Day 1

This will be a challenge.

Script Analysis: The professor seems a passionate intelligent advocate for ‘digging in’ to the holy ‘script’, the actor’s Earth on which he walks. And this was aptly demonstrated by the fact that our meeting room was oddly located in McCarty Hall–the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. We were in the wing where they study dirt. We’re analyzing three plays: Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Ibsen’s The Doll House, and Kushner’s Angels In America (Part II – Perestroika). He said he’s going to go through the process together with us, and we’ll both be wrong and right in our search for the deeper truth. Very Werner Herzogesque and right up my alley! This is going to be fun.

Acting II: Although the fabulously talented and attractive Professor, Nichole Hamilton and I are acquainted (she hosts “Artist Anonymous” meetings each week at my performance art show, (The Reverend Angeldust’s Tabernacle of Hedonism with your Host, Tom Miller), she is no-nonsense, engaging, extremely experienced in theatre, and down to business. She had students up there doing monologues within the first 20 minutes. In all actuality, being acquainted with her will likely make her much tougher on me than otherwise…which is a good thing. We will be exploring many varied approaches to acting and scene work.

Acting for Directors: Professor David Young is one of those guys who you instantly respect just on the basis of how he enters a room. We did some brief stretching, briefly introduced ourselves one by one to the class, and got our syllabus. We were divided into two groups, actors & directors, and it’s pretty clear actors will learn about the rigors of directing, and directors will learn about the rigors of acting, and actors will learn how to be directed, and directors will learn how not to direct so much and let actors do their thing.

In all the acting courses, there are no excuses, excused absences, and if you turn something in late, you get a big fat zero. In the real world, you don’t call in sick unless your legs are amputated or you have a brain injury that renders you incapable of playing the role. If your whole family dies in a tsunami or train accident or insert-your-favorite-family-tragedy-here, you show up and play the role. If you’re serious about acting, that is.

Tomorrow, I will experience the intro to lights and sound design, though to be fair, I was doing lights and sound for professional theatre when I was 10 with Florida legend, Ruth Foreman. So I can probably teach a master’s class in this subject. Always something new to learn, though. But I’m much more interested in the class they didn’t mention because it was full: Into to Alexander Method. The adjunct Professor teaching it (a Reiki master, so I’m told) has taught all around the U.S. and is considered an expert in the field. I am primarily an anti-method guy, a Zen actor with an organic propensity to inhabit my character’s actions as they occur in the moment. But I’m hot to trot for this course instead of the lights and sound. So I’ll be campaigning early tomorrow for her to squeeze me in. Wish me luck. Professor Kathy Sarra, we shall be meeting soon.

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