Kristel is following the mbo course 'artist theater' at ROC in Tilburg; a three-year level 4 course. She is proud of the fact that she has been given the opportunity to study for something she loves most. "The fact that you can study the profession of theater is pretty special. It is often seen as something hobby-like, but nothing could be further from the truth; it is a profession in its own right!" Kristel's biggest dream is to become a theater maker, and that she can inspire in others the pleasure and energy she derives from theater. We asked her a few questions about her education and her ambitions in this creative world.
In recent years Kristel has noticed that she really enjoys the side of teaching and creating within theater. That is why she wants to continue her studies at HBO.
How do you define 'creating'?
"Creating is about creating something that is your own. The term is quite broad, just as theater is. You can make anything and every maker is unique in their own style. I am finding out more and more what my own style is and what I am the 'best' at. What I have made is still just too little to actually become known for it.
I think what typifies my style is the absurdist. That often comes along in my scenes and I find it very nice to make. Natural acting combined with absurdism is definitely my preference."
Can you give an example of something absurd?
"Haha, yeah. I did a scene with a classmate once that had a banana in it and it was about a kidnapping. The two of us were kidnapped and woke up in a locked room. We -and the audience- saw a box of bananas, but we didn't consider them bananas. We handled them as if they were guns, or hairbrushes, for example. Because we then treat them with such conviction and regard them as if they were other objects, at a certain point the audience does too. Because yes, they have to! All this sounds very vague and crazy, but I really like playing with reality. So being able to do a little bit of the crazy, but also being able to make a story true for your audience with a touch of abnormality, I think is really cool to do!"
How do you like your education so far?
"Very good! Since I still live with my parents outside Tilburg and there aren't many MBO-theatre courses in the Netherlands, I had to travel relatively far anyway. It didn't really matter to me where I would study. At the time, I went to take a look at the ROC. I am a very emotional person and I quickly have a good or less good feeling about a school. At the ROC in Tilburg it felt very good! The past three years the school has been very good and broad. You can taste a lot of things and see what you like, or what appeals to you less. But you also spend a lot of time with teachers and your class. You, your class and the teachers become closer and closer, so when I finish this study, I will miss it enormously!"
How creative do you think Tilburg is?
"To me, Tilburg comes across as tremendously creative city. Also through the project office at school we have been able to stand for many events in Tilburg and in my opinion there is always something going on for art and culture in Tilburg. Of course, Tilburg has a wide range of creative programs, so that also encourages it. In the past three years I have had the opportunity to do quite a few projects at Tilburg events, including the Dwalerij. Then you really notice that there are many artists walking around in the city. That makes the city special and great to be in!"
The fact that Tilburg is creative and artistic is of course reflected in your school. Are there specific places in the city where you see this reflected?
"During theater performances we visited the theater but also, for example, at the Dwalerijmarkt where I was sometimes a hostess. Also at De Nieuwe Vorst there was always something to do in the field of theater."
Would you like to change something about the city of Tilburg?
"When we wanted to make projects and do that with externals (students outside my school), it was sometimes difficult to find a suitable space for that. You often end up on the street or in a park, but that is not ideal, so we would rather do it in a private space. A space where students can come together from different schools and where it is easy to school together, that would be great!"
What's the ugliest thing you've ever made?
"Haha well, that was a concept. It never made it to the stage (thankfully). It was a concept we had to make on assignment for school. In retrospect, I wasn't behind it at all and the teachers totally saw that in it. It was a kind of Mega Mindy story, but with a particularly big plottwist. The performance actually had a very heavy, deep, underlying thought, while it was quite a childish piece. It didn't really match at all. To try and explain the underlying idea: man has two faces and man cannot be trusted. Then it was no longer about the main character Mega Mindy, but more about the villains in the story. In retrospect, it seemed unwise to show this to adults and certainly not to children. So that wasn't to be, but you can learn from making mistakes, of course!"
What lesson have you learned as a student maker so far?
"That it is very interesting to play with the expectations of the audience. And, that everyone can give their own meaning to theater. There's a kind of framework of approach that you can be flexible with, I just find that very cool and educational!"