Saturday, January 30, 2010

Meany

I've been paid to be a meany and I didn't enjoy it. That's funny to express because I didn't mind being mean to the neighbor kids growing up. The people I was paid to be mean to didn't really deserve the punishment they got.

I had a job over five years ago where I managed an acting class. I was responsible for roll and collecting the checks, booking the stage for acting scenes and answering questions for the students. I was also responsible for disciplinary meetings where I had to tell a student he had to leave because he made another student feel odd during a scene; where I had to give a student a warning for something so minor I can't remember what it was; and, worst of all, where I had to tell a student she couldn't sleep with anyone in class because she slept with someone in class and it never came up in class but she mistakenly told one of her friends from class outside of class that they dated for a short while during their concurrent enrollment. Stupid. Bullshit. I didn't really care what they did so long as the class want interrupted with bullshit. My boss, on the other hand, had certain ideas about how students should conduct themselves in class and in life. And because I didn't stand up for them to my boss, they had an unsatisfactory and unneccessary experience.

What really sucked was the fact that my boss had all the issues with these students and couldn't confront the students to work something out. It also sucked that the "rules" only applied to certain students, like the girl who slept with a guy from class got a reprimand meeting and the guy didn't even get a disapproving glance from the teacher. It was so idiotic.

If you guys are out there and see my blog, know that I didn't want to be a meany and have those stupid meetings with you. I was an enforcer. It doesn't excuse what I did, but I think we're all better off not being in that class if that's how the game is played there.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Life Improvement

The older I get, the better my life becomes. I've gotten enough life experience to better identify what a smart person would do, then I do that thing. (This is based on the logic Dwight Schrute got from Michael Scott on "The Office": Don't be an idiot.)

I'm glad I'm working on my retirement savings now, even if I'm not plugging away as much as I'd like. I have health insurance for the first time in my life. I'm no longer working a job that gives me headaches when it's time to file taxes. And I can better plan for upcoming expenses, like trips, conventions and projects.

It's not so bad being 33 and getting wiser each day.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Breaking Up

I was talking with someone at work today and was reminded about my resolve.  Half a lifetime ago, I nearly dated this guy.  We were friends who almost went out once but the plans fell through and he became involved with his ex-girlfriend again.  I didn't give the "relationship" more than an afternoon of waiting for him to show up for our one date that didn't happen.  I wasn't worried about it.

Four months later, he tries to reconnect with me on a romantic level.  We were just friends at that point, and I wasn't interested.  I liked someone else.  I thought he was kidding when he pursued me and I laughed in his face.  We were friends so this was a joke, right?  That's when I found out he was serious.  How was I going to work this one out?  I liked him as a friend but we weren't meant to be at all or it would've happened already.  How could I say that without laughing in his face again?  Besides, his relationship with his ex-girlfriend was strong enough that they'd gotten back together once already.

I told him I was seeing someone else.  I lied to his face.  I liked someone else, and technically we were seeing each other (i.e., I would go see him wherever he was and just hang out and talk).  But I wasn't dating this guy at all.  I figured it was an easier way to let him down.  Telling him I was seeing someone else ended the communication on the subject.  If I told him the truth, that I wasn't really interested and we weren't meant to be and he'd probably get back with his ex at some point anyway, he would've tried to talk me into changing my mind.  Or worse, he would've asked me why.  I didn't feel I should have to explain myself or justify why I wasn't going to go out with him.  It seemed the truth wouldn't have ended it for him, and I was over it.  I'd moved on.  I've got some serious resolve.

Wow.  That was a tangent.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Screwing Around


I'm having a tough time so I wanted to give you a lighthearted post for a change instead of moaning and groaning about how hard my life is. :)

As an actor, I've been trained to play pretend.  I walk onstage, throw myself into the life circumstances of the character, say the words I've been given and perform the actions necessary to tell the story, and go back offstage.  I spend the rehearsal process trying to best understand the life circumstances, to use the script to figure out who the hell the character is and how she would react to various situations.  I know enough about the character to give an honest portrayal while I'm onstage.

So what do I do backstage when I perform in a play - comedic or dramatic?  Screw around.  I tell inappropriate jokes, dance, bullshit and walk around in my underwear.  Sure, I may review my lines when needed, but I'm done rehearsing when the show goes up.  I don't work myself into an emotional state long before entering because the audience is paying to see the honest emotion as it occurs.

This photo by director Jacob Smith perfectly captures my last full-length show at Theatre Unleashed.  There was this weird flirtation that went on between my character and Jim Martyka's character that they wanted to capture for archival photos.  The problem here is that the photo wasn't taken during the show but before the show one evening.  We were supposed to hold an uncertain romantic pose for the camera, but Jim said something (as he is also a bit of a troublemaker) and I cracked up.  This photo perfectly captures the rehearsal process.  Aren't you sad you missed this play?

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What Am I Doing?

I found myself in a discussion about acting last night.  I don't talk about acting so much these days as I did when I started this blog in '05.  I still act sometimes, but I make more money as a dancer and have a lot more creative freedom as a dancer.

Truth be told, I don't know what to do next as an actor.  I'm almost 34.  I'm at that stage in life where I don't want to try to fit in with the other adults playing college students.  I also don't want to hang around 22 year-olds on set whose lives are so hard because Mommy and Daddy are paying the rent and car payments and gave them a monthly credit card limit for clothes shopping.  I like working with adults.  The problem is that I'm perhaps too mature for young adult and too young-looking for parental roles.  So I keep spending my $10 a month on a casting website I only remember I subscribe to when they run my card, thinking that maybe I'll submit for something if there's something right for me.  I'll act in plays from time to time, but I don't like committing six weekends of my life to something that doesn't pay.  I've missed out on paid work when I've done plays.

So what happens now for me as an actress?  I'm not shelling out the money to join the union until I have a reason to think I'll make that money back within the year.  I have too many friends who are in unions who never get paid work, and it's not because of their talent.  I don't see acting paying for the lifestyle to which I'm accustomed in a short period of time.

I guess for now I'll work in an office and keep on dancing.

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