TRY Theatre changed my life. This is probably the most cliche thing I’ve ever written, but it’s true! I joined try in my second year of high school, not knowing a bit about acting. I just thought it might be fun, well, my mum did, and forced me to come. I did like it though! It was way more than acting. TRY is a language school, a place to make great friends, a place where you can let out your frustrations as a character and a place where you can just relax and be yourself. And that was the most important thing. TRY’s helped me build up confidence for things that are way bigger than a drama school. I’ve never been an amazing actor, and I doubt I’ll ever be Hollywood material, but I also doubt I would be where I am now if it weren’t for TRY. The confidence to go on stage and speak, the confidence (and knowledge) of a foreign language, the ability to say two sentences to a crowd without having to prepare them on paper and rehearse them for ages, those are skills you’ll always have use for.
We did rehearse, though. A lot. The preparation for every play would start with us getting bits of the text and trying to act it out. Then we’d discuss how it went, what we thought, and how the story should move on. The focus was really on figuring out what the characters are like and which character would fit which actor best. So by the end of the day, by the time the play was on stage, we had a play and a company that were made for each other.
My favourite play was without doubt The Six Sisters. The six Yugoslav states, represented by the six Titon sisters, are about to go their separate ways. Four foreign investors, representing four wealthier countries, come in and try to take anything they can while the sisters fight over everything they could think of. And I think it’s my favourite play because it hit the hardest. Because it gave us a very clear picture of who we are and where we stand, and it being shown so clearly comes as sort of a shock, even though everyone knew it. My character, Juergen, is the German investor, the leader of the Company who is joined by Francesco, the Italian, and Agapios, the Greek investor. Juergen is a very down-to-earth, very restrained and self-controlled person. He takes no nonsense and gets the job done. And to act a character like that, I had to put some effort into being more like that. Juergen is a cold person who doesn’t show emotions openly, but he also believes that people around him are idiots, and he’s bound to get annoyed at that. He does get angry, but it’s the kind of angry we rarely see. No shouting or hitting or any sort of open anger, but one you notice in someone’s voice and posture and it sends chills through your spine. I also did a great job doing the German accent.
In a few months, I’m leaving Croatia for a university in England. And, to be honest, I’m completely terrified. Of a lot of things. But the one thing that doesn’t scare me is the language. Yes, school taught me the grammar and some words, but TRY takes that and puts it to use. Makes you actually speak English and realise by yourself how it’s all supposed to work. Even outside of TRY, we’ll often keep speaking English to each other. So I know that socialising in a new place, in a new country, would be that much easier.
I would suggest anyone who has some free time, anyone who wants to build up confidence and learn how to speak and move on a stage, anyone who has the will to try something new, to try TRY. It’s way more than acting.