St Peter's School
Fifth Form pupil Jennie reflects on her journey to attaining a LAMDA Grade 6 with distinction.
I first started LAMDA exams at age 7 and took my Grade 5 exam when I was 13.
In the Third Form at St Peter's, I decided to take a break, partly as I wanted to settle in without taking on too many commitments. However, I enjoyed continuing to act in various school productions and when I started my GCSE Drama course I decided to restart LAMDA, as I thought it would give me a different perspective.
In the Easter term of my year in Fifth Form I received a distinction in Grade 6 Solo Acting and will take Grade 7 next Christmas term. I enjoyed Grade 6 as you really need to understand the character's journey and their emotions to perform the pieces. Mrs Simon really helped me analyse and understand the two pieces that I chose. She insisted I read the whole plays my excerpts were from so that I could contextualise the pieces - although I wasn't keen, in retrospect she was right and I ended up really enjoying both plays in the process too!
For Grade 7, we have chosen three very different pieces, which are challenging to perform. In particular, I've had to develop a new regional accent for one piece. One of the pieces is required to be Shakespeare, which may put some people off continuing to Grade 7, but once you have read through the text and Mrs Simon has explained the trickier language, you begin to really enjoy it. "None of my lord's ring?" is now one of my favourite pieces from Shakespeare. I am now reading the play (Twelfth Night) to get a wider perspective on my character, Viola.
I feel that LAMDA has improved my confidence in speaking in public and has given me the opportunity to read and enjoy more varied literature than I had read before.