Tuesday, April 17, 2012

First Acts

Last night I took the first acting lesson of my life. 

It was at once fun, exhilarating and a little frustrating. I came to this adventure through a friend of mine.  I met Elisa about a year and half ago along the Adam Lambert trail.  Its unlikely our paths would have crossed otherwise… and another reason to be happy about Adam and his impact on my life.  Elisa saw me perform at the last play and apparently it inspired her to want to get back into acting.  She asked me to join her in the class, which sounded like a great idea to me. 

It’s a small class…seven have signed up, but only five showed up.  The four others were all younger than my youngest child, but if you’re 35 in your head, that matters not at all.  Early in the session we filled out a survey ….favorites – actor, film, play, director, tv show - why we were there, did we have regrets in life, a four word description of ourselves.  We were all there basically to get better at this fun part of our life.  One girl was there to encourage her public self, which she thought in some way lacking.  Another was there because she likes to sing and dance and  act and has Monday evenings off from her job.  The only male student seemed to be there for validation and encouragement.  He said he has auditioned, been told he was good,  but never been given a part. 
The instructor is an actor, producer and director who has a nice list of credentials…tv shows, soap operas, live theater, movies.  He has some age on him, graying dreadlocks, a teller of tales. He included his middle name when he wrote on the board.  He told stories that were long and meandering…the source of my frustration.  I like stories. Hell,  I tell stories to be sure, but in a class, they must have a point and be to the point.  I’m there for skill-building, not to be an audience. He never did say how he came to be in Houston, but I suspect we’ll find out.

The class was 2 hours…exercises, games, some tips on auditions, what we can expect.  It went pretty fast, except for the stories.  I’ll reserve judgment for now, but I’m hopeful that we’ll really get down to it in the next seven weeks.