Anyone made a new year resolution? I usually don’t because by Jan 2nd I’ve abandoned them. However, this year I’m going to make one that I’ll keep. I’m going to attempt to improve my body – I kid you not!
I did ballet until I was 18. It’s great for strengthening, stretching and flexibility, so I reckon, why not?!
When I first thought about taking up dance again – at age 54 – I fancied disco or jazz, but there isn’t enough Tena Lady in the world to cope with me leaping about the room with gay abandon. And the word ‘lunge’ is no longer even in my vocabulary, never mind in my feet! In ballet there will be the occasional jete (if I stand at the back I can stick one leg out, slide across the floor and make it appear that I’m actually taking off) and the odd bit of batterie (the feet variety as opposed to the fish n chip variety).
I’ve tested it out and can still do a pirouette – although the cat feared for his life as I went into over-spin and nearly landed in a heap on top of him. Fortunately the Christmas tree’s been put away, otherwise I could’ve ended up as a fat fairy sitting amongst its branches, extricating pine needles from my knickers for the foreseeable future. I can also still stretch my arms above my head, now with the added bonus of warming my ears with my bingo wings.
My search for an industrial strength support leotard, with inbuilt incontinence pants, has begun in earnest. I’ll keep you posted…
Acting course reached a new low today. Having spent usual first 10 minutes relaxing everything with our eyes shut (except for me; I sit there with one eye open checking how seriously everyone else is taking it), we were told to imagine we were puppets. I’d rather imagine I was Elizabeth Taylor but maybe that’s just me… Keep on reading!
This week we had to imagine finding an object that had been washed up by the sea, onto our beach from last week. Bit difficult for man in a forest and girl in a café; maybe they could find a dead squirrel and a half eaten doughnut.
I imagined a piece of weather-beaten glass – it was as exotic as I was going to get. Obviously we then had to hold it, look at it and sniff it… sniff it? Then we had to pair up and swap objects with each other, and ultimately guess our partner’s object. Absolutely. No. Chance. I guessed hers was a piece of dried cuttle fish (quite pleased with that actually), turned out to be a locket on a chain – of course it did. She guessed mine was a shell; clearly she’d quickly deduced my ability within the imaginary object department .
Next we had to combine the two, link them and come up with a story to show their connection. Finally given something to get my teeth into I went a bit mad. My Our story involved WWI, adultery, teenage pregnancy and a bit of violence thrown in for good measure. When I explained it to the teacher she looked aghast, and told us to just concentrate on one bit. Spoilsport!
We spent rest of session rehearsing chosen snippet. Thoroughly enjoyed myself shouting at teenage daughter, wailing about the shame she’d brought upon the family and telling her she could take her bastard baby and never darken my doorstep again. With aplomb (and only a smidgen of over acting) I shoved her through my imaginary front door, slammed it shut, re-opened it and threw imaginary locket out after her. Then accidentally stood on an imaginary piece of weather-beaten glass.
This week we had to use all five senses to imagine a beach we’d visited. Then we had to describe it to everyone – there are 25 people in the class, it was going to take a while. I kept it simple and said I was at the beach with friends and kids; we’re going up to the kiosk for coffee and muffins, the kids are whining about chips and will then dig massive holes for the rest of the afternoon.
Some people waxed lyrical about beaches they’d clearly seen on the internet. One person described a forest. A forest?? I was desperately waiting for the teacher to say, “Err you’re meant to be on a beach,” but alas no. Similarly when a girl announced she was in a restaurant – and I had an involuntary splutter of laughter – I was glared at. How come? I wasn’t the one in the wrong imaginary place!
We then had to act out our beach. Yes, ‘act out’ our beach. Some people wafted around in floaty dresses, some people rolled up their trousers to paddle, some people dug around in rock pools and some people swam the length of the room – I kid you not.
I sat in my imaginary deck chair drinking my imaginary coffee, added an imaginary tot of brandy when my imaginary kids weren’t looking, ate my imaginary muffin and read my imaginary magazine.
When I was 18 I wanted to do a drama degree. Parents told me to do a ‘proper’ degree first, get a job and then think about ‘having a go’ at acting. You can imagine how that panned out…
30 years later I’ve enrolled on a community acting course.
Spent entire hour and a half of first session sitting on plastic chairs in a circle – my coccyx has been complaining ever since. Had to introduce ourselves and repeat everyone’s names, via various activities, for half an hour. Half an hour!
Then we had to relax everything from our toes to the tops of our heads – including our eyeballs. Am I the only one who doesn’t have tense eyeballs? Course leader then made mistake of telling us to close our eyelids over our tense eyeballs; after three minutes I was in danger of nodding off.
Two very annoying people in the group. One has been in a few pantomimes and now thinks he’s Sir Ian McKellen. One wants to change the way we perceive comedy (either it’s funny or it’s not love), and thinks she’s a cross between Germaine Greer and Helen Mirren .
It’s going to be tedious I can tell. I’ll let you know how I get on…