Skit (skit) – n. 1. A shitty play.
The past month has been swamped mainly by rehearsal after rehearsal – most of which were at least 4h, some of which went beyond 6h. Even SYF does not train as hard. I actually went for all of the rehearsals, apart from the time I went for someone’s 18th birthday party where everyone around was 18 or younger. Whether I was present for the entire duration is a different matter.
The original post I wrote on this topic was supposed to detail four key lessons I learnt about myself, with reference to other similar events (yes, events is a good euphemism) i.e. a change of command ceremony, a swimming event, em-ceeing. However, as three of the key lessons tread slightly into the realm of work. I have decided to just save the post, leave it unpublished, and post this truncated version.
What I can say is the fourth lesson, which is: Singing, acting, dancing (which I thankfully did not have to do) among other stage acts really aren’t my thing. I have considered one or two of the above (definitely not three) either previously in secondary school and/or for college. It could be fun at times, no doubt. But 1) it takes a lot of effort, practice and initial failure. I don’t have the patience for the initial tough part, let alone the repeated repeated honing with the hope of perfection in mind.
2) this one is personal: it’s just less fulfilling. There just isn’t that sense of satisfaction at going through the usual motion (after the repeated repeated honing). You’re just doing what you’ve been conditioned/trained to do for the past month. As a whole, drama in its entirety creates something organic. But from the individual perspective, you’re merely a small part of that. The individual recitation of lines is a routine rather than an art. The audience could appreciate it, but the player, if he thinks about it, doesn’t really. I am however grateful that I didn’t have any lines to memorise. There was only one short line on my script – and the rest was all improv like a Hong Kong movie.
Fine, there might be some satisfaction when it’s over. I got a damn good high rush when it was. But that’s like the kind of relief you get after you ‘recover’ from 15 minutes of being in push-up position.
Putting the two together, I personally don’t find that the result justifies the effort and/or time. But there’ll always be these people who really love drama and performing. I mean my ex is still having a drama production sometime next month (or was it next week?
I’m sick on that day either way ). I suppose that pure passion is the one thing which could justify an insane amount of effort.
Just to offer some perspective: how’s this different from debate? Here are six severely biased points. Note: I say different, not better or worse.
1) Debate is far less time consuming. Yes, you have to research to prep case, but no you won’t have one month to do so – unless you have four fucking motions, with both sides, in that detestable competition I don’t want to talk about. Those two are exceptions (and I just HAD TO get the exceptions last year). The equivalent will be to compare to having FOUR plays, rather than one. Once again, fuckyou prometheus.
2) Debate is less rehearsed and more organic. The only person who rehearses his speech is first prop. Everything else is improv. In fact, you can never foresee how things will go. In addition, the so called debate coach is usually far less intrusive than a drama director – in my experience at least. At least I don’t think a debate ‘coach’ will say “at the three minute mark, I want you to gesture like this.” You don’t want the rhetoric to belong to your scriptwriter, you want it to belong it to you.
3) Debate involves less people. The more people there are, the more time wasted. At any drama rehearsal, there will be people lazing around at the back of the audi, because it just isn’t their part and there’s not much for them to do.
4) Preparing for debate is more enriching than rehearsing for drama. Rehearsals only contribute to your performance in the play. General reading up and researching, on the other hand, broadens your knowledge. You gain more from it.
5) In drama, you actually have to give a damn about the audience. In debate, you only need to care about the other side and the adjudicator. Yes, it could be entertaining and spiced up either by pure rhetoric, or pure irreverence (Edward style) – but entertainment is secondary to whether or not you win the argument.
6) As a result of the previous point: in debate, you show how stupid the others are. In drama, you show the others how stupid you are.
Does this mean I will definitely continue debate in college? No (you don’t get your hopes up). But that one’s another discussion altogether. The bottom line at the moment is no, no singing, no acting, no stage performances – not because of the six reasons above, because time is precious. In the mean time, let me savour my first whiff of freedom with what little time I have left.