T-to-the-A

Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

Tired Grin

In The Daily Drool on June 30, 2009 at 10:00 pm

It’s been a while since I’ve used this much energy in a day… underwhelmed by months of unemployment, my schedule was pretty relaxed, with a satisfying amount of writing getting done, but not much else… certainly not enough to break a sweat or warrant an increase in calories.  This  past week and a half, however, has seen me sweating and developing the appetite of a small horse.

Teaching from 9-4 every day is a big commitment, the mental gymnastics alone are enough to make my belly grumble for a bigger breakfast, but come 4 o’clock and I’m ready for meal three… Supper is clocking in at plate #4, and it’s just starting to feel like I’m catching up with what I already spent last week.

It takes energy to lead these kids on imaginative journeys, make it relevant and educational, and then facilitate their own theatrical creation by whatever means necessary, because you’ve got 4 and a half weeks left, damnit, to create a piece of theater for them to perform for family and friends.  It takes energy, and it takes dedication… and you get both by really caring about the opportunity you are seizing.

I love to teach.

And no matter how tired I may be feeling, I can’t help but be thankful that I am getting to put my experience to task in such a worthwhile and inspiring endeavor.

Remembering… or not

In The Daily Drool on June 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm

It’s been a crazy week – Finally a job, (and a fantastic one at that! ) I’m teaching!  Whew!  But after 2 months of going to bed when I want, and waking up when I want, I’ve become quite accustomed to a different clock.  Waking up every day this week at 7:30 (about three hours earlier than anyone should be expected to rise) has been challenging (to say the least) for this little body.  Not to mention that I am now also forced to eat my meals about three hours earlier than I would otherwise have done.

Let’s just say my body has been, unhappy.

Then there is the issue of all the energy I am now responsible for bringing to these kids.  I’ve got to keep them engaged for 5 hours a day!  So I head in, work my ass off at spreading the positivity and enthusiasm, then come home, stumble to the kitchen for some fuel and sit in a stuporific slump until dinner is ready and I can recharge.

But what’s been really interesting is the process of re-igniting old tools left to rust, and part of that process has meant scouring through old notebooks in search of old handouts and notes from my acting days.

Now, I’m a bit of a packrat.  Not only do I fear that in throwing out some old tattered stack of notebooks I’ll loose the knowledge contained therein, but I just don’t want to make the effort to paw through a large box of memories and try to decide what’s worth keeping and what’s just dribble.  So I’ve accumulated a fare share of these remnants from the past and they sit in a bin under my bed, or in the closet, and grown dustballs the size of feet.  Big feet.  Big, hairy, scary feet.   However, it seems that in this endeavor, my proclivity for “saving” has finally paid off.  I’ve found a wealth of information I can pull from, and pull from it I will.

But academics aside, I also found copious notes and letters I wrote to friends during an interim between years at AADA (my father had a heart transplant and I took a deferment for a year) – and as I read over these letters and notes, I couldn’t help but shake my head in wonder at this person signing my name to the pages.  I remember so little of the things, people, events I mentioned!

I devoted several letters to the subject of some fellow by the name of James… yet I have absolutely NO recollection of this guy. I mean, nada.  Zip.  ZERO.  I also spend a lot of time talking about drama at RT’s Black Bull, my bar of employment at the time, and yet reading over the letters felt as foreign to me as if I was reading about drama in space.  Of course I remember the place, but the time I spent there must have been dripping with fog.

And I think it’s so interesting that we can forget, or be so bogged down with life’s troubles that we aren’t really experiencing the world we live in, or whatever else is was that caused my memory bank to kick this chunk of time to the curb.

I mean, we spend a lot of time thinking about where we come from… we build whole philosophies around our experiences, and yet we’re relying on a mass of nebulous tissue and nerves that has it’s own rules of survival and self-preservation.

In any regard, it was fun to visit the old me through these letters and notes – a real cause for recollection of who and what I was 10 years ago.  Of course it begs the question, what will the future me think of me now?

Old shoes, New feet

In Essays, The Daily Drool on June 25, 2009 at 10:06 pm

It’s always interesting, years after the fact, to find a new purpose for something you thought was well past.  An old dress becomes dress-up, a forgotten photograph serves as reminder to reconnect with those you’ve misplaced… Or an old lesson left mouldering in the history books coughs up something new.

Six years ago I walked into room 102 at UCLA and sat in rapt attention as my acting teacher assigned scenes.   This week, in that very same room, I stepped into his role and tingled at the unexpected symmetry; a roomful of eager eyes looking to me for guidance.

Wow.

I couldn’t help but look back at them and see myself… blissfully unawares of all the change that would come – not knowing that I would turn focus to writing, that my combined experience between then and now would lead me here, in that very same room, a new person, a new life, a new role.

Because Life is Amazing.  We worry, we fret, we plot and steer… and it takes us places we never knew we would be.  I quit acting.  Haven’t done it in years.  But here I am, responsible for teaching a slew of young hopefuls how to break down a script on their path to acting their socks off.

Of course there is some resultant stuttering on my end – the cry of a long unused engine coming back to life – along with some serious scouring of “Ye olde, but not forgotten” notebooks of yonder years.

But here I am, stepping back into an old pair of shoes with a new pair of feet.

And they feel so good.