For most students, receiving entry into a Bachelor of Fine Arts program is a significant – and in some cases, life-changing – accomplishment. BFA programs are quite competitive, requiring prowess in acting, singing and dance, not to mention a non-stop work ethic to help students cope with the long and energy-depleting days. What’s amazing, then, is the fact that UBC soccer players manage to balance their six-days-per-week soccer training with the BFA training.
On Sunday November 4, the UBC Thunderbirds’ BFA coursework was on full display, as they played the University of Alberta Bears soccer team in the Canada West Finals. This was a big game, with the winner claiming the title of “Best of the West” for university soccer. Thus, both teams were ready to hit the turf and show the referee their skills. In this department, UBC took the prize by a longshot, showing that a UBC BFA degree is among the best in Canada. Here are some examples that support this argument:
1. For what seemed like 45 minutes out of the 90-minute game, UBC players were on the ground, writhing in pain, convincing some fans and players that they were actually hurt. However, several minutes later, they always got up on their feet and started running again. Amazing!
2. In one of the most convincing examples of expressive body language, UBC’s star striker went down near the 40-minute mark of the first half, clutching his leg in agony. After the ref provided some stern words to a Bears defender, the UBC striker bounced up onto his feet, limped for three seconds and then exploded into a full-on sprint. While the UBC striker was on the ground, some fans in the stands yelled, “RUN THE 100 METER!” The UBC striker did just that.
3. When UBC scored its first goal, their players screamed a number of indecipherable and drawn out sounds, like “WOOOOO.” They pumped their arms, jumped on each others’ backs and then looked at players in the Golden Bears’ bench. This annoyed some people in the stands, but that’s what BFA students try to do, right? It’s important that the audience feels the players’ emotions.
4. At the start of the second half, Jermele Campbell scored for the Golden Bears, making the score 1-1. UBC players were very sad, and their faces revealed incredible disgust. This was an example of irony, which is an idea studied by UBC BFA students. The UBC players’ ability to bring irony to the Foote Field turf bodes well on their future careers as actors.
5. Much like in the first half, UBC players maintained their floor routine, rolling around on the ground in ways that would make Winnipeg Ballet dancers proud. The floor routines interrupted the rhythm of the match at some points, however.
6. When the first 15-minute half of overtime finished, one UBC player pumped his fist and screamed, “YEAHHH!!!” He thought the game was over. Obviously, this individual did not sufficiently prepare in advance; he failed to read the script. If there’s one thing that BFA students know, it’s that you can only get away with that shit in a regular Drama Major. Once you enter a BFA program, however, that sort of childishness just doesn’t fly.
Overall, the Sunday November 4 performance at Foote Field was a good showing by the UBC soccer team. Without a doubt, this was a 4 stars out of 5 performance. With some tinkering over the next week, their Vancouver-based BFA teachers can provide some pointers for earning a 4.5 stars performance in the CIS Nationals. On the other hand, the U of A Golden Bears will be doing their own work for the same competition.
And who knows… the two teams might battle it out once more in another mix of soccer and theatre sports.