Ayee - Laos
I have had a significant mentor in theatre, my first theatre teacher. It was last year when I started to know her and the first time that I learn what theatre is. I had absolutely no experience in theatre before and was very shy to speak or express myself. In the first class I had to describe a word without saying that word. I do not know if there was something sticking in my mouth or not, but I was not able to do it. She told us to speak loudly with a open body. But I was holding my hand and even trembling a little. That was my starting point, and yes, it was not that good, but because she encouraged me a lot and inspired me nonetheless. Her favorite phrase was - “It’s okay, it’s the starting point. Everyone has the starting point and we all have to grow up.”
After I spent a year learning from her, she taught me about how many things we can do in theatre, directing, acting, designing, and producing. Theatre is not just for fun, everything on stage or before coming to have a stage or any elements in theatre have to have reasons and intentions. If I cannot explain how and why I came up with the ideas of having this red costume on stage, I would not be able to have it. I would say that I learned about critical thinking from her to be able to justify everything on stage or even in my life.
Beside this, everything in class had built me up to be a confident person - to speak and be able to express my thoughts in my second language. The exercises that we did, guided me to be able to control my body and emotion which I think it is very helpful for the diverse international community that I am leaving in.
Furthermore, I have learned about responsibility from her, because she was super strict which I think it is the best lesson, because responsibility plays a big big role in theatre. We all want to create the amazing productions that are valuable to watch and contains all of our hard work. In order to do so, we have to have responsibility for our works even it is a small component.
Another great lesson from her is about building an ensemble inside theatre. Ensemble means many things for me, it is not just a group of people, but a well bonded family. She always reminded us how important it was to work as an ensemble and caring for each other.
From all my experiences with her and the theatre ensemble, I have learned so much about myself, how theatre helped to build me up with confidence and now I have a bond with theatre. I have absolutely fallen in love with theatre. Although life in theatre is very difficult, to me, it is a challenge worth taking.