Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Actors Studio

So this year one of my goals has been to try to cultivate my acting ability. I have been in back to back shows all year, and although it has been a wonderful experience, I have realized some things. One of them is that theater people are very odd indeed.

Show Don't Tell
I have never met a group of people that love to tell you how awesome they are more than actors. I say “tell” but I really mean “show”. 
For example, supposing I was talking to an actor and I asked if he could do a Scottish accent. The actor wouldn’t be content to say, “Yes, I can do a Scottish accent”, but they would immediately start talking to you in a Scottish accent, which is fun for a minute, but when it drags on for 15 days it gets, how do you say, old real fast

So I have learned to never ask people their qualifications unless, I really want them to burst into song, perform a tap number, or mime something.

Physical Touch
I don't like people touching me, let's just be clear. I don't ask for much personal space, but I need at least, I don't know, 100 yards to feel safe and at ease. 

But I have noticed that theater people are obliviousness to personal boundaries. I used to take it in stride and let them touch, pock, hug,...and accept  the unsolicited back massage (exaggerated eye roll)
I don't know why people think I need a massage.They are always like,
 "Rob, You are so tense." 

And inside myself I am silently screaming, 
"That's funny I was perfectly relaxed until you started awkwardly kneading my shoulders. I don't know, maybe it's your massage that is making me tense? There's no maybe, it 's your fondling fingers that are making me tense. Now desist.", and then I have to punch them. 

Awkwardness
The most unique people with the worst people skills work in theater. I don't participate  in theater to make friends, I am there to work...OK and to wear the sparkly outfits, but mostly to work. And I can't figure out why such odd people are drawn to the theater. 

In my everyday life I am surrounded with well adjusted people who are polite and seem to have a good grasp on societal norms, but I walk into a theater sometimes and it's like walking into "thunderdome".  People are yelling at each other, there are people bursting into spontaneous musical numbers while other people are trying to talk, and some have a complete lack of hygiene and are borderline...um, how do I put this gently, socially retarded. 

Conclusion
Sometimes I wonder if I am the one that is considered weird among my acting brothers and sisters. I am sure in some back hallway other cast member are saying things like,
 "What's with Robierto? He never talks to us or gives into our forcible massages. We are astonished, not a little by his actions. What's his problem?"

My problem is I like to act.
In my real life I am emotionally constipated, I have a hard time expressing myself, and I am anxious about something almost every hour of the day.
When I am onstage I feel like I can express the inexpressible, say things that I didn't know I had in me to say, and after the end of a show my mind and emotions are finally at peace.

So if I have to put up with some nutty thespians to create some magic in my life...bring it on.



2 comments:

Alice Johnson said...

And now I'm paranoid...

Wendy said...

Oh Rob, I just love you so much! You are speaking my language with the whole:

"I don't like people touching me, let's just be clear."

~AND~

"...emotionally constipated...hard time expressing myself...anxious about something almost every hour of the day..."

It makes me so happy that you have found an outlet. Keep letting it out! :) I love watching you perform!!