British school of Kuwait (BSK) student Daniella Wakim, who acted on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company on their recent visit to Kuwait, revealed many fascinating details about her wonderful time performing with a professional acting troupe.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Daniella Wakim, I am 16 years old, I’m Australian/Lebanese and I am a student at BSK, currently in the final year of my IGCSEs. I enjoy sports, and love dance and drama. I started theatre and acting at a young age (11) with my first show being Wizard of Oz playing the character of Glinda.
I have always loved performing from a young age and used to play Piano and Violin when I was younger, but that did not compare to performing drama and dance. I have been in many performances throughout my life, mostly having rehearsed, and others by just jumping on stage during a carnival or small group sketches. Roughly, I have taken apart in about 20 formal performances (Music, Dance and Theatre). As much as I love the arts, I do also love the sciences and astronomy.
What drew you to get involved in a drama workshop?
I have attended very few professional performances in my life, so when my Drama teacher told us about the Young Shakespeare Company coming to perform Macbeth in Kuwait, I was ecstatic! When we arrived at the theatre I was so excited to watch the performance and learn from professional actors, that performing with them didn’t even cross my mind. I was just there to learn from the best and enjoy the performance. So when the director came and asked for some dance volunteers, without even thinking I threw my hand up and yelled “OH I can dance!” and was then picked to perform with some other volunteers.
How did you feel about being picked to perform on stage?
I was so excited, and was taken completely off guard- I wasn’t expecting it at all! I felt honored that the RSC had asked me to perform with them.
What are your future ambitions?
I love medicine, so I would like to go into that field and become a Doctor. I am still undecided as to what to specialize in.
What was the last play you had performed in?
My last performance was the BAIA Dance production of Beauty and the Beast, and I played the part of Gaston. My last theatrical performance was Aladdin and I played the narrator.
How would you describe your experience on stage with professional actors?
The amount of energy the actors brought to the stage was amazing and made me feel as though I was genuinely part of their world. I had a great experience on stage, and the actors’ confidence made me feel confident as well.
What did you pick up from the professionals you were on stage with?
How entrapped each actor was in their character, it was as if they were a completely different individual. And how fast they would change between different characters throughout the play. There was a lot of organization going on behind the scenes, with every set change and costume change being laid out perfectly for the quick changes. It was quite impressive how quick they would change outfits. Also, the variety of exaggerated facial expressions and voicing the professionals used made the characters really come to life and bring energy to the theatre. Finally, I learned how difficult and important it is to control your breathing on stage, as that strengthens their voice projection. It was also really impressive how the actors were able to “play dead” and bring their breathing down to a minimum after breathing so heavily beforehand.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in taking up a workshop in drama?
Do it! Don’t be afraid of judgment, because trust me there is none! You will learn so much about yourself and others if you take part. It will help build your confidence and develop friendships. Plus, it’s good to experience your pre-nerves before a performance at least once in your life.