I am the wave!
On the second day of school I found myself rolling around on the floor of a dance studio, twelve other people by my side, all violently screaming, "I am the wave!" and truly believing that we were in fact cresting waves of the sea. It was at that moment I realized I was back in action at The University of the Arts.
The first month of school has flown by per usual and I think I speak for most students in that having a free day on the calendar is certainly a rarity. Everyone is occupied with multiple commitments and even though that can be stressful at times I know I wouldn't want it any other way. Sophomore year in the acting program is challenging but rewarding thus far with the addition of the Meisner technique as our core method of training. Meisner attempts to rip away personal boundaries and makes you even more emotional than actors already are. The part I enjoy of the technique is that there is no filter. You can and should say whatever is on your mind at that moment, no matter how politically incorrect it may be. I believe the more honest and genuine you can be with yourself and your acting partner, the closer you are to succeeding. Or maybe I'm wrong, who knows.
A fellow tour guide and I have really been kept busy producing a web series we created called The Pursuit. Every day we're doing something for the show, whether it be writing, editing, filming an episode, or attempting to market the series. All I can say is that I've honestly never worked harder on anything in my life and am having a ton of fun. The best part about working on the show is getting as many people around Uarts involved with it, because at the end of the day, that's the reason we created the show; to have something that the community can enjoy and hopefully be proud of. To be frank, I think that sense of community and camaraderie it something the school lacks to a certain degree, and the hope is that The Pursuit strengthens it, even by a small amount. Others at our school are working extremely hard on their free time as well; my one friend just started an improv and music group that I know will be very entertaining. The best part about this school is that people are dying to get involved and enjoy helping each other out. The school will support you as well, giving you a forum to succeed.
Even though I'm always moving from one activity to the next, there will be time to relax and take advantage of Philadelphia before it becomes a frozen tundra for a few months. There are several plays, concerts and other events that are opening up and I'm particularly excited to see beloved Uarts professor Johnnie Hobbs in The Arden Theatre's production of The Whipping Boy at the end of October. I can tell you for certain that the Uarts community won't miss that.
Andrew Block is a budding actor/writer who is currently being trained by Meisner professor Curt Whipple (‘Waiting for Lefty’). Andrew hails from the homogeneous suburbs of Philadelphia where he previously attended The Haverford School in Haverford PA. He loves films, especially Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Best in Show. A blessing and a curse, Andrew is a diehard Philadelphia sports fan, making him an instant minority amongst the UARTS populous. He also spends much of his time on the web series The Pursuit, a collegiate comedy satire with a strong penchant for American history, be sure to check it out. Andrew is the co-creator along with current tour guide Brad Ogden.