Monday, April 11, 2011

A Class Act-or


Alas, classy behavior can be a rare commodity. It's usually jerk behavior grabbing headlines and holding the attention of our voracious collective consciousness.

"Okay, today I'd like to address the issue of classy actors versus jerk actors."

They respond to the word jerk by sharing smirks and sitting up to hear all about world-class jerks.

"No one likes a jerk actor. No one. Ever."

On the board I write JERK and next to it CLASSY.

"Jerk actors make fun of other actors, talk while other actors are onstage, tell other actors what to do — and whose job is that, by the way?"

They look to each other for the answer.

"Whose job is it to direct the actors?" I repeat.

Oh yeah.

"Yours, Ms. Ryane!"

"Correct. So jerk actors try to take my job away and I don't like it."

I list the jerk items on the board.

"Now, let's take a look at what classy actors do."


"I know," Mark has his hand in the air. "They let you tell the actors what to do."

"Correct, and what other things?"

Mmmm.

"Well, for one thing," I forge ahead, "they live up their mottos. They help and share with each other. Look up there at that stage."

They turn in their seats and take a look at the empty stage.


"When you perform 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' I will not be up there helping you. My job will be done. Now, look at each other. Right now, take a look."

They swivel their heads this way and that.

"This is your other family. These are your new brothers and sisters. You will help each other up there to do your best. If a prop breaks or goes missing, if an actor forgets a line or an entrance...it won't be me helping you, no sirree. It will be you guys helping each other."

Jeepers.

"So, we have to start with choosing to be classy actors and that begins with not talking while another actor is talking."

Easily said. It will take weeks of me talking about not talking to prevent the intrusive talking, talking and more talking.

"Peter's mom told me a story of when she was acting in a romantic scene and the actor she was working with excused himself for a moment and ran his hands under hot water. Do you know why he did that?"

"His hands were dirty?" Dominick suggested.

"Nope, his hands were cold. He had to put a hand on her face and he wanted it to be warm."

They look at their hands.

"That was a classy actor and I'm keeping my eyes out for classy actors. Let's rehearse the gentlemen leading the ladies to their seats. Fellas, get this right and your parents will be blown away."


CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
If I was a groundling I would think that to stand up wouldn't be fear and that I since had a thought it isn't fear I would maybe throw rotten fruit at the rich people but that wounn't really be nice but it worth it because it not really fear that only the rich people get to sit down. It not my fault that my boss didn't pay me.
—Carina, 3rd grade

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