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Monday, 29 June 2015

The Producers

It's sad when things end. When you have to pack up and leave friends you've been staying with. When a fabulous holiday finishes and you have to say "Goodbye" to all those new people you've met and grown to like.

O.K. that's over slushy. Some of those people you don't want to see ever again, Those e-mail addresses you exchanged promising to keep in touch are toast. You will never again bring them to mind; never, ever, ever.

But occasionally something happens and  you really don't want it to end. That's been my "Introduction to Acting" classes at the City Lit. Today was the last class and it was brilliant ...and painful.

The last 10 weeks have just flown by. Admittedly much of the time has been catching balls, saying silly phrases - exercising one's tongue - standing on one leg and pretending to be a rabbit. We did a bit of acting: just enough to make us feel we were in the same profession as Sir Kenneth, Sir Tom and Sir Gandalf.

Initially, I went because I was excited by the prospect of learning to act: not that I needed much tuition having been on the stage "many,many, times" 30 years ago. However, as the weeks went on it wasn't the Monday afternoon given over to acting that I anticipated. It was meeting up with my class mates.

The young business woman from York, with a really friendly smile and accent to go with it. The mature lady from Highgate - with a strong sense of Jean Shrimpton and King's Road about her. The two Dutch trainee teachers - flat they were not. The Revenue and Customs trainer who I really got to like. He was funny, and such good company.

Then there was the black woman. She could have been a model - lovely features and I thought had a natural strength of personality on stage. She was formidable; as our tutor discovered when after three hours of arguing, in the pub, both retreated - an honourable draw.

There's the 60 year old from New Southgate who was so positive; always joshing and playing it for laughs. The rather strange, mysterious tall, dark young man who I initially disliked, but as the weeks passed grew on me as did the young, on line businessman from Islington and the very intense lover of Englebert Humperdink songs: tonight he was dashing off to see "The Glums".

There was our tutor, a handsome black man who was pre-occupied for the first half of our course with his wife's impending labour. In the second half we were treated to graphic depictions of the home birth and breast feeding. We hope to see him on stage in "Mid Summer's Night Dream" in August.

But I will always remember what's her name. A young Indian girl - to my eyes very pretty - having been educated in India - near Simla. She was born in England but went to a private English school in  Himachal Pradesh! And will be studying Psychology at Durham University.

Today, because she was in a scene from a play set in the 1950's she dressed the part. She looked just like Amy Winehouse would have looked had she been beautiful. And she'd learnt all her lines, as had my tax officer friend. Brilliant.

This afternoon we spent an hour going over the very short scenes we'd been given the week before and then we acted them in front of our class mates; our tutor videoing them to send to us with a withering critique of our (lack of ) technique. 

It was so much fun. God, we all felt we'd accomplished so much and we all felt hugely affirmed. We were proud of what we'd achieved. In the great scheme of things, maybe not much; but in that small room in that small building in a small part of London....Baftas all round.

All in 10 weeks.  

All should have the opportunity we have had. It's mind blowing.



Steve said...

Dahling, Dear Em Thompson is already raving about you! Positively raving! She's already toning up for the love scene...!

Seriously: good on you.

Mr and Mrs said...

My huband tried to train as an actor but could never remember his lines. A pity as he was very dashing when he was a young man.

Jack the Hat said...

Good to hear that real men can get a chance on the stage these days.

Barry Coidan said...

Dear Steve, Emma thought I was quite delicious. My, that woman has taste.

dear Mr & Mrs That's criminal. A great loss to the theatre.

Dear JtH, absolutely. My wife, doesn't agree.