Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Depressed? Just a little.

Yes, I was feeling pretty low...in fact, awfully low, earlier today because now that I'm home from the Star Trek Las Vegas con, I am no longer surrounded by people wearing pointy ears, like this wonderful mathematician (right). 

(She and I talked for about half an hour, waiting in the line to get our photos taken with Len. I feel I can call him "Len" now that I stood next to him for, like, 30 seconds.)

So, this evening I signed up for an Improv Acting class.
For me, a totally unexpected part of the Star Trek con was how much it was about acting.
Since almost every presenter was an actor, not a writer or director, how not?

I never have wanted and do not now want to perform in public; but I got interested in how actors learn--as Sandra Smith (one time Capt. Kirk) said--to inhabit their bodies fully and to claim their space.

The actors, every one of them, impressed me with the way they did that, even though some of them, frankly, didn't seem to inhabit their brains altogether fully. They were all pros at Q&A, for instance, including fielding off-the-wall questions.

Bink had taken me to see improv a few weeks ago, and it had struck me then that it could be a useful skill, given that life doesn't come with a script. This convention just confirmed that.

The very thought of this class cheers me up. That and the beer and ice cream I had for dinner.


Anonymous said...

Well now, well now! I'm moved to do what I said I wouldn't, which is to respond immediately and freely to your posts-upon-return! This one led me to think of another William S. and to paraphrase his/her famous words as: "All the galaxies are stages and we..." I've always perceived you as someone who tries profoundly to play in the world in a heartfelt, moral and authentic way--(these three adjectives to me are all the same thing, but because of how we use language, I listed 'em)--even when it's not "convenient". We are all excited to learn how your improv class experiences turn out!! What you said about the body/mind thing and actors made me think about my experiences with actors and other artists, and how body or mind can seem to dominate or there is a disconnect between the two. This imbalance or disconnect is the outcome of what we in most western cultures undergo as "socialization". [I'm not leaving out "spirit" here: to me, it's all part of the whole.] And, it appears that the disconnect fosters antisocial behavior, and then we come up with war "games" and body "politiks" and lines appear blurred between what's "fact" and "fantasy", etc. There are always infiltrators and counter-infiltrators in these "larger" games, so all that stuff about the DefCons' agendas being delimited by the FBI is hilarious and makes total "sense". Your post "Back to Our Regular Programming" makes me think of the song "The Aliens Came In Business Suits" that used to be the theme song for Urban Folk on KFAI...also, I thought about whose work is whose.

Love Ya!


momo said...

I remember that song! I've found the combination of beer and ice cream works miracles, especially if consumed in front of a silly TV show.

Deanna said...

My son takes an improv class, and the practice is great for other life situations (he doesn't plan to become an actor either, but I suppose one never knows...). May you come down gently from your amazing experience. May you ignore prime directives when your instincts say you must.

fresca said...

Stef: Of course you should respond freely and immediately, why not? I love your writing. Especially when you mention galaxies! : )
I'll have to look for that song, or maybe you can sing it for me?
I tend to hang out in my mind and not care much about my body, which is OK, but since we do live in these shells, seems it might be good to pay a little more attention to it.

Momo: Yes, in fact I watched the excellent silly movie "Galaxy Quest" while I consumed my ice cream and beer.

Deanna: Thanks for the support. It really is a "coming down."

ddip said...

Wow, those really are terrific ears!