Friday, November 20, 2009

Recess: Be Careful What You Don't Wish For

I was a teenager when I started my professional acting career in the theatre. I knew two things for sure:

My life, forever, would be on the boards; but never writing on one.

I would never, ever be someone so ordinary as a teacher.

I would like to say this arrogance of youth ended in my youth, but I cannot say that. I kept it up for many years until traveling from theatre to theatre and waiting around for some supporting film role turned me into an angry creep, and I had to walk away.

When we start a new year in The Shakespeare Club and spend time exploring the Elizabethan period, I tell the girls that, in those days, women could neither go to school nor ever become actresses. I use this as an opportunity to introduce the idea of irony.

Shakespeare's plays have more male characters than female. Our club usually has more girls than boys. Thus: Girls often play boys' parts, and they learn irony.

The lesson is not lost on me either. Fortunately, I'm as capable of learning as I want my young wards to be.

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