The first time

The first time

26 March 2018

Daniella Harrison gets to grips with the weird and wonderful quirks of NSDF

“You’re going to have an amazing time!”, my housemate near-enough screams at me across the kitchen table at 1am on Saturday night. “It’s honestly so much fun”.

It’s the first year he’s not been to the festival in around three years, and he’s gutted. Obviously I don’t understand the magnitude of his gutted-ness. Yet. Most days we talk about theatre and more often than not he’ll mention something about last year’s festival – a person, a show, a joke which circulated for the entire week – before remembering that I wasn’t there. I’ve actually never been before.

I feel like I have, though. I hear so much about it from my housemate, my mutuals on twitter, and my head of Drama (who wrote for Noises Off herself in the ‘90s). I feel like I can imagine it: the long days, the sheer amount of theatre and energy in the room, feeling incredibly tired but also incredibly awake at the same time. Kind of like Edinburgh but over a week, and with a bit more of a community.

Despite being told so much about I still feel so unprepared.

Do I need another pair of shoes? What if my one pair of trainers I have with me breaks?
Am I talking too much? Not enough?
Is it normal to bring bananas in my suitcase?
Am I keeping to myself too much?

As I sit in the Campus Centre writing this, with my well-thumbed programme on my left and almost empty bottle of water on the right, I feel a sense of not really knowing how this week is going to pan out. I’ve got a wristband and some Noff deadlines, but other than that, who knows what’s going to happen.

I normally like to feel planned and prepared, but I know that’s not always possible. I don’t know who I’m going to speak to, what conversations are going to be had, or how everything is going to make me feel.

And that’s okay. I think this week is about just immersing myself. Going with the flow. Of learning to ride the wave, if you will.


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