Such a ‘Bler: A Poet’s Acting Career (SO FAR) | THTR: 266: Acting I Midterm

Such a ‘Bler: A Poet’s Acting Career (SO FAR) | THTR: 266: Acting I Midterm

Here is a story of how a writer of words learnt to perform the words (I’m honestly shook that I made it out of there alive.)

I am a theatre minor and have been in a THTR 266: Acting I for just over half of a semester now. It has been a rollercoaster because I’ll have days where I’m really exciting to go to class and days, I’m a bit more stressed about being present. Those more nervous days are ones where I have to perform my assigned scene. You see, I am a not much of an actress, a performer maybe, but I am more on the route of a director/playwright in the theatre department. And this week, my midterm rolled around the corner.

I played Corie from Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park and honestly, IT WAS NOT THAT BAD! My scene partner was a guy who has always been based in electrics. During our first rehearsal outside of class, the first thing he said to me was “I am a technician.” I was glad we were on the same page with the assignment because the next thing he said was “I just want to memories my lines and do this exactly how it was meant to be done.”

A few weeks and little scraps of rehearsal time here and there, we crammed two hours in the night before our midterm.  We finally had our lines (almost) down and agree on a simplified rendition of the divorce scene in which Corie throws a shoe at her husband Paul (you really should read the play, it’s quite a treat.)  And well, the next 10:30am morning, we were in front of the class and ready(ish) to go!

We ended up forgetting some lines, but eventually helped each other pull through in a fashion that made our professor, Jonathan Wilson, question “Where did you learn that from?” Frankly, I was quite flattered but also knew that despite not being an actress myself, I’ve had experience directing actors through my scripts and honestly that was probably the reason (other than JW’s incredibly patient coaching) that helped me pull off the scene. Other than an awkward pause in the middle and our unspoken decision to skip two pages of the scene in order to make it through smoothly after that awkward pause in the middle, our professor and classmates applaud the relationship to be very believable! In fact, the only thing wrong with the scene was our lack of rehearsal. I was quite pleased, and VERY PROUD because though we had some scratches here and there, the performance was overall enjoyable aND ACTUALLY GOT SOME LAUGHS!

I guess acting isn’t too daunting anymore (though lines still feel like science equations) and I feel a lot braver after the first half of this course. I also came away with a lot more respect and patience for actors as a director and playwright because after rolling through Neil Simon’s word maze, I understand the importance bUT ALSO THE CHALLENGE that is remember very VERY specific lines. I myself write super specific lines and will be sure to give more props to those who can remember them. It really is just as important to learn in front as it is to learn behind the stage, even if that isn’t where you idealistically want to be.

Here’s to more acting adventures (maybe.)




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