Sunday, July 22, 2012

Carolin Combs: "Beginning Acting "

I am the only member of my Beginning Acting class who doesn’t want to be an actor.  I was surprised to learn this, but there are a lot of people out there in the world who lack a firm grip on reality.  It is my fate to meet all of them.

I made no secret of my modest intentions – I’m doing this to learn about giving more depth to my characters in fiction.  I suspect that my talent for acting will turn out to be roughly equivalent to my talent for ballet (i.e., none), but it is unlikely to cause me serious physical injury. 

There are 5 people in this class.  I was surprised that the instructor didn’t cancel with so few people on the list. One would-be actor is a short guy with a significant spare tire named John (or as he would say, Jaaawwwwwn).  The guy has a Boston accent you could spread on toast.  He would have made a great extra for Cheers or maybe he has a future in Dunkin’ Donuts ads.  You know, a gig where speaking Standard English isn’t a requirement.  His regular job is, um, bartending.  So I guess he saw the movie Cocktail and that whole Tom Cruise-identification thing blew him away. 

Bachelor #2 is a very tall, thin fellow named Brad, another Unemployed Web Guy.  Brad is loose-limbed and has a five o’clock shadow that’s seen five o’clock at least twice.  His story is that he was visiting friend in Weymouth and got snowed in, so he spent the night on their sofa.
Hey, whatever.  I don’t care if you spent the last two days playing Grand Theft Auto 3 with all your unemployed web guy friends and knocking back tequila shots until you passed out on the rug.  Don’t come up with a story for my sake.  At least he didn’t try to work pretzels into it. 

The third man in – who arrived late in the second exercise – is a college student named Tim.  Tim is casually unkempt, yet he sports an impressive gold watch with his untucked yellow oxford shirt and wrinkled khakis. Our instructress directed him in a production of “Rumors” at his college last spring and invited him down for, um, extra credit.  Tim may well be a success in this field.  His brain pan seems to be otherwise empty.

The other female in the group is a burned-out social worker named Elsa.  Elsa is a little older than me, a little pudgier than me, and a lot more pissed off.  I get the feeling that if she has to get ONE MORE child protection order, she’s going to make it easier on everyone and just shoot the crackhead parent on the spot.  From where she is hanging on (at the end of her rope), I guess acting looked like a pretty good second career. 

She wore a tight jumpsuit (a Fashion Don’t), decorated with a scarf at the waist, and topped off by a pair of oversized blue rubber boots.  Maybe it was a cryptic dominatrix statement.  At least there was no navel-baring – she left that to our instructress, her assistant, and Brad, who probably didn’t realize that he was wearing the wrong shirt when he left his friend’s house.

-  Carolin Combs (d. 26 JAN  07)

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