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By Timothy Bano
I have just finished a play. Yes, I let it slip, the big T; I’m one of those dreaded Thespians who prances around Oxford in a wax jacket (Barbour of course), entertained by the sound of my own voice, and every so often, despite not actually talking to you physically in College I will unabashedly invite you, through Facebook of course, to one of the plethora of student productions I am performing in. I know its irritating, and I know we ‘Thespians’ (I use that word ironically- I’m not actually that arrogant) have quite a bad ‘rep’. Yes, we consistently harangue you to buy surprisingly expensive tickets, then continue to pester you after the show with annoying repetitive questions which all seem to centre around our own artistic performance and neurotic desire for praise however, be comforted by the sad fact that the majority of us will end up working part time as a waiters with only our dramatic dreams to keep us warm at night, well either that or some director we are trying to shag for ‘that part we really want’.
However, ‘Life as a ‘Thesp’ isn’t as rosy as it may seem to you plebs. The never ending rejections understandably encourage self doubt to blossom, the scarcity of roles creates an insufferable competitive edge, and the increasingly exclusive ‘Playhouse Drama Clique’ begins to grate. Most of us are on Academic Probation anyway and have to sneak in and out of college, lying to tutors and indignantly protesting that ‘of course we understand the importance of Mods and would NEVER jeopardise our academic progress’. Another beautiful downside is that rehearsals always seem to come in the way of any social occasion; balls, birthdays, hall meals, bops everything must be sacrificed for the play. So by the end of it all, your tutors aren’t quite so keen on you, your friends have almost forgotten about you, you’re pregnant with your director’s baby and branded as an insufferable ‘Thesp’. I know we are annoying sometimes but don’t hate us too much; drama in Oxford is disarmingly brutal.