Back in 2006 when I came to Australia for the first time I discovered “Darlo Drama“. They were this little theatre in Darlinghurst. Today I share my story how it changed my au pair journey and why you should check it out if you are in Sydney! #notsponsored
Going back in time
My journey with Darlo Drama goes all the way back to the year 2006 which is the first time I came to Australia. After a few months in Queensland where I was living in a very small country town, my journey took me down to Sydney.
I had already dreamed about living in this amazing city but living there far exceeded any of expectations. Life in Sydney was simply spectacular.
At the time I was living with a British/Australian family looking after three young boys of the age 2, 4 and 6. My life certainly never got boring with boys that age, as you can imagine.
I myself am from a very small town in Germany. Back when I was a teenager I always dreamed about going to acting class. I don’t even know whether I would have done it or not, because I was very shy at the time, but there was simply no offer. One of the only offers in my hometown was to play soccer, so that´s what I did. I played soccer in a girls team. While there really isn’t anything wrong with playing soccer, I guess you could say that my desires stayed with me, there were parts of me that didn’t get any chance to come out.
So when I arrived in Sydney I said to myself: I´m going to sign up for acting class. I really only had just moved in when I asked the mom: “Where do you think I could take classes?”. We lived very close to Bondi Junction and the mom said: “Well I don’t know much, but I think there is a theatre in Darlinghurst, why don’t you check it out.” So I did. I looked up the address and went to the office of Darlo Drama.
First encounter with Darlo Drama
A girl named Katy opened the door for me. She gave me a flyer about their courses and explained about the class. She herself had taken part in it and really recommended it. The next Level 1 class was about to start next week, but Katy said that I didn’t have to make my decision right now, I could think a few days about it. I knew then and there that it was time to sign up. It was more than perfect that the class was about to begin just as I had moved to Sydney. So there I was signing in.
I was struggling!
When I arrived at my first class I was very nervous. My english language skills were not where they are now and I simply struggled with some of the exercises. I remember that we had to be very descriptive in one of them and I my face turned pink, because I couldn’t find the words.
While the first classes where a challenge because of the language barrier, I never regretted taking part. I was the only “foreign” girl and everyone else was from Sydney. This gave me a chance to make friends with the locals, improve my english and have fun at the class.
The teachers are incredible
We had two different acting teachers and they were both AMAZING. I seriously have never met anyone else with so much energy, so much dedication and so much skill.
The level one class was 10 weeks long with a proper presentation in week 10. As the weeks went by, I just got more and more nervous thinking of that. I kept saying to my friends that the other people in my group and much better actors than me and I simply to want to get up on stage…
I did not want to get up on stage!
I seriously didn’t want to get up on stage, I wanted to hide somewhere far away. It didn’t help that the last rehearsal didn’t go too well for me either. But there was no way out…I had after all signed up for this.
The final day arrived, the day of the presentation. I was shaking. And then something incredible happened. The whole group was backstage before it all began and there was an atmosphere in the room that I HAVE NEVER EXPERIENCED before. As a group we were simply together. There weren’t any better or worse actors in the room, because we were one. Everyone was nervous, everyone was excited and before we went out we had a big group warm-up and cheered each other on.
When I went out, I guess you could say a miracle happend. I just did it. I simply just did my performance without a doubt. I was confident.
After the presentation my acting teacher came to me and said that this was the best performance she´d ever seen of me. Much better than in the practice session. And suddenly something shifted. I went from stage fright to stage love.
Off to Level 2
For 10 weeks I´d been saying I didn’t want to perform and I´m definitely not moving into Level 2- because as you can imagine- there would be another performance lined up. As soon as Level 1 had ended I knew I was signing up for level 2. Why? I now had several reasons. I was part of an amazing group and most of them were going too, but that wasnt the only reason. I wanted to grow more as an actor AND believe it or not: I wanted to get back on stage! As soon as I moved into Level 2 I couldn’t wait for the next performance. Now I spent my 10 weeks in excitement. I totally annoyed all my friends, because all I could talk about was Darlo Drama.
After I had finished Level 2 with an amazing performance my work and holiday came to an end. This was one of the saddest moments in my life. Not only could I not move into level 3 (which I was basically dying to), I also had to leave my friends and my whole life in Sydney. While I was crying in the airplane, I was saying to myself that one day I´d come back and do Level 3.
Reunion with Darlo Drama in 2014
…and I did. 8 years later I cam back to do Level 3, which is now called “The Play”. In 2014 I was part of another amazing group. This time I didn’t know what to expect, because I hadn’t done much acting for the time in between- 8 years. I had finally managed to come to Sydney for a long holiday and was so thankful that at the time an intense course was offered for 6 weeks. I signed up hoping for a lot of things: 1. that I actually liked the play, because I didn’t know much about it, 2. that the people in the group were nice, because I didn’t know anybody 3. I had no idea where I was with my presentation skills, because I hadn’t been on stage for so long.
And again Darlo Drama more than exceeded my expectations. The play that was chosen was so much fun, I made dear friends in the group and I was given a role that was simply perfect. I couldn’t have asked for more. I learned so much in this class, not just about acting but also about myself. So for the second time it was Darlo Drama that played a big part in making my stay in Australia truly amazing.
I´d like to invite everyone, whether you are interested in acting or not- to try Darlo Dramas classes, they have an truly amazing atmosphere and you will not regret it!
Lots of love to everyone at Darlo and I am planning to sign up again in the future when I´m back in Australia.
All thats left to say is: THANK YOU!