to strangers. And as those who know me will vouch I am perhaps not the quickest person in the world when it comes to sharing my feelings or emotions. Maybe, just maybe, some acting classes would be a fine and dandy idea.

So one day after looking online I found myself heading for a part of London I have not been to very often, Dollis Hill, but moreover I found myself driving towards the total unknown, a drama workshop run by a group called DramaWorkshop.org. I had absolutely no idea, no preconception on what lay ahead, I just simply planned to walk in and go with the flow. Of course I know me and I was totally aware that until the moment I walk in I had no idea which Paul would turn up. Yes I am aware that there is as least three Paul Kavanagh’s, and in this situation anyone of them may surface. Although to be fair it was almost certainly the loud, confident, forward, controlling, friendly, joker of the pack version that would walk through the door, and true to expectation, it was.

The venue itself is a bit of a run-down community hall, the sort of place where one day it the slimming club, the next a yoga class and then the WI, quickly followed by the drama group or a Christian alliance movement or something along those lines. The sort of place that every local area should have and should support. A cornerstone of any community and a place really worthwhile and deserving of investment. A stage sat at the top of the room, a variety of pictures hung on the walls, piles of chairs around the walls.

However the first thing that really struck me were the people, an eclectic mix, different ages, sexes, social, a real variety of people and although not what I had expected, this was without doubt the first real positive of this new adventure. It was a real, genuine, and friendly welcome that I was given from people who were open and willing to give me a chance. However the first action of this new adventure caught me quite by surprise, a game of pass the pen, no I have never heard of it either. This was followed by a few other games and then it was on to the “improv”.

Improvisation is a big part of this group, it is acting but without having to learn the lines, you just make it up as you go along, and go with the flow of the piece. Making up BS, on the hoof, is not something I find difficult, in truth it is something I do almost naturally, so in this aspect I knew I would always find it quite easy, however what is a challenge is doing with someone else, because if you have to make it with someone who is not as inventive it is a tad more difficult, well unless you take over the scene, and that is not something the teacher likes very much.

But I did day one, I enjoyed day one and I knew I wanted to continue with this new found life experience. I was not sure if I would get out of it what I was looking for, I did not feel I would learn as much as I wanted, but I did feel it would be a fun thing to do and that I would at least reawaken some of the skills I have forgotten, which would be a good thing. I also felt that the people there were nice and that I could learn from them, so as I drove home I was already starting to both look forward to the next class, but I even started to plan for it. 


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