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A busy May!

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They say a picture tells a thousand words, so here is a little collage of things I've been up to this month!

Not pictured here, but I submitted my research project report (my final assignment of my entire degree) on 3rd May, a little earlier than the deadline because of everything I still had to do! I had my 36th birthday and went to see the Book of Mormon for the 3rd time (it was as fabulous as I remembered)!

After breaking my rib at the end of January, I was unable to do any aerial acrobatics training for 2 months. Despite the setback, I got back into training in April for my 2 competitions in early May. Alongside my main discipline of aerial hoop, these competitions marked my first time competing on the moon lyra. At South Coast Aerial Tournament on 5th May I placed 2nd with my Tomb Raider routine in the advanced hoop category, and I won the amateur open category with my moon lyra performance to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the UK Aerial Performance Championship on 12th May. UKAPC was my first ever competition in 2022 (just 10 months after I started hoop classes), and this marks my 3rd consecutive year of winning at the regional round! I was delighted with these results, especially after my injury. 

I had no time to rest after the competitions as I was straight into show week with BATS (the Basingstoke Amateur Theatrical Society) with their musical theatre roulette revue, "On With The Show" at the Haymarket Theatre! My AmDram adventures continued with a variety of musical theatre songs from some of my favourite shows, ending on a featured role as Cosette in 'One Day More' from my favourite musical, Les Miserables! The group is incredibly talented and I was thrilled that they let me get involved after I came to see their production of Joseph in November (it may have been the inspiration for my moon lyra routine!). 

Now that the BATS show is done I'm choreographing some hoop performances for ANOTHER broadway-themed concert next month, this time in Reading in aid of a local educational charity. I'll be singing and dancing in a lot of songs for this one, as well as some hoop performances at the beginning and ending of the show (it's in a beautiful barn normally used for weddings - it has a lovely high ceiling and was crying out for the portable rig to be put up inside of it!). 

I'm hoping that this will take my mind off the long wait for results... July feels absolutely forever away! I really hope that I do well on my EMA. I tried really hard and I'm proud of my little research project. I'm not sure where I'll go from here - I think I'm taking a break for the next year to figure it all out. Good luck to all waiting on their results, and if there's anything you want to do, try, experience... just go for it. You're never too old and it's never too late, as my happy little collage can attest! 

A collection of performing arts images, and a gold and silver medal

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Something New

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Edited by Rebecca Strachan, Monday, 19 Feb 2024, 17:53

After a thoroughly rotten couple of months, I'm happy to report that I performed in my first ever musical last week (Disney's The Little Mermaid), and feel much better for it! I'd never had the confidence to try amdram, but my friend Ami encouraged me to join her and audition, and I'm eternally glad I did. What a lovely little family I've found in this talented and welcoming cast 🥰 We received a great response in the theatre, and at the meet and greets afterwards! 

I mentioned previously that I chose to audition for TLM over Evita as it was a smaller part - I ended up being a maid in multiple scenes in act 2, a human princess, a fish spinning green poi for under the sea, and singing various harmonies and other bits and pieces in several other songs, in addition to my mersister songs! Arista was obviously my favourite, with a beautiful red mermaid tail and long, elaborately styled auburn hair (her hair colour was changed to suit me better, vs matching the cartoon exactly). I hope this is only the beginning of my theatrical adventures, because I've thoroughly enjoyed this experience! 

I had a freak accident about 3 weeks before the show during aerial training - the professionals I've seen believe I fractured a rib. I've had to stop my aerial acrobatics training and drop out of my March competition as a result - I'm frustrated, but perhaps this is my body forcing me to slow down as I'd definitely taken on too much this year. I'm pleased to have survived the show in spite of the injury, and that I managed most of the choreography as well.

It has been very intense, rehearsing for TLM alongside full time work, DE300, and another show I successfully auditioned for in January! The Basingstoke Amateur Theatrical Society is doing a revue in May, after my final project report is handed in. As well as being in the ensemble for songs ranging from Somebody to Love to Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I'm playing Cosette in the finale song, "One Day More" from Les Misérables - it's my favourite musical and a dream role, even if only for a song! 

I'm excited to see what projects the future might bring. In some ways I'm sad that it's taken me nearly 36 years to find the confidence to do this - but at least I'm here now. And it's given me just the boost I needed to keep on plodding with DE300. My research proposal has been approved, and once my final coding edits are accepted I can finally begin data collection. Wish me luck. Just a few more months to go.

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New adventures!

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Edited by Rebecca Strachan, Saturday, 16 Sept 2023, 12:12

Today's post is a deviation from my study-related posts, because I have some 🎶musical updates!🎶

While embarking on my independent research project for DE300, I'll also be learning to skate around in heelys while preparing for a production of Disney's The Little Mermaid! My friend Ami was already cast as a mersister and encouraged me to try out for it as well. I opted to audition for this over EVITA (which I feel a little guilty about, having been specifically asked to audition for it), but it feels like the right choice for me. This role also felt more manageable than trying to take on Eva (who sings in almost everything) - particularly when I'm not familiar with the musical at all!
I successfully auditioned for the role of Arista (one of the mersisters) earlier this month. I've met quite a few of the cast members already, and they are all absolutely lovely and very experienced. I'm sure I can learn a lot from them as I prepare to make my acting debut! (I need to go and work on my American accent... 🤣) 

An actress sits within in a blue frame, with a cartoon mermaid image in the corner (Arista)

I'm also working on putting together a set list to start rehearsing for a covers band project I'm hoping to get off the ground in the near future, and continue to go to karaoke whenever I can (I may not be able to go as often due to TLM rehearsals, but at least I'll still be singing!). My long-time friend Sharon visited me from the Netherlands this week, and she came along to karaoke with me! We recorded songs together over the internet since our teens, and it was lovely to sing with her in public for the first time. My musical projects all stopped during the COVID years, and it's nice to be back at it, and creating again 💜

Oh, I also wrote a song last month (for the first time in a while!) and submitted it to the UK Songwriting Contest. I didn't make the semi-finals, but got a commended entry certificate in 2 categories and rated 5 stars (out of 5) by the professional judging panel. Not bad for something I wrote and recorded in less than a day! 😊

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