Today was the first day in a series of lectures that I am hosting at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, entitled: ‘Dramatic Communication’. Over the next 12 weeks or so I am to give a series of workshops that use aspects of dramatic technique to improve the students’ ability to communicate their research. I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the first lesson, or how many students would turn up, but with my dodgy moustache and bow tie I felt every bit the lecturer.
I had been told to expect between 5 and at the absolute most 10 students to turn up, and so was rather taken aback when 23 turned up for the first workshop, entitled ‘Know Your Lines’. As well as a general introduction to the course, and the usual theatre warm-up games, the purpose of today was to get the students to appreciate the importance of rehearsing. To this end I gave two presentations, one of which I had spent the last week practicing to death, and the other which I had not looked at in two years. Needless to say the second absolutely bombed, and I think that I managed to get the point across. By everyone’s consensus today had been a unequivocal success, and it was heartening to see the students, many of whom were meeting each other for the first time, staying behind after the class to discuss the homework that I has set them. I genuinely cannot remember the last time I felt as proud of an accomplishment as I did today, and whilst it is only the first step on a long path, I can’t wait to find out where it leads.