Thurston Project - Student Blog 1 - Millie

After watching The Overcoat performance from Gecko, I was intrigued about what the workshop would entail. I found the style very intense, powerful and different, which as a dancer I found really interesting; the energy never faulted within any of the actors- it made me feel tired from just watching it! Therefore I was aware that it was definitely not going to be a relaxed workshop.

When the workshop was finished, I felt my brain starting to melt! I was inspired at how Helen had made me concentrate and focus so intensely for the entire session, it was strenuous yes, but it was incredible to feel so pumped and yet somewhat exhausted!

The most challenging part of the lesson was recognising how much breathing can create an atmosphere and make me feel raw and real emotions. As we copied each other’s gestures and voice, a few of us- including myself, were told to elongate our short performance with nothing but breathing. I thought that this would feel silly and awkward as on stage you never want to be silent for too long otherwise it appears that you have forgotten your lines/what you’re meant to be doing. However, we weren’t on stage, we were in the studio, training with a theatre company who use very unique ideas of performing. Strangely as soon as I started, I felt like I was on my own, reaching down into my own feelings and immersing myself in my traumatic fantasy I had created.


The first exercise we had to do as a collective was what I found to be the most rewarding. Having to copy Helen, every single gesture, every vocal noise; it made me focus incredibly quickly, making myself ready for the rest of the session; which paid off, I felt very involved and ‘in the zone’ throughout the entire 100 minutes.

This workshop (particularly the exercises we practiced today), I found was brilliant for confidence building and creating a strong sense of unity within the group. Even though it was only a snippet of how far these exercises could have gone, I know that it has benefited me for Drama by not being afraid of putting in all of my efforts when working as a complete group- thinking about myself rather than being very conscious of everyone else around me.

I have rated this experience 8/10!