Saturday, 5 November 2011

Thespianism [they can't arrest you for it!] (first published 05/10/2006)

I could have been an actor. A proper one... you know... an "aktaw"... not one of those "wannabees", those deluded talentless persons who frequent the TV reality shows. I'm talking "boney fidey" aspiration here.

So? What's all this about I hear you ask. An actor... Donald? Surely not.

Yeah, okay you're right. It's not strictly true. It's more a muse, a fantasy. But I have good reason for this reverie, apart that is, from desperation to post.

Last week, during my creative writing class I was asked to read aloud a poem I'd written for an assignment. A daunting task for sure, as nowadays I do little public speaking of any description, so I was more than a little nervous; but still I managed... and two readings at that. And guess what? To my surprise, someone complimented me on my reading. Blimey... thought I.

It's always nice to be given positive feedback, so I naturally I was delighted. And on reflection (a thing I do a lot of) it struck me, it must have been the deliberation I showed when reciting. At some point over the years, I must have picked up advice on how best to project myself publicly. This amounted to resisting the natural urge to self-consciously rush through proceedings, to dash, in order to get the reading over with quickly. Instead, I took my time, paying careful attention to punctuation, and where needed, the appropriate tone of voice; for instance, when the line was a question, I read it as a question. Simple, eh? So, my good friends (said in loud, 'hammy' tones) by any yardstick, it has to be said... I performed.

Okay, so let's not get excited, I know this doesn't qualify me for RADA or even an Equity card, but there's more. There's a precedent.

When I was a young boy, around 11 years old, I took part in a school play. It was based on a 1950's popular TV soap opera , entitled, "The Grove Family", and I played Bob, the father (sounds a bit religious, don't you think? Bob the father, Bob the son.. see?). Anyway, my only memory is of hair 'greyed' with talcum powder and a matching stuck on moustache. And as to my performance, and more importantly, how I felt about performing, I'm afraid I have no recollection. But fast-forward to my mid-thirties, and I'm attending college auditions for a role in Tom Stoppard's, "Albert's Bridge". And what's more, I'm eager. So it's obvious, innit? I'm compelled to assume my earlier acting experience didn't leave any negative, invisible, wounds. On the contrary, I was following some subconscious imperative. And of course, I got the part - the lead role of Albert, no less!

It was suggested at the time, by unkind persons - otherwise known as, "those who only managed the lesser parts" - my success was due to the director's fondness for me (a female of course). It's a damn lie I tell you, a lie! Okay, she liked me, it was obvious, but getting the part, I can assure you, was due to my efforts in the dramatic arts. I remember distinctly - as with my poetry reading - paying great attention to pace and appropriate voice modulation. I did the business man, and performed. I have no doubt, with my deep (or deepish) voice booming, it was the most sponditious of auditions.

So what am I saying? Well, I've often joked about "being a contender", someone of significance rather than a non-entity, so perhaps this is a pointer. Maybe I could have been an actor. After all, over a period of 40 years or so, there's a connection, a performing strand.

In reply to those who would accuse me of spinning tenuous arguments, let me tell you, if billions of people, with little, or no reason, can believe in the existence of a divine power who intervenes here on earth (and often by request) then I'm sure I can squeeze a little meaning out of these three instances in my life! I insist therefore, you luvvies indulge me in my moment of illogical, irrationalism.

The art of thespianism, I tell you, could have been mine!


Sari said...

I could just see you prancing down the red carpet at the premiere...

Michelle said...

Well.. there's always time. That's what I tell myself anyway.

Oh and the new format.. a bit weird, does not work well on google chrome at all..

Michelle said...

hey... seems to have changed a bit, smooth and easy to use..

I will call this situation.. qualisop :)