6.09.2008

Not quite tragic

It's been a busy weekend. I had to purchase and learn how to smoke a cigar. (Don't worry--it was for an acting class.) I went to four hours of class on Saturday. Sunday morning I went to work at Old South Church and then another six hours of class after that. All-in-all I have to say I was rather mediocre in all things.

My first cigar store stop was a total bust. Only the bartender was present and she knew nothing. The knowledgeable owner would return in three hours--too late for me. So, she referred me to another store only a few blocks away. Conveniently, the salesman was kind and understanding, allowing me to ask as many naïve questions as necessary to make my scene believable. The scene called for a high-end, pre-Castro Cuban cigar which was entirely beyond my budget, but the character would mock it as though it were a low-end, Romeo & Julieta. So, that's the one I bought--the $6.25 R&J. I should have also carried a Dunhill lighter. Did I? Heck no! Those suckers are way expensive. I couldn't even find someone to loan me one. So, I ended up purchasing a cheap Bic that was rectangular-ish in shape. After a quick lesson in lighting and smoking, I was set and I hustled my sweaty self to class in the South End.

I met up with my scene partner right before class. He's a kind and friendly fellow, but I could tell straight away that he and I were on entirely different pages when it came to interpretation of the scene. The scene should have been quick, witty repartée, á la Ocean's Eleven or the remake of the Thomas Crown Affair, delivered with a wink and a smile. Instead, it was dragged down into the depths of melodrama. The instructor's train was late, so we had a bit more time to hash it out, but I'm not sure it was worth it.

The first portion of class was instructive and worthwhile, and I met and made several new friends. While it ran late, it wasn't so late that I didn't have time to run home, plan my outfit for the filming of the scene the next day and rehearse my lines yet again. Oh, and find something that mirrored a table-top humidor.

The next day, I sang at Old South Church in a very warm sanctuary and then hustled my very warm self to the remainder of class. My singing was so-so. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't my best and I couldn't seem to make it better, which was irksome. While waiting for the penultimate scene paring to wrap the shooting of their scene, I ran my lines in the foyer with my scene partner while touching up my make-up and doing my hair. And, at that point, I thought the scene might actually go well. But then, once we got into the classroom and began to shoot, it just fell apart. I did my best, but my best wasn't my best. I didn't feel focused on my character. It wasn't fun. Ergo, it wasn't funny. Watching the footage only confirmed my self-analysis and grade of 5 on the 1-to-10 scale.

Did I smoke the cigar? Nope, I couldn't light it in class. Did I smoke it in the end, when all was said and done? Nah. I gave it to a friend who enjoyed it.

2 comments:

magickat said...

I thought you were great, one of the best in our class and certainly the most sure about your character. I agree about the pacing though: I think your partner may have been trying to sell a different scene than you.

Hey wait! That sounds like my partner, too! ;)

Alecia said...

awww, thanks magickat! I hope we'll get to work together at some point. I think that would be fun.