Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Acting for Amateurs

Well, it was quite a day. I got to SCAN fearfully early, of course--I'm notorious for being early. I wanted to put my framed picture (of yours truly on stage in my various productions) around the room and did so, but not before I found (nobody had told me this before) that the WE bowlers were in there from 9:30 to 10:30. My class starts at 10:30 and when I mentioned this to director Tony, he said he would have them out by 10:25. Great...
...except that "Paul," who proudly told me he's 86* and started the virtual bowling thing, plopped himself down while I was setting up the room. He went on and on about how he was a Hoosier boy and had the lead in his class play (in 1845, no doubt), and blah, blah, blah. I interjected a "really" and "is that so?" an "ah" and a "ha" now and then, and I guess that satisfied him. I got the message that he had organized the Wi bowling thing and was waiting for the other players; however, they never showed up. When it got near 10:30 and I looked at the clock, he asked if he could "address your group" to interest them in Wi Bowling. I said, "No, I'm not agreeable to that at all, absolutely not." He argued a bit, but finally left. Annoying as hell.
My class started coming in, all 14 of them on time. Wait--fourteen? I had told SCAN to cap it at twelve (which is two more than I prefer), so what's with 14? The snafu was so complicated I just don't want to go into it, but the upshot was, I kept the two extras. That meant, of course, that I had to modify my agenda to an extent, and will have to for the other sessions, but I can handle it.
The class went very, very well. I started off with just a bit of personal history, then a few nitty-gritty items: turn off your cell, please be on time, and so on. I sent around a sign-up sheet for e-mail address and gave each my card with my info on it. I then started with improv. I had each pick out a folded slip from my little red box, read it to themselves, then hand to me and I read it aloud. At that point, they had one minute to react the situation. Most did pretty well and they enjoyed it a lot. I then gave out four short humorous plays, three of which I wrote myself. I assigned parts and they read, some better than others, of course. Next week, I'll start emphasizing the importance of gestures, pauses, facial expressions, interjections, and more.
Actually, the hour flew past. After, I took Margaret (who had been the nutritionist at SCAN for many years and is in the class) to pick up her car at Toyota. I then went back and talked to Tony about the class size problem, but agreed simply to modify and work with it. We also talked about doing a show for friends and family after the course--yes, sure, I want to--and that was good.
Anyway, that was it. I'm happy with the class composition--I have three men--and the extra two I'll just have to work with. Incidentally, one of the men, Jim, came to me after and said he had a problem being interesting when he talks to his classes. He teaches philosophy at Ventura College and indeed, comes across as dull as dishwater with a monotone. I'm going to work with him and I'm looking forward to that.
Did all kinds of chores and errands the rest of the day, but the class was the high point. Even with all the problems, I love doing it and am looking forward to next week.
*Why in the hell people think reaching a certain age is some kind of achievement is beyond me. Also, I hate generalizations about people, so will observe that some--only some--older men (yes, men in particular) seem to think anything they say is amusing and/or intelligent. I suppose this is because they were brought up in an era where the male dominated, they were mummy's favorite, and they never got over it. Of course, like Paul, if somebody's a bore and a jerk at 16, he'll almost surely be a bore and a jerk at 86.


iloveac said...

So glad it went well....just as I was sure it would.

Mimi said...

Thanks, Patti!