The Play’s the Thing

Last Thursday was incredible. I finally shopped the first scene of my solo show for my acting class.  You have no idea how nervous I was.

I’ve done a song and dance for Nude Comedy LA. No sweat. Run naked across San Francisco and rode a bike around downtown LA for the World Naked Bike Ride. I’ve stripped for parties of drunken middle ages women.  All without any real nervousness.

Nude model.pngDoing this 7-minute scene in front of a group of fellow students had me shaking and unable to remember my lines. I winged it. Half of it was ad-libbed. An old man tiring of life, full of pain and drugs, finding his way thru the fog to some clarity. I’m good at ad-libbing that sort of thing. I do it for real all the time.

It wasn’t the nudity. That’s just matter-of-fact for me. Of course, someone in the fully clothed class might have freaked but they seemed pretty much accepting & liberal sorts. But I was still shaking violently. I’ve never shaken like that before. Not even during the hot mess that was the first time I posed for an art class.

I was afraid my little show would fall flat. I was afraid they’d see it and call it self-indulgent and mediocre, an old man’s folly.  Boring! It is my baby and I feared they wouldn’t like it. But, because I am aging and my tomorrows really are shortening, I wanted to do it regardless. To sail beyond the sunset, so to speak.

My fellow students congratulated me on it. I am deep enough into Asperger’s that I don’t know how to handle compliments. The teacher says he wants me to hone the scene to produce a stronger arc so it can stand alone. Be more drunken. Add some humor, deeper despair, and a stronger recovery. Add in the delicious sound of pills rattling in their bottles (It is almost musical!) and a full-length mirror for a prop. He wants to include it in a future showcase of 7-minute sketches. I even had someone volunteer to direct and help write. It will be a tremendous help!

Teach says it is a bold effort with great potential and nobody else is doing anything like it.

I’m going to make the leap of faith here and do it. Then I’m going to add in additional scenes to build an hour show out of it. At this point, I have little to lose and much satisfaction to gain.


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