On Saturday morning, I attended an acting workshop. After being away from acting for the last 17 years, it was so fun to do a little again. In the workshop, most of the time was spent being talked to by the teacher. I took four pages of notes.
I was nervous that the class would be filled with young, beautiful, in-shape college aged, theater major students. I was pleasantly surprised to find among the few college aged men and women, there were people in their thirties and forties and quite a few silver haired folks. There were thin people and not-so-thin people. There were people there with a large experience in theater and even some film. There were people like me who have done very little acting. We were from all walks of life.
The teacher gave us a sheet to use as a template. Write your bio, she said. I read through the sheet. List your most significant roles. What have you done recently - acting only. What are your special skills? I looked at the list and didn't know what to write. I sat for a moment in a kind of stunned silence wondering what in the world I could put in my bio. We were going to have to go before the camera and give our bio, so I had to come up with something fast.
After a few moments of loss, I started to think of some things. It only had to be 30 seconds long. I can find enough about my minor theater life to fill 30 seconds. My hands were kind of clammy as I took my turn before the camera, but I felt at ease overall. (For me, the worst of my nervousness comes after I've done something, then I get hot and start to fan my face with the paper in my clammy hands).
When we had all had our turn in front of the camera, the teacher, who had taken notes about each of our auditions, started to talk to us, critiquing each of our auditions. I sat there, listening to each of the critiques. She wasn't unkind to anyone. Really, everyone did quite well, but she pointed out the minor things, don't rock back and forth on your feet, don't talk to fast, etc. I was sure I must have just done terrible. She would have nothing positive to say and would just say to me, "Molly, give it up. You stink." But she didn't. She told me I did good. She pointed out several things that I had said about myself that were good because they were unique.
She had us do some more exercises like a director might in an audition. I was afraid, nervous, and embarrassed to think what she might ask me to do in front of the others. What if I totally bombed? But I plucked up my courage and took my place in line. When she got to me, she decided to try something different. She asked me and two guys in the class to improvise a scene. Whew, I can do that. It was lots of fun.
In the end, we got to watch our "audition" on the big screen in the theater. I cringed at first when I saw myself, but I watched it and realized, I didn't stink!
Having attended this workshop will help me next year when I hold the auditions for my children's theater again. I have a few ideas now on different things I can do with the kids. I'm very excited about this.
Who knows.... My slightly improved courage and this mini-workshop..... watch out Hollywood!