So maybe I’m not going to be an actress-actress, but I am taking acting classes. It seems to have always been something I wanted to do, yet was I afraid (?) to do it because of some silly incident in my youth. The one-time audition for the junior high production of Fame was a crash & burn so why the hell ever revisit something of which I clearly had zero talent?
I can’t let a bad experience when I was 13 years old keep me from doing something I might be good at—more importantly, something that can help me out in every day life.
I’ve gotten to the point where I’m not going to past mistakes or failures deter me from going after what I want. There are some things, not everything, but there are at least 5 things I can name off the top of my head that I’ve not done because I’ve thought oh, I’m not that good at it.
Screw that. I’m not going to be good at something if I don’t try.
(Drawing. Massage. DJ-ing. Fiction writing. Running. You’re next. And video, photography, snowboarding, and pole dancing—I’m so not anywhere close to being done with you.)
In the past 2 years, there have been two occasions where circumstances led to me physically acting in front of large groups of people. The first was a last-minute invite to a Cirque du Soleil performance. I ended up on stage with fending off a squirrelly mime-clown in a make-believe automobile. The arena laughed and laughed. It was a rush I had never quite felt before. The second was on my most recent birthday and while I cannot divulge the details of it publicly at the moment, let’s just say there is a movie coming out on Xmas Day and there most likely will be a pivotal scene at a legendary nightclub—hey, I’ve said too much.
But I don’t really harbor any dreams of stardom, I just want to learn how to communicate better.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few years taking on side projects to “enhance” my career-centric skill set. Things related to creative strategies, like marketing for music festivals or parties and fundraising for art installations. Some of it has been very rewarding. Some of it not. Some of it is no longer furthering my career goals or related knowledge. It is time to stop approaching the idea of bettering my talents so damn literally. Why not try to do something that actually does expand upon who I am while improving these so-called creative yearnings?
I’m not the best communicator, yet I’m fairly good at reading people. But often times, whether in a meeting or pouring my heart out, I trip up on the words. I pause. I uh…
It’s terrible. I’m a writer. I’m should be good at articulating myself. I consider myself a keen social observer of sorts yet in all actuality, there are a lot of things I can improve upon when it comes to communicating ideas and feelings. There are times when you take me away from the keyboard and hell, even after I’ve recited it in my mind a few times, nothing comes out right.
Tonight was my first acting class. It’s filled with a motley assortment of individuals, something one really desires when entering a 5-week Intro to Acting course. You need that, you know? It makes it interesting, the different backgrounds, the different ages; people with seemingly nothing else in common except whatever need it was that led them to that website to sign up for that course in the basement of that building in Davis Square.
2.5 hours. A bunch of different improvisational exercises, some using imaginary balls and others using make-believe bus stops. Relationship. Location. Emotion. While I do possess a certain degree of understanding when it comes to reading people, it can be easy to get caught up in what’s going on in one’s own head. Communication on your end becomes completely ineffectual. Sometimes, you’re not always in tune with what those standing in front of you when it comes to really convey your thoughts, needs, or desires. It happens to everyone, yet even just one class has taught me how to be more aware.
Yoga. Meditation. Acting. Life.
(And I mean all of this without the slightest degree of hippie-ness.)