It has been over a year now, but I still miss acting at SCR (South Coast Reperatory). I always felt so energetic and alive when I did a play there, even if it was just a small insignificant role. Just that feeling of going out there in front of an audience and melding yourself into a character was just amazing! It was like being a part of your own little fantasy world, except you had a large group of other people participating in what would end up being the same vison for that world.
I remember my first year at SCR as if it was yesterday (wow, how cliche). I was basically scared to death, because before that time I hadn't really participated in any social activites on my own with other kids. Just the thought of being judged by a group of ten year olds made me feel extremely nervous. There was just the constant thoughts of "oh my god what do they think of me", "oh my god do I look okay, "oh my god that girl is looking at me". I never once thought to relax and just act like myself, because whenever I attempted to do that, I usually said something incredibly stupid. Nothing that people would even remember, just stuff that made myself feel slightly lesser for some reason.
Then came my first play, and it turned my world upside down. Not only was it one of the more exciting memories of my youth, it was also one of the scariest. I had all my lines down, but my acting was horribly stiff. I got out there and I was sorta robotic.. okay, maybe very robotic. But it was one of those fun "only your parents and friends get to see it" kind of plays, so it was all good. I knew what I needed to improve on, and I moved on.
And now time for something "Completely Different"!
The next year was rather mild and uneventful as far as drama was concerned. I loosened up quite a bit, but was still the social clutz. One of the down sides of homeschooling was that I didn't really gain many social skills with people my own age. Sure, I could talk to adults just fine, but kids were an entirely different matter. They had to accept you as one of their own, and they didn't have to accept you just because you were someones son. So I ended up being the quiet boy, avoiding social contact and just trying to please whoever was my current drama instructor. We always had a perfomance we put on for the parents, usually a short play that had either already existed or something our instructor had created personally for us as a group. Which meant.. we usually ended up playing ourselves. :) Which was actually quite educational, since I could focus entirely on my charisma and stage presence instead of overloading myself with character traits and possiblites. Mind you, they always wanted us to have a different character body and background, but I basically ended up playing the shy guy for about a year. That was of course, unless I got to choose the character I played for class activites (those were fun!!). I would usually do something really wild and crazy, to the pleasure and or displeasure of whoever my stage partner was at the time. Good times, good times.
One of my biggest acting leaps had to be when I performed "Gradution Day" (a play written for us by Joy, one of my instructors). It really built up my confidence, since I was required to do a couple stage shifts that were a little tricky. Tricky as in turn the box around so it lines up with the other box tricky... but at the time that was really quite difficult! More importantly, it taught me alot about myself. I learned that talking to people could often lead to conversations (amazing), and that you shouldn't tell your teacher what other students are doing behind his back. Those kids will give you the evil eye for at least two weeks. :) I learend evil glares should be avoided at all costs.
After I had participated in Joy's play, I felt like a new person. It hit me right during puberty, and it really hepled me grow emotinal strength. It was also a huge stepping stone towards my teenage years at South Coast.. and that was when the fun really began! We shall talk about it next time though, because this entry is already waaaaaaaaaayy too long! May The Geek Be With You!
MST3k completely relates to this topic! Don't deny it.