UNSW Med Revue is an annual comedy-sketch show with acting, singing, dancing and a live band.
My goals for uni
I started uni this year with a few different goals in mind:
- Either continue cross-country running or try out a new sport
- Sign up something completely new
- Go to as many events as possible!!!
Finding out about Revue
Two days into uni someone convinced me to check out a society called Med Revue. I felt so out of place because I had never tried dancing before. As I watched everyone learning really easily while I struggled on the most simple moves, I realised that dancing wasn’t for me. The commitment was huge as well; rehearsals added up to over 15 hours a week and I had a full uni workload on top of that.
I decided to come back the next day and stay for the entire rehearsal to give revue a fair chance because learning dancing seemed interesting and I didn’t want to say no until I had stayed to try out the acting. After every rehearsal for the next few days, I convinced myself that I’d check out the next one and within a week I felt completely integrated into the society.
Revue is so much more than simply a comedy-sketch show: it’s a group of friends working together to learn new skills and have fun. Learning how to dance went from a tedious task to an exciting opportunity. The choreos were so encouraging that every time I got home after a rehearsal, I wanted to keep practicing for next time.
What I learnt
Although revue was an extremely memorable experience, there were also many challenges I faced over the 9 weeks.
Prioritising My Time
As I mentioned before, revue was a huge burden to my uni schedule. My uni workload consisted of COMP1511 (Programming Fundamentals), MATH1141 (Higher Mathematics 1A) and PHYS1141 (Higher Physics 1A (Special)). Maths and compsci were manageable because they only had small weekly tasks and a few assignments, however, physics had weekly quizzes, lab reports and tutorials.
I often found myself coming home at 11 after revue, conducting my physics experiments quietly in my room and then writing up lab reports. Additionally, there were multiple lab tests in maths and physics and I completed most of them at 3am because for a period of a few weeks that was the time I was most free to focus on my work. This wasn’t just because of revue; I signed up for 2 subcoms and tutored several Year 11 and 12 students. I tried to go to events for societies that I signed up to but around week 4, I realised that it was a much better idea to reduce my workload instead of straining myself with even more activities.
This workload taught me so much about managing my time and deciding how to prioritise events based on my goals. There is always so much to do but in the end, the most important thing is to find what matters to me and put my time into that. After revue ended, I felt like such a big part of my uni experience was missing but at the sane time, it gave me the chance to focus on my next immediate goal: my upcoming exams.
Before revue, I had never acted or danced before and I could never imagine that within a few weeks I would be standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people acting out a script. There were so many things to keep track of when acting:
- Remembering the lines
- Background acting
- Cues for special effects
Most of these were elements I had to consciously remember for the first few weeks. Over time, they became much easier and by show week they were second nature. Initially, I didn’t have the confidence to act freely and there were a lot of moments when I completely blanked on my lines or didn’t know how to deliver a particular line. It was so painstaking thinking about how I’d survive on stage where the stakes were much higher and I couldn’t make any mistakes.
In the end, I learnt so many new skills that I can employ in my everyday life. I feel more confident being creative, presenting stuff on the spot and expressing myself when I talk about something I’m passionate about.
I realised how bland all my clothes are. I struggled a lot while searching through my wardrobe for clothes matching each sketch. I spent so many hours searching through the same clothes and looking at the list I had hoping that searching one more time would yield one of the costumes I needed. In the end, I borrowed some stuff from my parents, other people and bought the rest. I’m probably going to make sure that I’m not wearing variations of the exact same thing everyday 🙄.
One of the biggest parts of selling the show was on-campus marketing. There were schedules everyday for specific people to market the show with flyers and posters. For the duration of the 2 weeks marketing, this remained something I never looked forward to. From waking up early and driving to uni only to spend half an hour trying to find somewhere to park, to the mass of people walking the long way to where they were going just to avoid us, the whole experience was really tedious.
However, it did help me learn a lot about marketing an idea to someone. When we were standing outside, we only had moments to convince someone to stop and take a look at our posters. We had to deliver a huge amount of information within those mere seconds and also make it interesting enough that people listened. This was actually very insightful. Although I’m not too keen on this form of marketing, and I hope that revue dabbles into the digital space in the future, I know that this experience definitely helped me learn how to pitch an idea concisely.
One more thing I learnt was the importance of resilience and confidence. Walking around to people who were stuydying or eating and asking them if they wanted to watch a comedy sketch show seemed like such an awkward thing to do. There were countless people who completely ignored our presence and didn’t even want to give us 5 seconds, however, these were completely overshadowed by the few people who stayed, listened and even asked questions about the show. I looked forward to more people like those and they were the moments when I actually enjoyed what were doing.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling of staying behind the curtains, listening to the band and knowing that in a few seconds, I’d be on the stage performing. From rushing to finish my makeup and get my quick changes ready on both sides of the stage to heading to where we were staying for the week and playing boardgames till 3am, the whole experience was so exciting and memorable. I definitely want to continue being involved with UNSW Med Revue in the future.