Monday, March 16, 2009

What I Learned in Class Yesterday

Yesterday I took a workshop here in Austin for acting. I won't mention the class name, the instructor's name or any class member's name. Overall, the experience left me feeling bad. You've likely heard the old adage: No one can make you feel bad about yourself without your permission. Well, one particular class member left me feeling bad about him, not just about myself. The overall experience left me feeling bad about acting as a hobby or profession.

Here are the top things I learned:
1. According to our instructor, no one can make a living from acting work in Austin.
2. Our instructor is now single, twice divorced and bitter about his divorces and his ex-wives.
3. As actors, we should just be ourselves when introducing ourselves to the camera, known as slating, but a more energetic, happier, confident version of ourselves... wait, not that energetic.
4. One of my classmates takes Viagra. He's also divorced after forty years of marriage. He has a habit of dating young, gorgeous and very expensive women. He's remarried now to his high-school sweetheart, but the fantasy does not live up to the reality. His new wife supports his acting hobby. He sometimes stays out until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, and tells his wife it's for acting, when by his own admission, he could really be up to anything. (This declaration was accompanied by a smirk.)
5. According to my instructor, I look older than my headshot photos, which were taken ten months ago.

My personal observations from the class were:
1. No one looks good under fluorescent lights on low-quality video tape.
2. Low-end, consumer-grade video cameras really do add ten pounds, especially when one is filmed at an up angle, thus I should probably lose another fifteen pounds if I want to continue on in this particular low-end, consumer-grade medium.
3. My hair looks better curled or with its natural waves on camera, versus the blown-out straight look.
4. When the camera operator implores me to talk faster, louder, and not break eye-contact with said camera operator while simultaneously telling me to be myself, I start to look a bit nervous.
5. I do some good "crazy eyes".
6. Apparently, men (especially older men who take Viagra, bear a striking resemblance to Droopy Dog and have a habit of dating young, gorgeous, expensive women) don't like for women to talk. At all.

I came home and took a long shower to try and wash that day off of my skin and out of my hair. I still feel a bit queasy.