A Berridge 2015 alum shares her top ten takeaways from her summer in France. Written by Sara Florez.
The summer after my freshman year of high school I took a chance on an acting program that got advertised through my school’s email. Berridge was the program I didn’t know I wanted and an experience I didn’t know I needed.
Keep reading to see some of the many gifts I received from my summer at Berridge.
1. Cue Scripts
If thou is unfamiliar with the cue script then it is necessary to find one! I think it is hard to appreciate them unless you’ve used one before. I still have mine and refuse to throw them away. A cue-script represents one of the early ways Globe actors used to memorize lines. In a typical week, one actor might have been in three different plays with limited time to rehearse and learn lines so; the cue-script was created.
2. Places to reflect
Perhaps my morning runs at Berridge started because I love working out, but I don’t think the reason I kept doing them was fitness-related. Instead, my morning run was about using the roads and trails surrounding the château as places to be alone with my thoughts.
I remember tiptoeing down the stairs, closing the front door slowly behind me and rushing through the pebbled road to get to the grassy front lawn before anyone could hear. I would connect my iPod to a local french radio station (convincing myself I could understand) and start jogging, fixating on the orange, yellow, light blue hues of the sky. The air was so chilly I could see my breath. The road was long, but the surrounding trees framed it so that I never felt alone. I could sprint, walk, stop and stare at the beauty of nature, every journey was up to me.
The runs helped me reflect on my classes from the day before and prepare for the day ahead. They served as an alternative to meditation and a great way to stay focused. Although I didn’t run every day, I am grateful I forced myself out of bed every now and then especially because I always arrived on time for a wonderful breakfast.
3. Discovering new voices
On one of our visits to the town market, I asked the man in charge of the music stand – in broken French – about a song playing through the speakers. The song was “Jour 1” by Louane...I’ve been a fan of hers since! Fellow Alum Luis Martinez and I still bond over this song.
4. Tea! Marmite!
A massive thank you to Diarmaid, one of the Berridge faculty, for showing me the little garden that helped me spice up my tea and to Simon, our resident Shakespeare specialist, for convincing me to try Marmite for the first time. Yum...seriously.
When you’re improvising, trying something out in class, or performing, you never know who’s really watching or listening. You just try your best and give your all. However, sometimes when you touch someone; be it emotionally, spiritually, etc., your message sticks and resonates. While most of the time there is no opportunity for the observer to tell you how you’ve moved them, at Berridge we spend enough time with each other for these exchanges to happen. These conversations bring joy, excitement, and inspiration.
A meaningful conversation can go a long way especially when it's with someone you’ve come to admire. They are gifts that stay with you forever.
6. Quieting the mind
I LOVED MEDITATING IN THE BARN. It is incredibly hard to quiet the mind, but it is possible. Andrea’s gong and soothing voice make the practice special. You won’t regret trying it.