This week has been challenging for me - mentally and physically - with some classes at school in the morning, rehearsals all day and back to school for some late night fight rehearsals for our test on Saturday afternoon.
Throughout the week I had a great deal of fun; creative outlets and intense work always seem to be a great vessel for letting out some steam (and endless giggles). But I was also feeling my body seriously needing some rest. I guess the adrenaline was keeping me going but I could feel there wasn't much else underneath.
So Saturday morning came and I was not feeling fantastic, however I tried staying focused and giving it my all for the dress rehearsal - we came out with some pretty good stuff although my hands were quite shaky from the nerves.
The test came and I was not feeling any less nervous. I stayed focused on the intention and the storytelling (we were doing the proposal scene from Pride and Prejudice which we ended with Darcy breaking Elizabeth's arm and she breaking his neck - Ha!). However as we moved through the choreography, from rapier and dagger to single sword, I could feel myself worry about slowly losing control of the weapons and missing parries.
The thing I forgot to mention was that I was fighting with my left hand - and I am a right-hander - because my right arm is permently dislocated so my lunges would have never been perfectly straight. This was a big challenge for me; I had never used my left hand so intensively before.
Anyhow, when we got to the unarmed part, I was feeling a lot more confident because I new where my punched and moves were coming from and going to. I was infinitely more in control. And we also had that sweet move at the end where Marc "broke" my right arm, and the effect was pretty freaky.
The examinator had us back in for the sword section - much to our surprise. I tried my best but my body couldn't take it anymore, so it turned out to be very similar to the first time we did it.
I didn't feel great about myself - why had I decided to train with my non-dominant hand in the first place? It would be such a humiliation to fail after all that work.
We all came back in to receive our grades. It turned out I passed with Merit! I had forgotten - with all this pressure to be perfect - that the whole point of the fight test was to make sure we as actors could be trusted with weapons on stage. There had never been a moment in our fight where any of us had been in danger. Marc and I had kept each other safe at all points during the fight, and on top of that, we were able to tell the story.
I was relieved; I am really proud of myself for still passing with Merit, in spite of my nerves and also being the only one fighting with my non-dominant hand. I also learned a really good lesson this week about advocating for myself and listening to my body. After all, it is going to be my sole working tool.
Now, I think that deserves banana pancakes.