In our first year of training in the Drama Division, we have an extracurricular class called Cultural Initiative. This is designed to get us out of our side of the building. Our schedules get so packed in our dense curriculum, that we can't easily get out and attend events around the city or elsewhere at Juilliard. These special trips are a real treat and broaden our artistic perspective. Past outings include:
- a trip to the Film Forum in SoHo to see the classic post-WWII Italian film "Roma Città Aperta"
- observing a New Juilliard Ensemble rehearsal session and performance
- an after-hours private tour of the Frick Collection on the East Side to have a guided study of the 1658 Self Portrait by Rembrandt
But this Wednesday, we had a really special experience. We joined the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and watched a bit of their rehearsal - they were working on the great Count Basie Orchestra chart "Blues in Hoss' Flat."
After watching them and asking questions for a while, we invited them over to our side of the building to observe us at work. We did some basic duo improv scene work, but then the real fun started when we decided to team up on improv scenes with both actors and musicians.
Here's a video of some fun we had during our shared class:
It was one of those "only at Juilliard" moments. We all gained so much respect for how the other side works on their craft and how much common ground we share in terms of artistic process.
I think I speak for all of us when I say we loved the shared class and can't wait for the chance to do more in the future!