The Cours Professional
The Cours Professional, which is the acting course, is taught for four hours a day, five days a week. Each day is divided into three lessons: an hour and a half of improvisation, an hour of movement and an hour of working on your auto-cours.
The auto-cours, as those French speakers out there might have guessed, is where you take control of the lesson yourself. Every week you divide into groups of about 5 or 6 and have to create and rehearse a scene based on an inspiriation given by the teachers. This week the inspiration was 'a place and a happening'. Because it was the first week there was a massive language divide as the foreign students attempted to get a grip on this slippery french. Luckily in my group there was a girl who spoke impeccable Fench and English. She was Swedish, naturally.
Jay's auto-cour was set in a church. Mine was set in a lift. They were both panned. But then, every group was panned during the show on Friday where you show your work to the whole year. 'Pas juste', is their big catchphrase: false, unreal.
There are about 100 people in our year, of which roughly half are French, a quarter are english speaking and the rest are from literally all over the world. There was a girl in my auto-cours from an island East of Mauritius. That's like, miles away. On the first day those 100 are divided into three groups who you then spend the rest of the year with.
The improvisation classes are probably the most difficult in terms of the language barrier. Although all the improvisations are silent (not colours and animals yet, but we'll get there), when you get feedback it's entirely in French and can be quite hard to follow. Apparently Jay smiles and nods through being told he was terrible. It should be said that nobody gets told they're good. It's very morale boosting. Each day you get a new sut-up which so far has been something like, walking into a room and without words trying to show what room it is, what time it is, what you're doing there etc.
Jay and I have maybe found the movement classes the most enjoyable over the first week. To be honest I find them hilarious because the room is so big that I can't always hear the instructions (and when I can I might as well not have) so I literally just copy the person next to me. Which is hard when you have to lie on your back with your eyes closed.