BWW Blog: Our School Is Closed Because Of A Virus Outspread! What Do We Do?
Breaking News! The outspread of the Corona Virus has led to school suspensions!
As a student in Hong Kong, our classes were put on halt since Chinese New Year (which is mid-January), and school has been suspended since, and the earliest we would be able to go back to school is in April. A lot of shows and productions were cancelled. And job opportunities dropped. We have also been advised to stay home to lower the chances of infection and transmission.
So what have we been doing to keep in shape, and continue learning?
A lot of classes, especially theoretical lessons are now taught on this app called Zoom. For our course, we are only able to use this feature for our acting classes, where we would create self-tapes, do readings and analyse scripts through the app. For some dance studios, they would also use Zoom or other apps to conduct dance lessons at your own home, mainly for barre work and conditioning.
Even though a lot of the practical sides of our courses were put on pause, that didn't stop our teachers from giving us homework and assignments.
We would do a lot of research and essays on theatre, for example: song analysis, research on tap masters, voice productions, script analysis, sometimes our teacher would have us self-tape a clip of us singing, and he will comment and give notes.
3. At Home Workout
It's hard to stay in shape when you aren't able to go to dance classes regularly, so we went to YouTube and started searching.
We found a lot of great fitness instructors, Blogilates and Chloe Ting are my favorite picks.
There are also videos of dance classes that are home-friendly, channels like Kathyn Morgan, Lazy Dancer Tips, Claudia Dean World etc.
4. Online Singing Tips
Now, I do understand that every voice is different, and should seek personal coaching to adhere to each voice type. But I have followed these few channels and online coaches, and I have learned a lot.
YouTube channels like Verba Vocal Technique, Jacobs Vocal Academy and more offer a variety of voice exercises to keep my voice conditioned and consistent.
5. Reading/ Researching
I got to read a lot of screen plays, scripts and theatre books throughout the whole break. And it really gave me more insight and more understanding to theatre. I was finally able to put time in reading different plays, my favourite so far is the female odd couple, which I would be using for an assignment in the future.
I also read a lot of articles online, and reviews of shows. It gave me the opportunity to have more perception and ideas from different outlooks. Comparing different reviewers opinion and interpretation of shows.
There are also applications to learn more about acting, I'm currently watching episodes on SceneBot, Backstage Casting, I even use SkillShare to see what I can learn about the industry.
6. Discovering New Skills
When I was at school, we focused a lot on the performing arts side, the onstage acting business. But as I did more research, I started gaining interest in other aspects of theatre, like script-writing, administration and the business of it all. I also developed an interest in blogging. Sharing my experience, my knowledge, even my lack of knowledge to an open and welcoming community, engaging with people and talking about my passion for the arts.
7. (Optional) Workshops/ Masterclasses/ Classes
Despite the protocol of suspension, there are still a lot of companies and studios who are still up and running. A week ago, I went to my former-vocal teachers workshop to learn how to act through song.
And there are studios in Hong Kong that provides dance classes regularly. However, they do require you to wear a mask throughout those classes, and you have to follow their hygiene policies to prevent spreading. It's still worth it though. Being able to sweat and train is a rewarding experience.
What Did I Learn Throughout This Suspension Period?
In this school year, Hong Kong has suspended schools twice, and a lot of our classes have been cancelled.
During that time, I began to truly cherish learning, and taking classes. As the saying goes, we don't know what we got until it's gone.
Another thing I learnt is self-discipline. Staying home for a long period of time can lead to a lot of distractions, and a lot of excuses to take a break and slack off because there is no one there to watch you. But then you start to regress, you stopped improving, and even start to get out of shape. That was my wake up call, to get out of bed, to stop procrastinating and start working.