Acting Class, Day 5: Help, I’m channeling an alien!

I was supposed to deliver a monologue from Arthur Miller’s play, All My Sons, for my Acting II class.  But since I waited and did not raise my hand to indicate a readiness to be among the first to perform, I got a reprieve. Because we were almost out of time, I only had to deliver one line. And still, I managed to flub it.  

Now I ask you, who cries over ONE line? Answer: Me, apparently.  I didn’t see it coming, either. I figured I could get off one stupid sentence without connecting too deeply with my character (a mother whose son has been missing for 3 years). But there she was, this tormented mom, inhabiting my body, weeping over the image of her lost son. What no one else in the room knew was that I have been estranged from one of my sons for several years—and I guess I tapped in a bit too fully to this character’s pain. Still, I felt like a supreme idiot. I said the line, “He was so real I could reach out and touch him,” and then just lost it. WHOA, that was really weird. (Move over, Meryl Streep. J) 

In my diction/yoga class, I discovered that I can speak an alien language AND strike yet more unladylike poses. Today we did “the downward dog,” which I’m certain must be short for “downward dog in heat.”  After first having the class upended in this position, the teacher next had us all stand and face that familiar wall—the one we’ve been talking to for several sessions, now.  

Speaking to this visual obstruction, we were told to make sounds that didn’t form words. Instead, we voiced vowels, consonants, clicks, grunts, clucks, and other silly noises. This, according to the instructor, is an actual language known as “Ormish.”  I thought of two people riding along in a horse-drawn carriage, but then I realized those folks are “Amish.” I’ve never heard of the Ormish. Perhaps they’re followers of that health guru by the same name.

Anyway, I’ve no idea what I was saying (but then I rarely do). Whatever it was, it sounded Korean . . . or maybe R2D2 translated into Korean. With the entire class chattering something that sounded like “eh-a-qu oo-ch-ow-by ki-yo-ma-k bee-tk-wuno,” I felt like I’d walked into that bar scene in the movie Star Wars. Remember that part where Han Solo and Chewbacca enter an intergalactic bar where all the aliens are talking in different languages?  Well, this crowd was pretty much like that—only nobody got into a fight and lost a limb. A little dignity, maybe, but that was about all.  

  

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