The time has come. I’m about to step through the institute of learning that is Central Saint Martins, not so much “hallowed portals” as industrial chic really. Imagine a huge victorian warehouse with a street running through it. It is actually called “the Street” – a wide avenue with shop-fronted workshops, a café, an art shop, and at the end a bar. I longed to show the girls around, but they were not allowed beyond the ping-pong tables at the far end. Outside a large square with timed mini jets and concrete benches, which can be seen in the latest Bridget Jones film.
I won’t pretend the nerves haven’t kicked in. They have and tomorrow there’ll be screams of panic inside. I have tried to be prepared but I can’t help feeling it is never enough. All last week a plethora of Amazon parcels flew through the door – ten Shakespeares, a volume of Chekhov, books on Screenplays,etc. Luckily I could make up the reading list from a huge collection dotted around here.
This last friday I attended a welcome day which consisted of stalls for the library, students union, health services,etc and lots of lovely designer canvas bags ( no more 10p Waitrose plastic recyclers on my shopping trips thank you very much) and then to the main event.
An assortment of the main department heads of the college – all full of welcomes, advice and humour and the (as in a comedy gig) usual questions of which course are you on? Not many from MAs and I’m sure most people still think I’m Staff. The Acting Course were loudest unsurprisingly, will they still be laughing when they have to perform a scene butt-naked as was the norm twenty years ago at the Drama Centre- all in the name of barrier breakdown?
And then, Jeremy Till. Fluffy white-hair and wise – a modern day Wizard from behind the curtain but this time with a Powerpoint presentation. Short rules which he went on to explain. Be curious, always ask, be yourself and,as CSM is so prized :- Be confident, not arrogant. Hand on heart there is no chance of the latter with me.
I’m away now to pack a bag filled with flashy new stationery, sort out student travel and cram in a copy of Hamlet. Wish me luck.