Hey y’all! I’m back in Austin, fully immersed in my final semester at the University of Texas. I can't wait to be graduating and moving to Los Angeles in less than four months, although leaving the best university in the world is bittersweet. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I was going to do a study abroad program in Barcelona for three weeks to do some acting training. The three weeks in Barcelona came and went and I cannot imagine a better experience for me to leave the US for the first time.
The day after Christmas, I got on a plane with anxiety bubbling inside me (I did not know anyone going on the trip) towards my first international adventure. Many, many hours later I landed in Barcelona and met Kari Margolis, the creator of the Margolis Method that we would be learning. I dropped off my things and met the rest of the group over traditional tapas and the rest is history.
Each week, we had about twenty-two hours of studio time with Kari. Since Catalan actors also took the classes, we learned in Spanish, Catalan, and English. Classes were held in this awesome, large studio inside a renovated thread factory that we took the subway to. Other than training each week, we would attend plays, have lectures about Catalan theatre, and do group activities. I saw a Catalan musical at the famous Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, a show with circus performers, and a traditional Lorca play in the Gothic Quarters. Our activities included a walking tour, a biking tour, and a tour of Park Güell— all stunning. On New Year’s Eve, we went to the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc to see fireworks and eat grapes, which is tradition there. We saw the Three Kings parade to celebrate the twelth day of Christmas, also called Epiphany. On our own, we went shopping, walking, hiking, to museums, restaurants, bars, clubs, pretty much anything we had the energy/time for. Some highlights for me include the amazing view from the Búnquers del Carmel, getting fish pedicures (which are banned in the US, but feel AMAZING), Zara, the Museu de la Xocolata (Chocalate), Museu Picasso, eating pintxos and patatas bravas, going to the Castell de Montjuïc, and Sagrada Família.
My mini study abroad experience surpassed every expectation and hope that I had. I met some of the most bold, fun, daring actors America and Barcelona have. Kari Magolis’ training is for serious actors only. It was rigorous, but rewarding. I really hope to train with her again and delve deeper into Margolis Method. Spain is just awesome! People in Barcelona are more patient, healthy, close with family, and obsessed with dogs. Not having cell phone service made me feel even more distance from America. It was like a therapeutic technology detox, acting training, cultural experience wrapped up in one. Also, wine is less than two dollars! What was not to love?! I would recommend this program to anyone looking grow as an actor and experience a new culture. Even if you're not looking for an acting program, just go to Barcelona at some point in your life. It was beautiful and fun and there was so much to do.