Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recovering Actors

Back in a former life, also known as the 90's and the first year or two of the 00's, I was an actor. I trained; I performed; I felt sooooo dramatic and artistic. And in 1998 and 1999, I studied the highly respected but very tough Meisner acting technique. The technique, itself, is awesome. My teacher for this particular course wasn't the best, but the intensity and duration of the class bonded all of us who studied together through those grueling months.

Last week, my friend and former Meisner classmate Gry was in town from Denmark, the home country she returned to back in 2003 or so. Gry and I had stayed friends long after the class ended. In fact, from mid-2000 until she moved to New York in mid-2001, Gry and I had a standing Wednesday happy hour date at the Casanova Lounge. We'd talk about boys, play pool (Casanova had a pool table back then) and sometimes meet new boys while we played pool and sipped our beverages.

With Gry back in San Francisco for a week or so, our first stop was, of course, Casanova for beverages and chatting. Then last Friday, we got together again with our fellow Meisner survivor Tracy, along with some other friends. We met at the Make Out Room to see Mortified, which is probably the best show ever created. Mortified features real people reading from their old junior high school diaries, journals and whatever else reveals their teenage angst from years gone by. It is positively amazing. You laugh, you cringe, you even get a little choked up as you root for the brave souls who showcase their adolescent selves.

After Mortified, we walked across the street for cocktails at the Latin American Club, where we snapped this little photo. Tracy now is a married high school teacher with two kids; Gry became a radio producer when she moved back to Denmark; I use singing as my primary creative outlet these days; and none of us acts anymore. But ten years later, it was wonderful to get together and remember those halcyon days of our 20's when we held only part time jobs so we could spend six hours a week in class repeating each other (that makes sense if you're familiar with Meisner) and many more hours outside of class rehearsing between auditions for shows.

In other news, I thrust myself into the 21st Century last night by buying a Blackberry Pearl cell phone on a total whim. I'd walked into the wireless store to get a new battery for my perfectly reasonable year and a half old phone, and I walked out with a new toy and a significantly more expensive service contract. All of my friends who have Blackberries, iPhones and similar such gadgets love them, but it remains to be seen if I find this investment to be worth it.

Also, this weekend I'm leaving for a week and a half in Hawaii! I have managed to catch a tiny chest cold now in the days before I go, but I'm currently negotiating with the universe to ensure that I am free of this plague by the time my plane takes off on Saturday evening.

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